State Govt reneges on promise to take ownership of council roads

Potholes are not a new problem.

MPs and councillors have been lobbying the State Government to fund the repairs of the rural road network for years.

The floods earlier this year amplified the pothole problem. There are more – they are deeper, wider and taking longer to get fixed.

State MP Janelle Saffin said she welcomed the State Government $50 million Fixing Local Roads Pothole Repair Round.

 “It’s a start but what would really help our local councils is if the Government honoured their 2019 election promise to transfer 15,000 kilometres of regional roads from local councils to state ownership,” Ms Saffin said.

Kyogle Councillor Danielle Mulholland said, from her personal perspective, the State Government had said they would take back 15,000km of regional roads and had reneged on that promise.

“They have taken back less than 400km,” Ms Mulholland said.

The NSW Road network is more than 180,000 kilometres in length with local councils responsible for maintaining 85% of this network.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said the funding would fix roughly more than 420,000 potholes on their roads.

From this month (December 2022), 94 regional councils will receive a share of the Fixing Local Roads Pothole Repair Round.

The money goes to:

Kyogle Council: $415,000

Lismore City Council: $422,000

Tenterfield Shire Council: $579,000

Tweed Shire Council: $428,000

Richmond Valley and Clarence Valley councils also received funding.

Ms Mulholland addressed residents’ concerns about the state of Clarence Way.

“The section of Clarence Way, north of Old Bonalbo was sealed Monday and I have already been contacted about it starting to fail,” she said.

“That’s one of the areas that was ripped up and put back to gravel because it was so badly damaged.”

The asphalt seal is intended to slow down the rate of deterioration of this area until approval is given to fix it properly, she said.

“Sometimes I feel like we are eating an elephant, one bite at a time but we will get there in the end.”

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