Campers, cyclists, hikers and timber harvesters will have greater access to flood-affected state forests under the NSW Government’s $60 million investment to repair critical road infrastructure.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said Forestry Corporation maintains a network of forest roads and trails spanning 60,000 kilometres, and these are critical for community use, forest management and fire protection.
“More than half of this road network is within areas that were impacted by the recent flooding, and early estimates indicate that between 10,000 and 15,000 kilometres of roads have been damaged,” Mr Toole said.
“This NSW government funding boost will go towards fixing flood-damaged roads, bridges and culverts to help restore access for the forest industry and broader community. Locals and tourists use state forests for everything from four-wheel driving to timber harvesting, but recent floods caused major damage to the two million-hectares of native and plantation forests, cutting access for thousands of users.
“This new funding will ensure these road repairs are prioritised, marking another step forward in getting our flood-affected communities moving and buzzing again.”
Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders said the commitment will help address the critical timber shortage impacting wood processors in the North Coast.
“We have seen first-hand the impact the floods have had on the timber industry in the North Coast, which contributes significantly to the local economy and provides hundreds of jobs to locals,” Mr Saunders said.
“This funding will mean our timber producers will have access to more logs for processing, and, at the same time, will ensure community access for a range of activities like bee-keeping, four-wheel driving, camping and mountain biking.”
The flood-affected roads are predominantly on the coast, and some of these roads were still being repaired following the devastating 2019-20 bushfires, when the 2022 floods hit.
Forestry Corporation will now undertake a comprehensive assessment of damage from the recent natural disasters, develop a priority schedule and plan for repair. For more information on how the NSW Government is supporting communities impacted by floods, visit Emergency financial support for people affected by floods | NSW Government