Shadow Minister for Regional Roads Sam Farraway has demanded NSW Minister for Regional Roads Jenny Aitchison come clean and admit she’s only delivering $30 million – not $670 million – to councils this financial year to fix potholes on the state’s regional roads.
Mr Farraway said while he’s pleased that after six months in government the Minister is finally delivering some money to regional roads, she needs to do more – like immediately reinstating the Road Reclassification Program and the $193 million that was allocated to it.
“The Coalition delivered a $19.4 billion regional road and transport infrastructure pipeline, we were building legacy road infrastructure to transform travel in the regions, and repairing roads after the devastating floods,” Mr Farraway said.
“The only way councils can fix potholes is by having the funding which is why we fast tracked $280 million into their bank accounts early this year on top of the very first dedicated $50 million pothole repair program in 2022.
“But Minister Aitchison seems to be under some impression roads can wait. Of the $670 million of supposedly new money, she’s announced today only $30 million will be delivered to councils this financial year. This is shocking and not good enough.
“Regional NSW needs its road funding now; not next year or the year after. Councils also need a leg up by having roads transferred from their management to help ease the burden of maintaining them into the future.
“Today’s announcement marks the end of the former government’s hugely successful Fixing Local Roads, Fixing Country Bridges and Fixing Country Roads programs – programs that gave councils and their communities the ability to stay on top of and enhance their local road network following drought, fires and floods.
“It is time for real action, real commitment and a genuine investment from the NSW Labor government in our regional road infrastructure. The people of regional NSW deserve better than what Minister Aitchison is delivering,” Mr Farraway said.