Councils declare state-wide roads emergency after floods

NSW councils have declared a statewide roads emergency following catastrophic flooding across the state.

Cr Darriea Turley

LGNSW made the declaration at the National Roads and Transport Congress in Hobart on Thursday.

The declaration, unanimously supported by mayors and councillors at the conference, came amid a call for the state and federal governments to boost existing road funding commitments.

LGNSW President Darriea Turley said the state had suffered $2.5 billion worth of road damage and seen a collapse of the regional network as a result of successive flooding and torrential rain.

“More than 220 natural disaster areas have been declared across NSW this year, leaving the road network in a state of disrepair,” Cr Turley said.

“Road repair funding pledged to date has fallen well short of what is required so we’re declaring this Statewide Roads Emergency to get help before the situation becomes even worse.”

As part of the declaration LGNSW is calling for the Fixing Local Roads and Fixing Country Bridges program to be expanded and fast-tracked.

It’s also asking for a cash injection to provide councils with machinery and skilled workers for road repairs, as well as a boost to Road Block Grant funding.

Cr Turley said almost $4 billion worth of crops will have to be harvested and transported in coming weeks, but harvesting machinery will be unable to access many areas.

Many NSW residents traveling to regional areas over the summer break would also have plans disrupted, she said.

“NSW communities are facing an unprecedented disaster which requires an unprecedented response,” Cr Turley said.

“I call on the NSW and federal governments to take action on the statewide roads emergency and help our regional and rural communities bounce back from the devastation caused by this year’s floods.”

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