FROM THE MAYOR’S DESK, BY CR JAMIE CHAFFEY:
It is a relief to see some funding coming Gunnedah shire’s way to help repair our road network that was hit time after time by flooding in 2022.
We have seen the damage repeated floodwaters can do to road surfaces. Sometimes the damage is not evident until some time after the floods have dispersed, and water trapped under the surface can continue to erode the road’s foundations.
This adds up to millions of dollars worth of damage to a road network that is vital to our connection to each other and to the rest of the state.
The roads are also critical to keeping regional communities and our city cousins supplied with food, fibre and other essential goods and services.
Assessment of the damage is an ongoing process.
We know it costs millions, but labour and materials costs have escalated rapidly following the pandemic and repeated natural disasters across the state and beyond.
The NSW government has now announced $2.67 million for 1740km of our shire’s road network through the Regional and Local Roads Repair Program.
This is on top of Gunnedah’s share of the money provided through the $50 million Fixing Local Roads Pothole Repair Round, and $5.5 million in emergency funding.
This is a very welcome announcement that will go some way towards repairing our roads. We need to have the ability to not only restore these roads, but to improve their resilience for future weather events.
We are hoping this funding can be matched by the federal government to ensure our roads can stand up to whatever the weather can dish out.
I would also like to encourage Gunnedah shire businesses to apply for round three of the Business Partner Program.
This has been a very successful program that has allowed businesses to branch out and grow, helping employment in the shire.
The Business Partner Program supports new and expanding businesses with partial funding for new projects.
Details about the Business Partner Program, including guidelines and expression of interest forms, are available on the Gunnedah Shire Council website:
Applications close at 12pm on Tuesday, February 28. Businesses can apply for up to 75 per cent of the total project cost. For further information, contact Gunnedah Shire Council’s economy and growth team on 6740 2100, or email [email protected]