NSW Labor Leader, Michael Daley, has announced today that if elected in March he will support local councils and invest an additional $900 million in regional and rural roads.
The Liberals and Nationals have spent eight long years cheating regional and rural NSW out of almost half the infrastructure spending they were promised.
Mr Daley said: “The Liberals and Nationals have ignored regional and rural NSW and instead focused on wayward mega toll roads and stadiums in Sydney.”
Labor will boost investment in rural and regional roads by $900 million – almost double the existing $500m fixing regional roads program – bringing total investment to $1.4 billion.
The announcement comes as the NRMA revealed that the local roads infrastructure backlog has soared almost 30 per cent since 2014-15.
Last month, the NRMA’s ‘Funding Local Roads’ report found that the Regional and Local Roads Network in NSW, which is comprised of 80 per cent of roads, was in a state of decline and unable to properly accommodate existing passenger and freight movements.
To bring these regional and rural roads up to standard, Labor will invest an additional $900 million over five years to fix regional local roads that have been rated ‘very poor’ and ‘poor’.
Shadow Minister for Roads, Jodi McKay, said: “Only Labor will take advice from the experts and channel the funding where it’s needed to fix local roads.”
Shadow Minister for Regional Roads, Peter Primrose, said: “For too long the Liberals and Nationals have taken regional and rural NSW for granted.
Most accidents occur in rural and regional areas, which is why it’s so important to properly fund them.
The Berejiklian-Barilaro Government is failing to meet the 30 per cent requirement for the Restart NSW infrastructure fund to go toward rural NSW.
An October Auditor General report found just 17.2 per cent of this fund was allocated to regional areas last financial year.