Labor's commits $190M to improve North Coast roads
UPDATE 3.25pm: NSW Labor is promising to provide a once in a generation investment to improve rural and regional roads.
Shadow Minister for Roads Jodi McKay said Tuesday's announcement Labor to deliver almost $200 million to upgrade and repair Far North Coast roads if elected on March 23 was "the most significant investments in local governments in this area in a generation".
"Local council's have been crying out for (support)," Ms McKay said.
'Supporting council with road funding is one of the top priorities in my portfolio.
"I think the National Party should match this but I also think is what they should do is why they haven't done this in eight years and why the infrastructure backlog has been allowed to increase to the point where we have almost $200 million in road maintenance repair."
Labor's announcement follows a commitment made by the Greens last month to inject $195 million to address the backlog in road maintenance across the Northern Rivers.
ORIGINAL: NORTH Coast roads will be repaired and upgraded as part of NSW Labor's election commitment to the region.
NSW Labor Leader Michael Daley has promised to deliver an additional $900 million over five years to improve safety and productivity on regional NSW roads.
Lismore, Kyogle and Byron Councils, are expected to be major beneficiaries of the commitment, based on current estimates of the backlog.
Meanwhile Richmond Valley, Tweed, Tenterfield, and Ballina council areas are also on the upgrade list to bring certain roads up to an acceptable standard.
A recent NRMA report found the North Coast had the highest infrastructure backlog in the state totalling $437.8 million.
Last month, the NRMA's Funding Local Roads report found that the Regional and Local Roads Network, which covers 80 per cent of NSW roads, was in a state of decline and unable to properly accommodate existing passenger and freight movements.
The NRMA estimates that $300 million worth of works is required to replace roads requiring 'urgent' renovation, and a further $600 million is needed for roads in need of 'significant rehabilitation.'
NSW Labor's additional $900 million commitment to rural and regional roads is almost double the existing $543m 'Fixing Country Roads' program, and will bring the total investment to more than $1.4 billion.
NSW Country Labor candidate for Lismore Janelle Saffin welcomed the funding commitment.
" This funding injection will assist Councils to clear the backlog and allow them to get ahead into the future," Ms Saffin said.
NSW Country Labor candidate for Ballina Asren Pugh said the funding would vastly improve those roads that cause damage to people's vehicles and safety.
"Local Byron Shire roads are a total disaster while billions are spent digging up roads and demolishing stadiums in Sydney," Mr Pugh said.
"Labor will fix the worst roads in Byron Shire and the region, saving peoples cars and saving people lives."
The estimated investment needed for roads requiring 'urgent' renovation or 'significant rehabilitation' to reach an acceptable standard in each council area is:
- Lismore City Council $35.65m
- Byron Shire Council $15.95m
- Kyogle Council $16.45m
- Richmond Valley Council $4.75m
- Tweed Shire Council $4.4m
- Tenterfield $3.4m
- Ballina Shire Council $850,000