Sun. May 26th, 2024

A huge funding boost will see some of the worst roads around Armidale and Glen Innes rebuilt.

Almost $17 million has been handed over to Glen Innes Severn and Armidale Regional Councils today to enable them to go beyond repairing their worst roads, but to build them, stronger, wider and higher to withstand future extreme natural weather events, Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall has announced.

Mr Marshall said the one-off funding cash injection was secured from the first-of-its-kind NSW Regional Roads and Transport Recovery Package, which is providing $312.5 million to rebuild damaged roads and transport infrastructure to a higher standard to better withstand future natural disasters across northern NSW.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to see this additional money flow into the coffers of our local councils,” Mr Marshall said.

“This cash will give councils even more resources now to not just repair their beleaguered road network, but to make it stronger, wider and higher so they hold up better in the next big flood or wet weather period.

“Our local and regional roads are the lifeblood of our region, without them we cannot get produce in and out, children cannot get safely to the school and tourists won’t want to visit our region.

“All our region’s local councils are now sitting on tens of millions of dollars of roads funding and for the first time in living memory, their greatest problem is not a lack of funds, but choosing which roads project to undertake next and where to find the staff and machinery to get it all done!”

Mr Marshall said Glen Innes Severn Council would be the major beneficiary of the funding, securing $13,556,858 to upgrade its local and regional road networks.

Meanwhile, Armidale Regional Council has received $3,186,031 to upgrade its unsealed local road network and to form up and bitumen seal the last remaining unsealed stretch of Rockvale Road, to the north-east of Armidale.

Mr Marshall said the Gwydir Highway between Glen Innes and Inverell would also see a major upgrade with $10 million allocated to improve the worst sections of pavement and improve drainage on the roadsides.

“While both councils will have the flexibility to determine which of their local and regional roads will receive treatment with this funding, I know they’ll be spending it where it can do the most good in the long run, ensuring their roads are more resilient to future disasters,” Mr Marshall said.

“Looking at the condition of many of our region’s local roads at the moment, they’ve certainly seen far better days, but our councils now have the money to upgrade them and most now have a full roads works program for the next 3-4 years based on the grant funding currently in the bank.

“This is good news for motorists who will see a steady improvement in their local roads over the coming years and councils draw down on the funding provided as they progress through their projects.”

Have something to say about this story? Submit your own opinion piece, or quick word, to The Net.