Safer journeys are on the way across the New England, with 10 new projects worth more than $22 million rolling out under the latest round of the NSW Nationals in the state and federal governments’ accelerated Fixing Local Roads program to improve local roads and create thousands of local jobs in the regions.
NSW Nationals Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said the latest round of Fixing Local Roads funding would help local councils tackle the increasing amount of work required to provide safe roads for their communities, like repairing, patching, maintaining and sealing.
“The $243.6 million first round of the program last year is delivering 20 projects across the New England and now we’re building on that with a further $150 million in round two,” Mr Joyce said.
“Safe, reliable roads are essential infrastructure for communities in the bush, so it’s great that the NSW Nationals in the federal government have turbocharged the NSW Nationals in the state governments’s $500 million Fixing Local Roads program by committing $191 million last year.
“Funding includes almost $5 million for Kempsey Road near Armidale, a key route from the Tablelands to the Coast which I’ve been lobbying hard for more funding.
“This is yet further delivery for the people of New England from Tenterfield to the Upper Hunter, providing vital upgrades to our roads that people need and deserve.”
NSW Nationals Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said Fixing Local Roads was helping councils repair, maintain and seal the roads that really mattered to regional communities.
“NSW has a road network of more than 180,000 kilometres in length, and nearly 80 per cent is classified as local roads, so it is a real challenge for councils to effectively manage and maintain their road assets,” Mr Anderson said.
“This program won’t just ease the burden of maintenance for local councils, but it will deliver safer, more reliable journeys for all local road users.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader Michael McCormack said Round 2 of the Fixing Local Roads Program would fund more than 100 new road upgrades across the state, creating more than 1000 jobs.
“The funding will improve the safety of roads in local communities, including repairing, patching, maintaining and sealing local roads,” he said.
“We know improved roads are crucial to regional communities – the more than 100 successful road projects announced today will play a big role in helping residents and businesses recover from the effects of bushfires, drought, floods and the COVID-19 pandemic.”
NSW Nationals Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the $191 million NSW Nationals in the federal government funding commitment in June last year was on top of the $500 million from the NSW Nationals in the state government, building upon the vision for a safer, stronger regional NSW.
“We’re injecting even more funding into the roads in the bush that communities depend on, which means a safer and smoother journey for everyone,” Mr Toole said.
“Better maintained roads mean safer trips to school, to work and to the shops – and the NSW Nationals in the state government are committed to helping councils to create and support jobs, drive productivity and keep our regional communities connected.
“Big infrastructure projects might create a lot of headlines but these are small projects that make a big difference in people’s everyday lives.”
Round 1 of the Fixing Local Roads Program saw $243.6 million of joint funding allocated to 253 projects in 83 Local Government Areas, and Round 2 will see $150 million allocated to more than 100 road projects in 90 Local Government Areas.
All successful projects will be completed within two years to ensure local communities see the benefits as quickly as possible.