The NSW Nationals are calling on the Minister for Regional Transport and Roads to urgently make public a report into the reclassification and transfer of regional roads to state government management.
Shadow Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said Minister Aitchison is deliberately delaying the release of the report as well as much-needed funding to regional councils to help them address their growing road maintenance backlog.
“The Minister, under questioning, has conceded she has a copy of the report so she now needs to be transparent with our regional communities about what’s contained in it, and how she plans to roll out its recommendations,” Mr Farraway said.
More than 500 submissions were received by the Regional Road Transfer and Road Classification Review, and Mr Farraway said the Labor government has used every excuse to avoid outlining to regional communities how it plans to implement the recommendations of this report.
“The road reclassification and transfer report was the former government’s first step to fix the mess created by the previous Labor Government which dumped these roads onto councils when last in government,” Mr Farraway said.
“When the Minister was in Opposition she pushed and pushed for this report to be made public long before I had even received a copy myself. Now that she has all the power and a copy of the report, she’s deploying all the delaying tactics in the book.
“The $193 million the former Coalition government had on the table for the reclassification program needs to be reinstated so the new government can get on with finishing the job we started.
“I also want to know how much funding she has delivered to the bank accounts of regional councils to fix their roads – aside from the funding the Coalition Government delivered in February.”
Mr Farraway said if the Minister isn’t willing to tell the people and councils of regional NSW what her plans are, it probably indicates she has no willingness or desire to actually undertake the reclassification and transfers the Coalition had been working towards, and that would be to the detriment of the bush.