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May 24, 2024

Govt lobs cash at councils for road repairs

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A $500M boost for councils to help metropolitan and regional councils ‘tackle the mammoth task of repairing the state’s road network, following months of extreme weather events’,  has been announced by the NSW Liberal-Nationals government.

There are 128 councils, or local government areas (LGAs), across the state.

The Echo asked the office of Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW, Paul Toole, whether the $500M will be distributed evenly between all councils.

His office replied that the funding will be ‘based on the number of kms that every council manages’.

The spokesperson said that larger councils with more roads will receive proportionally more funding.

When pressed on how that is equitable for Byron Council, which has a severely damaged road network and is a small council, they replied it is up to each council to allocate funding across their road networks, and that they are hoping the federal government will match the $500M.

The government’s Regional and Local Roads Repair program is aimed at helping councils ‘continue the huge job of bringing roads back up to scratch to keep our state moving’, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said.

Toole said in the press release, ‘This $500 million boost is on top of the $50 million already provided by the Liberals and Nationals Government to help regional councils carry out emergency pothole repairs. We always said there would be more support on the way and today we are delivering on that’.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Sam Farraway, said the application process will be simple, ‘and the cash will be available immediately so councils can get on with the job of urgently restoring the state’s road network’.

‘The new funding will start landing in councils’ bank accounts within weeks so work can begin right away on repairing the essential roads locals, tourists and freight operators use every day,’ Mr Farraway said.

The press release ends with, ‘Repair work must be carried out by December 31, 2023’.

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