New emergency fund to prioritise regional road repair
The Minns Labor Government will prioritise spending on regional roads with more than $700 million in new funding to upgrade and maintain regional roads.
Under the 2023–2024 Budget, a new Regional Emergency Road Repair Fund (RERRF) will deliver $390 million directly into the hands of regional and rural councils for urgent road and pothole repairs, expanding the total fund for road repairs to $670 million.
The RERRF funding will be shared across all 95 eligible regional councils and authorities, based on the total kilometres of regional and local roads they are responsible for managing.
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Jenny Aitchsion said this fairer structure supports councils in managing their roads and prioritising works based on the needs of their communities, particularly those damaged by natural disasters.
“This begins to address the inequity of the former government’s Regional and Local Roads Repair Program which saw urban councils receiving 5 times more funding for flood recovery compared to regional, rural and remote councils,” Ms Aitchison said.
“This funding commitment will ensure the roads used by regional communities daily are efficient, safe and reliable so people can travel around town, go to work, education and healthcare, visit their family and friends, and keep our supply chains moving.
“Not only will councils have direct access to funding to fix potholes and make necessary repairs, the delivery of one of our key election commitments will enable preventative or unplanned maintenance to be carried out to ensure safer and smoother journeys for motorists.”
Maintenance work funded under the new program may include heavy road patching, reshaping and smoothing unsealed roads, carrying out work to improve drainage from the road surface, rehabilitating sections of road and resurfacing work.
Additionally, the NSW Government will create a new $334 million Regional Roads Fund for councils to build new roads and roundabouts, replace or repair old bridges and improve safety at crash blackspots in rural and regional areas.
Projects under the Regional Roads Fund include:
- commencing detailed planning and design work for the Gosford Bypass
- commencing planning and restoration of the Cuttagee Bridge in Cuttagee
- planning and commencing early work on the East Nowra Sub Arterial Road project linking East Nowra to the Nowra CBD
- improvements along the Golden Highway.
The Minns Labor Government is prioritising getting our road networks in the regions back on track, with help for every council to fix their roads and build the roads they need to help their growing communities prosper.