Moree Plains Shire Council will receive an almost $5.2 million boost to fix flood-affected roads.
The funding, announced by the Premier last week, comes as part of the second round of the Regional and Local Roads Repair program.
The announcement has been welcomed by Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall.
The funding for Moree Plains Shire is part of a $20.85 million shot-in-the-arm from the state government to help local government areas across the Northern Tablelands electorate.
Councils are struggling to keep on top of the growing number of potholes and damage on local roads following last year’s disastrous floods.
Mr Marshall said the additional funding allocation represented a massive five-fold increase on the assistance provided to the region’s councils in the first round late last year.
“We couldn’t have wished for a better start to the new year than with this additional urgent funding to fix more dangerous sections on our local roads right now,” Mr Marshalll said.
“It’s a huge allocation for our local councils, which we weren’t expecting but will gladly welcome – every extra slice of cash helps enormously.”
Mr Marshall said councils would use the extra money, which they will all received in the coming weeks, to cover the cost and ease workload pressures for urgent repairs to the most damaged sections of their local road networks across the region.
“With almost record rainfall being experienced across our region in the last 12 months – and two floods thrown in for the Moree district – our local roads have copped an absolute flogging are many are in the worst condition locals can remember,” Mr Marshall said.
“To make matters worse, the wet weather and difficulty in sourcing contractors and road crews has hampered councils’ efforts to undertake any major repairs, instead just temporarily patching what they can now.
“This second hit of extra cash alone isn’t the panacea, but it is another welcome boost for our councils and their road crews, who trying to take advantage of the current dry period to complete as much repair work as they can.”
Under this second funding round, councils were again allocated funding based on the size of their local road network.
Neighbouring Narrabri Shire is set to receive more than $3.5 million.
The extensive road networks across both shires were battered by the major flooding experienced in late 2022.
“Councils are responsible for maintenance on the local road network so this second and larger cash hit will help ease some of the pressure they are facing and boost the resources they can draw upon to fix the most damaged roads,” Mr Marshall said.
“It will also help reduce the number popped tyres, bent rims and other vehicle damage being sustained by motorists as they try to navigate some challenging road conditions.”
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the new Regional and Local Roads Repair program would provide even more support for councils to continue to carry out urgent repair work to ensure people stay connected and safe.
“We have listened to councils and we understand the pressure they are under from many months of wet weather. This funding boost will help councils continue the huge job of bringing roads back up to scratch to keep our state moving,” Mr Perrottet said.
“We are making sure our roads are in the best nick possible so NSW families, truckies, farmers and tradies can travel around our state safely.
“We recognise potholes are a major hazard right now. This critical funding injection will help every council across the state patch up potholes as well as carry out other emergency repair work.”
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the road network had been battered, with hundreds of thousands of potholes opening up across the state and some roads washed away by landslips.
“Families who hit the road during Christmas would have seen firsthand the scale of the damage caused by last year’s flooding and rain,” Mr Toole said.
“This $500 million boost is on top of the $50 million already provided by the Liberals and Nationals government to help regional councils carry out emergency pothole repairs. We always said there would be more support on the way and today we are delivering on that.
“Since the February floods we have repaired more than 170,000 potholes across regional NSW alone. This additional funding will help repair hundreds of thousands more, right across the state.”
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said the application process will be simple and the cash will be available immediately so councils can get on with the job of urgently restoring the state’s road network.
“The new funding will start landing in councils’ bank accounts within weeks so work can begin right away on repairing the essential roads locals, tourists and freight operators use every day,” Mr Farraway said.
“We understand that it’s not just about financial assistance, manpower is also needed, which is why the NSW Liberals and Nationals government has already redeployed 200 Transport for NSW crews to Western NSW to help in the worst impacted areas.”
Funding under the $500 million Regional and Local Roads Repair Program is available to local government areas in both greater Sydney and regional NSW. Repair work must be carried out by December 31, 2023.