Lismore roads: Labor promises $18.5 million in first year
LISMORE roads could soon be getting a major upgrade to the tune of $18.5 million, if Labor wins the federal election.
Visiting the region alongside Labor's Page candidate Patrick Deegan, Shadow Minister for Rural and Regional Australia Joel Fitzgibbon announced a Labor Government would fast track $18.5 million worth of road works planned for the Lismore district to address the maintenance backlog.
"There's not a council in NSW that has enough money to repair all of its local roads and our local communities expect good roads," Mr Fitzgibbon said.
"We'll provide some $18.5 million to Lismore Council to help them bring forward those road projects that are so badly in need of investment.
"I understand council has some $37 million worth of projects that need attention and would usually take council about 10 years to complete. This money I'm announcing today will allow them to do all of those works in about four years."
Lismore City Council Mayor Isaac Smith welcomed the announcement as improving roads was council's "number one priority".
"We can bring up our works program and put a lot more money into our roads," Cr Smith said.
"As a good example on what this money will be spent is Diadem St, which is well overdue for an upgrade and because of the expansion of the hospital it's really in need of work. I'd love to see some new roads in Diadem St.
"Another example is Tregeagle Rd in our regional area. With the increase in traffic between here and the coast, a lot of people are travelling into Lismore and around the region and Tregeagle Rd is one that needs a lot of work.
"These programs can be moved up, these roads can be worked on straight away and this money can be put into the bitumen as soon as the election is finished."
Mr Fitzgibbon said Lismore would see the $18.5 million within the first year of government.
"This is about safety, it's about the efficiency of the local economy, it's about amenity and of course it's about making sure Lismore has the road it needs to attract people to the town for them to spend their money," he said.
"The money will come through within the first year of a Shorten Labor government, it'll be in our first budget and will be available for the council in a short time after that.
"This is new money, it comes on top of the the existing roads and recovery money."
The work will also allow earlier completion of the upgrade of the Alphadale Road-Cowlong Road intersection.
Lismore City Council's backlog includes projects that have been identified by the NRMA on its list of projects that should be delivered as soon as possible to improve road safety.