THERE will be some more talk yet before we see any real action, but every step closer to a duplication of the Great Western Highway between Lithgow and Katoomba will be welcomed by Bathurst motorists.
Regional Roads Minister Paul Toole was joined by new Nationals MLC Sam Farraway, Bathurst mayor Bobby Bourke, Roads and Maritime Services western region director Alistair Lunn and Orange City Council technical services director Wayne Gailey for another key announcement on Thursday - but not the one that matters.
Mr Toole said the government was opening community consultation on the duplication when all we really want to knows is when they plan to start building it.
Yes, there is a process to work through but, after decades of lobbying, Central West residents have become understandably suspicious of the time it takes to set government wheels in motion - not to mention the number of photo opportunities created along the way.
By our count, this is at least the third major announcement regarding this particular stretch of road and yet we've still not made it to square one.
In June last year the state government announced that "planning is under way for a 30-kilometre duplication of the Great Western Highway from Katoomba to Forty Bends, which will provide a safe and efficient link between the Central West and the Sydney motorway network" while in March this year, with a state election looming, Deputy Premier John Barilaro came to Bathurst to announce the Coalition Government's plan, if re-elected, to duplicate the Great Western Highway from Lithgow to Katoomba.
The highway's not the only thing being duplicated. We just hope we're not being duped, because the stakes are too high.
The highway's not the only thing being duplicated.
An improved road link between Sydney and the Central West remains the key to securing this region's economic future.
Opening up the Central West would not only allow produce to arrive in the Sydney market more quickly and cheaply, but would also provide a much-needed pressure valve for the booming Sydney population.
It's around 110km as the crow flies from Bathurst to Penrith but it currently takes just over two hours in the car to drive it.
Clearly there are time savings to be made if engineering solutions - and financial solutions - can be found.
The Lithgow-Katoomba work will be a major step, but it can't be the last step.