The NSW Nationals in the state government will fast-track $15 million in emergency funding to eight councils in central and western NSW for urgent road repairs to restore access to flood-impacted areas.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the fast-tracked funding would allow councils to start repairing critical infrastructure and support future recovery works.
“Restoring road access as quickly as possible is critical to ensure the supplies, support, and equipment needed to recover from this disaster can get where it’s needed,” Mr Toole said.
“With harvest underway, we also need to ensure roads are up to the task of carrying the additional truck and heavy machinery to get this crop off and to receival sites.
“This cash is being directed straight to councils which, with their detailed knowledge of their local region and roads, are best placed to identify those critical priority areas.
“Natural disaster-declared councils will still be able to submit their Natural Disaster Funding Recovery claims once those damage assessments are complete.”
Nationals Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said it was critical to start the repair and recovery process as soon as possible to reconnect communities and the state’s supply chain.
“Regional NSW relies on an accessible road network, which is why I worked with Transport for NSW to ensure emergency funding is in bank accounts of councils today,” Mr Farraway said.
“We will come back from these floods stronger and I will be raising with the Federal Government the need to expand the Betterment Program currently in place for councils in northern NSW to the west.
“Our natural disaster funding needs to allow councils to rebuild their infrastructure to be more resilient against natural disasters to keep communities connected.”
The eight councils to receive the fast-tracked funding are Cabonne, Cowra, Forbes, Lachlan, Moree Plains, Narrabri, Parkes and Walgett.
Additional councils which have also been impacted by the floods may be eligible to receive advance funding and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.