Councils call for extra road funding

By Staff Writer

The NSW Roads and Transport Directorate has called for more support from State and Federal Government to tackle the road and infrastructure backlog facing local councils.

At the Directorate’s annual Local Roads Congress, the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia (IPWEA) and the Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW (LGSA) said extra state and federal support was required to create a more efficient transport network.

The Shires Association senior vice president, Cr Ray Donald, said local government was “extremely grateful” for existing federal funding programs, but needed more assistance was needed to renew “crumbling infrastructure”.

“The reality is that we’re still facing a backlog of about $545 million per year and councils simply don’t have the resources to eliminate it on their own,” Cr Donald said.

He suggested that the Federal Government adopt an infrastructure funding program based on the New South Wales Government’s Timber Bridge Partnership Program.

“We’d like to see the Federal Government commit to a funding program for local bridges, because there are still 10,000 local bridges in need of an upgrade,” Cr Donald said.

In its communiqué, the Local Roads Congress sought State Government support for higher mass limits on local roads, including more comprehensive assessment guidelines, freight transport routes and an appropriate funding model.

Local government will continue its campaign for an increase in national road funding at the National Local Roads and Transport Congress in November.

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