LISMORE MP Janelle Saffin at Bentley.
LISMORE MP Janelle Saffin at Bentley.

Road budget backlog could delay projects

LISMORE MP Janelle Saffin has requested assurance from the NSW Government that a reported $3.8 billion roads maintenance backlog will not impact on the government’s commitment to take on 15,000km of regional roads from local councils.

Ms Saffin wrote to Regional Transport and Roads Minister, Paul Toole, to seeks assurance on behalf of the four councils in her electorate Lismore City, Kyogle, Tenterfield and Tweed Shire.

Her concerns follow the release of the Roads and Maritime Services Asset Management Plan 2020-21 to 2029-30, which confirmed a $3.8 billion roads maintenance shortfall at June 30, 2019 had grown by $36 million on the previous year.

It could potentially affect planned projects across regional and rural NSW.

The plan confirms NSW Government funding for projects already under way may be inadequate and that it’s “almost certain” there are insufficient funds to deliver state election promises and the state component of federal election commitments.

Shadow Minister for Roads, John Graham, said the funding black hole explains why projects have been delayed or deferred.

“The Transport and Roads Minister Andrew Constance should come clean and tell the community which election commitments are at risk,” he said.