By Melissa Blewitt
Lachlan Shire Council will share in $21 million in funding aimed at fixing roads across western NSW.
A total of $1,260,00 will be given to widen and reseal Merribogie Road, as part of the Australian and NSW Governments’ accelerated Fixing Local Roads program to improve local roads and create thousands of local jobs in the regions.
Federal Member for Parkes and Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government Mark Coulton said the latest round of Fixing Local Roads funding would help local councils tackle the increasing amount of work required to provide safe roads for their communities.
“The $243.6 million first round of the program last year is delivering 38 projects across the Parkes electorate, and now we’re building on that with a further $150 million in round two,” he explained.
“One of the biggest projects under the second round will be the upgrade of Jobs Gate Road, with Brewarrina Shire Council receiving $5 million to undertake a seal extension.
“Bourke Shire Council has also received major funding, with $4.9 million to complete sealing of six roads in the shire, while Cobar Shire Council has welcomed $2.8 million for the sealing of Wilga Downs Road.
“A reliable road network is so important for our communities in the bush, so it’s great that the Federal Government has turbocharged the NSW Government’s $500 million Fixing Local Roads program by committing $191 million last year.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said Round 2 of the Fixing Local Roads Program would fund more than 100 new road upgrades across the state, creating more than 1000 jobs.
“Safe, reliable roads are essential for communities in regional New South Wales – by improving roads, we are making a big difference to people’s lives in ensuring they get home sooner and safer,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“The funding will improve the safety of roads in local communities, including repairing, patching, maintaining and sealing local roads.
“We know improved roads are crucial to regional communities – the more than 100 successful road projects announced today will play a big role in helping residents and businesses recover from the effects of bushfires, drought, floods and the COVID-19 pandemic.”
State Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the $191 million Australian Government funding commitment in June last year was on top of the $500 million from the NSW Government, building upon the vision for a safer, stronger regional NSW.
“We’re injecting even more funding into the roads in the bush that communities depend on, which means a safer and smoother journey for everyone,” Mr Toole said.
“Better maintained roads mean safer trips to school, to work and to the shops – and the NSW Government is committed to helping councils to create and support jobs, drive productivity and keep our regional communities connected.“Big infrastructure projects might create a lot of headlines but these are small projects that make a big difference in people’s everyday lives.” Round 1 of the Fixing Local Roads Program saw $243.6 million of joint funding allocated to 253 projects in 83 Local Government Areas, and Round 2 will see $150 million allocated to more than 100 road projects in 90 Local Government Areas.