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Local Government NSW declares a Statewide Roads Emergency

Local Government NSW declares a Statewide Roads Emergency

Local Government NSW (LGNSW) has declared a Statewide Roads Emergency as NSW mayors and councillors join their interstate colleagues at the National Local Roads and Transport Congress in Hobart.

The declaration – and urgent call for the NSW and Federal Governments to increase their existing road funding commitments in the wake of this year’s catastrophic floods - was unanimously supported by NSW mayors and councillors attending the congress.

Successive floods and torrential rain events, coupled with chronic funding constraints, has caused $2.5 billion in road damages and caused a collapse of the local and regional road network.

LGNSW President Cr Darriea Turley AM warned that without additional funding, the economic and social harm caused by this emergency would only get worse.

“More than 220 natural disaster areas have been declared across NSW this year, leaving the road network in a state of disrepair,” Cr Turley said.

“Road repair funding pledged to date has fallen well short of what is required so we’re declaring this Statewide Roads Emergency to get help before the situation becomes even worse.

“In the coming weeks, close to $4 billion worth of crops will need to be harvested and transported, yet harvesting machinery is unable to access some of the most productive regions in our state.

“The wider rural communities supporting Australia’s food bowl are on their knees, waiting for the network to be repaired.

“Meanwhile, families travelling during the upcoming summer holidays will find their trips to visit family and friends severely disrupted unless councils get the support we need to rebuild the road network.

“When this rain finally recedes, we owe it to our communities that they gain access to their road network as quickly as possible.”

As part of the Statewide Roads Emergency, LGNSW is calling for:

  • An acceleration and significant increase in funding for the $1.1 billion Fixing Local Roads and Fixing Country Bridges program
  • A boost to Road Block Grant funding to compensate for the damage to the regional road network
  • New funding to provide councils with plant machinery and skilled workers to expedite road repairs.

“NSW communities are facing an unprecedented disaster which requires an unprecedented response,” Cr Turley said.

“I call on the NSW and Federal Governments to take action on the Statewide Roads Emergency and help our regional and rural communities bounce back from the devastation caused by this year’s floods.”