The Nationals is striking a nerve with local ratepayers with an election promise to fund local roads and timber bridge replacement, and to transfer some roads back to state government care and maintenance.
In a statement Nationals candidate for Lismore Austin Curtin welcomed Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Roads Minister Melinda Pavey’s announcement of more than $1 billion to fix local roads, repair NSW’s timber bridges and reclaim up to 15,000 kilometres of council roads.
If returned to power the NSW Liberals & Nationals promise to:
- establish a $500 million Fixing Local Roads program to assist councils in repairing, maintaining and sealing local roads;
- Establish a $500 million Fixing Country Bridges program to replace the worst timber bridges in regional and rural communities;
- establish the process to transfer up to 15,000 kilometres of council-owned roads, the ‘Regional Road Network’, back to the state; and
- set up an Independent Expert Panel to oversee the asset transfer process.
Mr Curtin said local roads in the Lismore electorate in urgent need of maintenance will be prioritised under Fixing Local Roads.
“This funding will take a big load off our local ratepayers and councils,” Mr Curtin said.
“We will be able to clear our local roads maintenance backlogs, replace timber bridges in poor condition and see those local roads classified in the ‘Regional Road Network’ transferred back to the state and able to be upgraded quicker.
“Today’s announcement is more proof only the Liberals & Nationals in government listen and deliver for local regional and rural communities.”
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the funding commitment will change the face of road ownership in NSW and remove the heavy burden from local ratepayers.
“We want to create a safe and modern road network for our children and our grandchildren and many generations to come.”
Roads Minister Melinda Pavey said the NSW Liberals & Nationals will assist councils with a fully funded program to replace local bridges and repair local roads to ensure communities maintain access to towns, jobs, schools and hospital facilities.
“We have listened to our local councils, communities and stakeholders and we are delivering,” Ms Pavey said.