Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

The NSW Government announced an extra $500 million in funding for repairs to flood affected roads, at least $20.85m of which will go to councils in the Northern Tablelands electorate.

The funding is allocated to local councils based on the size of the local road network, the same way the previous $50m for potholes was allocated in November last year. The funding is additional to the $50m for potholes, the $1.5 billion commitment to road maintenance, and the Regional Roads and Transport Recovery Package of $312.5m announced after the Lismore floods specifically to northern NSW roads.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said the new Regional and Local Roads Repair program would provide even more support for councils to continue to carry out urgent repair work to ensure people stay connected and safe.

“We have listened to councils and we understand the pressure they are under from many months of wet weather. This funding boost will help councils continue the huge job of bringing roads back up to scratch to keep our state moving,” Mr Perrottet said.

“We are making sure our roads are in the best nick possible so NSW families, truckies, farmers and tradies can travel around our state safely.

“We recognise potholes are a major hazard right now. This critical funding injection will help every council across the state patch up potholes as well as carry out other emergency repair work.”

Local MP Adam Marshall said today’s $20.85 million allocation to the Northern Tablelands represented a massive five-fold increase on the $3.72 provided to the region’s councils in the first round late last year.

“We couldn’t have wished for a better start to the New Year than with this additional urgent funding to fix more dangerous sections on our local roads right now,” Mr Marshall said.

“It’s a huge allocation for our local councils, which we weren’t expecting but will gladly welcome – every extra slice of cash helps enormously.”

“This second hit of extra cash alone isn’t the panacea, but it is another welcome boost for our councils and their road crews, who trying to take advantage of the current dry period to complete as much repair work as they can.”

Mr Marshall was able to provide a breakdown of the allocation for each council in his electorate:

• Armidale Regional $1,486,512.50
• Glen Innes Severn $2,213,999.76
• Gwydir Shire $3,971,545.93
• Inverell Shire $4,447,864.51
• Moree Plains Shire $5,194,780.64
• Uralla Shire $1,771,315.17
• Walcha $1,761,507.66
Northern Tablelands Total $20,847,526.20

Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson also welcomed the announcement in a Facebook post, saying the funding boost will help councils continue the huge job of bringing roads back up to scratch to ensure communities stay connected, safe and keep our powerhouse region moving.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said the application process will be simple and the cash will be available immediately so councils can get on with the job of urgently restoring the state’s road network.

“The new funding will start landing in councils’ bank accounts within weeks so work can begin right away on repairing the essential roads locals, tourists and freight operators use every day,” Mr Farraway said.

“We understand that it’s not just about financial assistance, manpower is also needed, which is why the Government has already redeployed 200 Transport for NSW crews to Western NSW to help in the worst impacted areas.”

While welcomed, many mayors in those areas significantly affected by flooding said it was a start but not enough, and called on the Albanese Government to match the funding.

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