The North Coast, and in particular the Mid Coast, has been flagged as the worst in the State for its roads infrastructure backlog.
The NRMA’s Funding Local Roads report reveals an estimated $438 million is needed to maintain local roads to a safe and satisfactory standard on the North Coast, and this backlog has increase of more than $7 million since last year.
The local councils with the biggest backlogs were MidCoast ($116m), Port Macquarie Hasting ($80m) and Lismore ($71m). Mid Coast’s maintenance shortfall has more than doubled from $2.4m in 2015-16 to $5.1m in 2016-17.
The funding shortfall was revealed as part of the NRMA’s report that identifies a $2.2 billion backlog across NSW, with the overwhelming majority of the burden ($1.7 billion) falling to regional councils.
The report, released this week, coincides with the launch of the NRMA’s Rate Your Road, which calls on NRMA members and the community to rate their local roads and public transport.
The survey is accessible via the myNRMA App for members and through rateyouroad.com.au
A first of its kind, the easy-to-use survey allows the public to take part in the election process by speaking out on local roads and public transport – good and bad.
The results will be collated over the coming weeks and released prior to the March 23 State Election.
The NRMA will also use the data as a resource when lobbying the NSW and Australian governments for road and public transport funding priorities.
The annual NRMA ‘Funding Local Roads’ report analysed the size of the funding task required from local councils to clear their backlog for road maintenance and repair.
Around 80 per cent of the 184,859 kilometre road network across NSW is managed by local councils. The top five infrastructure backlog regions are the North Coast, Riverina, Hunter, Central NSW and the South Coast.
The combined shortfall in these regions totals $1.29 billion, representing 57 per cent of the total NSW backlog.
NRMA director Fiona Simson said the organisation was focused on making roads and public transport infrastructure funding an election priority and was calling on the community to have their say about what needed to be done at a local level to keep the state moving.
“Over the last two years the gap between what councils need to maintain local roads at a safe and satisfactory standard has grown 30 per cent – this isn’t good enough and this March election the NRMA will be out to mobilise the community to have their say,” Ms Simson said.
Funding commitments from both sides of politics in the lead-up to the NSW Election can help close this gap and boost public transport.NRMA director Fiona Simson
“Funding commitments from both sides of politics in the lead-up to the NSW Election can help close this gap and boost public transport. That’s why we want the community to get involved through the NRMA’s Rate Your Road survey. It only takes a few minutes and their participation can help the NRMA get a better deal for their local community and the state.”
NRMA’s ‘Funding Local Roads’ report provides a number of key recommendations to government, to help local councils meet their shortfalls, including:
- Allocating up to $180 million per annum for five years from the Snowy Hydro Legacy and Regional Growth Funds
- Reserving between two to five cents per litre of the fuel excise (41.2cpl) to local roads
- Re-categorise strategic roads across regional areas to State roads
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