The NSW North Coast has been flagged as the worst in the state for its infrastructure backlog, with an estimated $438 million needed to maintain local roads to a safe and satisfactory standard.
North Coast councils have seen a backlog increase of over $7 million since last year with Mid-Coast ($116m) Port Macquarie Hasting ($80m) and Lismore ($71m) increasing the most.
The funding shortfall was revealed as part of the NRMA’s Funding Local Roads report that identifies a $2.2 billion backlog across NSW, with the overwhelming majority of the burden ($1.7 billion) falling to regional councils.
The report coincides with the launch of the NRMA’s Rate Your Road, which calls on the community to rate their local roads and public transport. The survey is accessible via the myNRMA App for members and through rateyouroad.com.au.
The results will be collated over the coming weeks and released prior to the 23 March NSW State Election.
NRMA Director Fiona Simson said the organisation was focused on making roads and public transport infrastructure funding an election priority and was calling on the community to have their say about what needed to be done at a local level to keep the state moving.
Re-categorise strategic roads across regional areas to State roadsNRMA recommendation
The Member for Oxley, Melinda Pavey, said in the last four years of this government, the Government had delivered nearly 60 million dollars to local councils in Oxley.
“Of course, there is more to do, but let’s remember this government has doubled the roads budget and we are working our way through the backlog that Labor left us,” Mrs Pavey, who is also minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, said.
“Since 2011 the Government has granted (Oxley) councils over three billion dollars to fix country roads, replace timber bridges and maintain or improve local infrastructure.
“Supporting these critical grant programs has been the $543 million Fixing Country Roads program where councils can co invest with state and federal governments to deliver easier safer and more efficient roads.”
She said she would continue to work with local government partners in Oxley to review how assets were managed to further increase service standards and value to the people of NSW.
NRMA’s ‘Funding Local Roads’ report:
This provides a number of key recommendations to Government, to help local councils meet their shortfalls, these include:
* Allocating up to $180 million per annum for five years from the Snowy Hydro Legacy and Regional Growth Funds.
* Reserving between two to five cents per litre of the fuel excise (41.2 cpl) to local roads.
* Re-categorise strategic roads across regional areas to State roads.