Historic $1.55 billion for council owned roads

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay announced the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government has committed more than $1.55 billion since April 2011 to help councils across the state build and repair their local roads, bridges and culverts.

“Since April 2011, the NSW Government has provided $963.4 million to councils for local road projects, with an additional $593.6 million in natural disaster relief funding,” Minister Gay said.

“These are historic levels of funding to help upgrade and repair council owned and managed roads, bridges and culverts – dwarfing past Labor government commitments.”

The 2014-15 NSW Budget provides $267.6 million for local councils, including Block, Regional Roads REPAIR, and Timber Bridges grants – a massive 42 per cent increase compared with $188.2 million in 2009-10 (Labor’s last full financial year in government).

State grants are used by councils for a myriad of projects, including repairing or replacing old timber bridges, upgrading intersections and roundabouts, sealing dirt roads, re-sealing worn pavements, widening road shoulders or installing street lights or new road signage.

Minister Gay said when natural disaster relief funding was added to the overall equation, councils will benefit from a total of $304.9 million from the NSW Government this financial year as part of the historic $5.5 billion roads, maritime and freight 2014-15 State Budget.

“Labor left a litany of broken infrastructure promises and a decaying transport and road network; notably in country NSW – something the NSW Liberals and Nationals are fixing through historic levels of state funding to councils,” said Minister Gay.

A prime example of how the NSW Government is partnering with councils to improve road networks is the $2.38 million grant to Tenterfield Shire Council (which is investing $600,000 in the project) to help upgrade sections of Mount Lindesay Road between Legume and Woodenbong.

Recognising even more needs to be done on council owned roads in regional NSW, the Government has committed an extra $37.5 million from the state’s dedicated infrastructure fund – Restart NSW – to a new works program called ‘Fixing Country Roads’.

Minister Gay said the Fixing Country Roads program funding is ‘on top of’ or additional to the $304.9 million in budgeted roads and bridges grants to NSW councils in 2014-15.

“Fixing Country Roads will help address road freight pinch-points or ‘last mile’ problems and better connect freight facilities such as rail sidings, saleyards, silos, abattoirs, fuel depots and distribution centres to local road networks,” he said.

With the volume of freight forecasted to nearly double over the next twenty years, Fixing Country Roads will help local councils and industries prioritise funding for projects to improve local road connections to key intermodal freight sites and hubs.

Fixing Country Roads will remove 35 million vehicle-kilometres from freight road transport each year allowing more direct connections to move freight from paddock to port more efficiently.

"Unlike Labor which threw its hands in the air in defeat, the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government is fiercely determined to rebuild road and freight transport infrastructure across the length and breadth of this great state,” said Minister Gay.

MEDIA: Siobhan McCarthy 0410 639 786

Fixing Country Roads – how NSW Councils can apply
Expressions of Interest for Fixing Country Roads funding close 4 August, 2014. Shortlisted proposals will be invited to submit a full application and successful projects will be announced in late 2014.

More information on the Fixing Country Roads program.

Expressions of Interest called for Fixing Country Roads.

Other Restart NSW reservations for rural and regional NSW

Roads and freight in rural and regional NSW will also see a massive boost in the immediate future from other new Restart NSW reservations in the 2014-15 State Budget, including:

  • $200 million for a Regional Freight Pinch Point and Safety Program, including proposed improvement works on the Bells Line of Road, Golden Highway, Kings Highway and Gocup Road.
  • $177 million to commence construction of the second crossing of the Clarence River at Grafton.
  • $150 million towards construction of the $280 million fifth and final stage of the Newcastle Inner City Bypass (Rankin Park to Jesmond), with the remainder to be funded by Transport for NSW/Roads and Maritime Services.
  • $50 million for a Western NSW Freight Productivity Program, including fast-tracking sealing work on the Cobb and Silver City highways.
  • $12.5 million towards construction of the Queanbeyan Bypass (Ellerton Drive Extension).

Like the Fixing Country Roads works program, the Restart NSW reservations above are ‘on top of’ or additional to the historic $5.5 billion budget for roads, maritime and freight in 2014-15.

View the original media release (PDF)

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