‘Fixing Country Roads’ in the Monaro

‘Fixing Country Roads’ in the Monaro

Wednesday, 26 March, 2014

Roads and Ports Minister Duncan Gay and Member for Monaro John Barilaro today announced a $450,000 grant for Bombala Council as part of the NSW Government’s ‘Fixing Country Roads’ funding program.

Three council-owned roads, which currently consume more than 90 per cent of the Council’s annual roads maintenance budget, will be upgraded with the help of the NSW Government over the next three financial years.

Minister Gay said the grant would see Mila and Craigie roads, Burton Street/Bucky Springs Road and the intersection of Burton and Maybe streets upgraded, which have deteriorated due to the heavy use of logging trucks.

“The NSW Government is delighted to play its part in supporting both Council and the timber industry of the Monaro – a sustainable industry employing hundreds of people in the region,” he said.

“While the NSW Labor/Green alliance wants to kill-off the forestry industry in the Monaro, the Liberals and Nationals Government is determined to support its future through strategic road upgrades.”

‘Fixing Country Roads’ involves the NSW Government partnering with local councils, like Bombala, and industry to identify important infrastructure upgrades needed on council-owned and managed roads to improve safety and freight productivity.

The program helps country communities deliver better connections to state-owned roads and highways (in this case the Monaro Highway) allowing goods to be transported faster and more efficiently from ‘paddock to port’.

Member for Monaro John Barilaro said better regional roads led to stronger local economies, stronger employment opportunities – particularly for youth – and ultimately stronger country communities.

“Over several years, Bombala Council has been working its guts out to maintain and upgrade these vital local ‘timber roads’, so I’m delighted the NSW Coalition could help fast-track an expansion of existing works with an injection of funding,” he said.

“I congratulate Bombala Mayor Bob Stewart and his Council for working closely with the NSW Government to deliver this important road safety and freight productivity initiative.”

The NSW Liberals and Nationals Government has delivered more than $15 billion for roads in its first three state budgets, including nearly $120 million to maintain and build roads, bridges and culverts in the Monaro.

Across rural and regional NSW in 2011-12, $3.7 billion was spent on maintaining and building roads, bridges and culverts. Approximately $3.8 billion was spent in 2012-13, while $3.9 billion was allocated in 2013-14.

Mr Barilaro said this was a historic level of roads and bridges funding in a tough post-GFC environment, placing the Liberals and Nationals ‘a country mile’ ahead of NSW Labor’s dismal track record.

“Despite basking in rivers of property and land tax revenue from the mid-90s onwards, average annual funding for country roads under so-called ‘Country Labor’ between 2001-02 and 2010-11 was only $2.4 billion,” he said.

Media contact: Siobhan McCarthy 0410 639 786

View the original media release (PDF)

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