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Byron Shire
February 2, 2023

Unsealed roads left off govt road audit

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Dirt road impacted by the 2022 flood. Photo Aslan Shand

The Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation (NRRC), who are ‘leading the [flood] reconstruction effort’ say one of the biggest road surveys in regional NSW is now underway to ‘better inform the long-term rebuild of road and transport infrastructure in the region and ensure it can better withstand future floods’.

Yet unsealed roads have not been included in the audit.

The corporation said, in a press release, it will include, ‘All sealed roads in the Ballina, Byron Bay [Sic], Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed LGAs’.

NRRC Chief Executive, David Witherdin, said more than 5,500 kilometres of road surface will be assessed by the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) ‘to measure roughness, texture and rutting, and to gather digital imagery for visual rating and automated crack detection’.

The Echo asked the NRRC: ‘Given that most of the roads that were hardest hit by the floods and landslides were unsealed, why weren’t they included in this assessment?’

Dirt road impacted by the 2022 flood. Photo Aslan Shand

No reply by NRRC

While the question was acknowledged by the NRRC, no reply was received by deadline.

The NRRC press release goes on to say, ‘This assessment informs how we’re going to prioritise more than $4.9 billion in infrastructure work, including a pipeline of more than $1.7 billion to address road and transport infrastructure rebuilding across the region. Specialised road scanning vehicles, including an Intelligent Pavement Assessment Vehicle and a Network Survey Vehicle, are being used to provide a comprehensive analysis of the scope of what needs to be done and key priority areas.

‘Northern Rivers councils and Transport for NSW are working with the NRRC’s Infrastructure Coordination Office, which is prioritising the region’s infrastructure needs and examining ways to manage supply constraints and capacity issues’.

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  1. I wonder if the Valuer- General (VG) lowers the property value if it is on a dirt road thereby ensuring lower rates are paid on the lower value. Or does the VG just look at recent sales in the surrounding area ignoring whether access is bitumen paved or not. If the latter where is the justice in not funding dirt road repairs?


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