Regional communities are set to benefit from the first round of the NSW Nationals’s $500 million Fixing Local Roads program.

Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders is encouraging regional councils to apply for funding to repair, maintain or seal local roads.

“The NSW Nationals went to the 2019 State Election committed to making important local roads safer and more efficient and today we deliver on that commitment,” Mr Saunders said.

“That’s why I’m encouraging all three councils in my Dubbo electorate to nominate shovel-ready projects they’d like to get off the ground.

“The first round of Fixing Local Roads is now open and will help councils with projects that are shovel-ready to get started, ensuring local communities are benefiting sooner.”

Mr Saunders said the investment will help keep communities connected and will boost economic and social development in the bush.

“More than 80 per cent of our state’s road network is managed by councils, with many regions currently suffering extreme drought,” Mr Saunders said.

“Long periods of heat and lack of rain can take its toll on our roads and this funding boost will help them tackle the challenges these local communities are facing.

“By supporting councils to clear the maintenance backlog, we will be able to create more job opportunities in the bush, as well as delivering safe and reliable access to critical services such as hospitals and schools.”

Applications under Round 1 of the Program will close on December 2, with successful projects announced in early 2020.

The Fixing Local Roads Program is available to regional and rural councils, which will be able to apply for grants to repair priority local roads.