NSW Farmers says Labor needs to explain how it will fix the state’s flood damaged roads if it wins the upcoming election.
Widespread rain and flooding last year caused significant damage to many country roads, and NSW Farmers Vice President Rebecca Reardon said voters needed to know there was a plan to fix the problem.
“We know there’s damage in the city as well as in the country, but what we’re asking for is a clear idea of how Labor will fix our roads if they form government,” Mrs Reardon said.
“The Coalition Government has put up funding – not enough to properly address the issue – but Labor has yet to make their position clear.
“This is a critical matter for all voters because these broken roads are what we use to get food from farm gate to dinner plate.”
This week the NSW Government revealed which local government areas would get funding under the $280 million Regional and Local Roads Repair Program, many of them in country areas. While additional funding was important, Mrs Reardon said, it was nowhere near enough to resolve the problem once and for all. She said there was also a need to secure the workforce and access to materials with a strategic approach to the road network.
“This is a tough problem for country communities, and we’re seeing a lot of damage to backroads being caused by people avoiding already-damaged main roads,” Mrs Reardon said.
“If we as a state don’t get on top of it soon, the problem will grow beyond anyone’s ability to solve it.
“Councils can only do so much with the funding models as they stand – they need to be supported by state and federal governments as we rebuild after last year’s extreme weather.”