Roads and bridges are an election issue

OXLEY CANDIDATES: Country Labor's Susan Jenvey and Nationals Melinda Pavey
OXLEY CANDIDATES: Country Labor's Susan Jenvey and Nationals Melinda Pavey

Roads and bridge maintenance in our shires is one of the hottest topics for regional councils.

Country Labor has committed to assisting local councils to clear their regional road maintenance backlog by investing an additional $900 million in regional and rural roads.

Oxley candidate Susan Jenvey said this was almost double the existing $500 million fixing regional roads program and would bring the total investment to $1.4 billion.

"The NRMA revealed the local roads infrastructure backlog has soared almost 30 per cent since 2014-15 under this Liberal-National Government," Ms Jenvey said.

"Rural and regional roads are where most accidents occur, which is why it's so important we properly maintain them. Labor will provide infrastructure, services and assistance to those most in need."

She said Labor would undertake a review of all roads, council by council, to see what needed fixing: "Every poor road will get fixed."

For their part, the Government is offering to:

 Establish a $500 million Fixing Local Roads program to assist councils in repairing, maintaining and sealing important local roads;

 Establish a $500 million Fixing Country Bridges program to replace the worst timber bridges in regional and rural communities;

 A process to transfer up to 15,000 kilometres of council-owned roads back to the State.

* The Guardian News has asked for details as to which roads this would cover but has not received a response.

 The establishment of an Independent Expert Panel to oversee the asset transfer process.

Nambucca Shire mayor Rhonda Hoban said the Government's roads package would provide councils with the opportunity to reduce or clear their road maintenance backlog and ease pressure on council finances and rates.

“I’m not known for being an easy marker of government performance but will give credit where it’s due and a billion dollars to improve local roads and bridges is a creditable announcement," Cr Hoban said.

Also making the news: