16 JANUARY 2023


The M1 Pacific Motorway’s ‘missing link’ will finally be fixed, thanks to investment from the Australian and NSW governments.

Shovels have been put in the ground and the foundations laid for the transformative and vital M1 Pacific Motorway extension, which state and federal Ministers will visit today.

The $2.1 billion M1 extension, which includes upgrades to the surrounding network, such as the Hexham Straight widening, is funded by both levels of government, with the Australian Government committing $1.68 billion and the NSW Government committing $420 million.

It will feature a 15-kilometre extension of the motorway, removing five sets of traffic lights and cutting nine minutes from travel times during peak periods.

It will also deliver a 2.6-kilometre viaduct over the Hunter River and floodplain, the Main North Rail Line, and the New England Highway.

There will also be new bridge crossings over local waterways at Tarro and Raymond Terrace, and an overpass for Masonite Road at Heatherbrae.

This is one of two remaining locations on the east coast corridor where the route is an urban road with traffic lights – the other being at Coffs Harbour, where work is also well underway on a new bypass which is due to be completed in late 2027.   

The M1 extension at Raymond Terrace is expected to be open to traffic in 2028.

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Quotes attributable to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese:

“It’s so exciting to stand alongside the NSW Government and see shovels in the ground for a project which will be a huge benefit to travellers and truck drivers, but also to Hunter Valley families.”

“All over Australia, my Government is building stronger foundations for a better future.

“This upgrade will mean quicker travel times between Sydney and Brisbane, but most importantly – safer travel for families and workers who use this route going up and down the east coast.”

Quotes attributable to Premier of NSW Chris Minns:

 “The NSW Government is proud to partner with the Commonwealth to deliver this vital infrastructure which will improve reliability and efficiency for those travelling across our state, particularly in the Hunter region.

“Not only will this provide smoother journeys for drivers in the area, but it will also boost economic activity and provide local jobs.”

Quotes attributable to Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King:

 “This project, together with the Coffs Harbour bypass, will provide the remaining major upgrades to complete a free-flowing dual carriageway route between Sydney and Brisbane.

“The M1 extension will create more efficient and reliable journeys by bypassing five sets of traffic lights, saving nine minutes in travel time and removing about 25,000 vehicles a day from key congestion and merge points between Newcastle and Maitland.

“I'm delighted that both the Australian and NSW governments are working together to complete the job so locals across the Hunter can see an end to the traffic chaos and daily delays.”

Quotes attributable to NSW Regional Transport and Roads Minister Jenny Aitchison:

“This will provide a welcome boost to the economy by supporting up to 2,700 direct and indirect jobs during construction and will transform the way people move to and from and through the Hunter.

“More than $3 billion of road projects are being funded by the Australian and NSW governments across the Hunter at the moment.

“This not only boosts the regional, State and Federal economy but will improve safety and efficiency for our local and regional communities and all motorists.”

Quotes attributable to Federal Member for Paterson, Meryl Swanson MP:

“Having fought for this vital piece of infrastructure since being elected, its delivery is a big win for our region.

“The M1 Extension project represents a crucial investment in our local infrastructure, enhancing economic growth and a better quality of life for our community. This initiative reflects our commitment to fostering progress and addressing the evolving needs of our people. Together, we are building a stronger, more connected future for our region."

Quotes attributable to Federal Member for Hunter, Dan Repacholi MP:

“By upgrading this vital commuter, freight and tourism link, we’re building a lasting legacy of better-connected communities, improved safety and reduced local congestion.

“It’s great to see this important project for the whole region underway.”

Quotes attributable to Federal Member for Newcastle, Sharon Claydon MP:

“This is fantastic news for Newcastle families and workers who rely on this road each and every day.”  

“This will help ensure shorter travel times and safer journeys for all motorists. I’m thrilled to see this project progressing in our region.”  

Quotes attributable to Minister for the Hunter and State Member for Swansea, Yasmin Catley MP:

“This project will transform our region.

“Not only will the M1 extension improve congestion and save travel time, but hundreds of good jobs will be created throughout construction.”

Quotes attributable to State Member for Port Stephens, Kate Washington MP:

“The people of Port Stephens will be so pleased to finally see progress on this project.

“Whether holidaying in picture-perfect Port Stephens or simply going about the daily commute, the M1 extension will make a massive difference to the lives of people across our region.” 

Quotes attributable to State Member for Wallsend, Sonia Hornery MP:

“The M1 extension is a vital project for the residents in the northwest part of my electorate. Thousands of vehicles who are normally bottlenecked will be able to move more freely and bypass the worst of the traffic build-up.

“This is vital progress for our region.”

16 JANUARY 2024