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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Councils declare state-wide roads emergency after floods

LGNSW made the declaration at the National Roads and Transport Congress in Hobart on Thursday.

The declaration, unanimously supported by mayors and councillors at the conference, came amid a call for the state and local governments to boost existing road funding commitments. Eurobodalla Council was represented at the Congress by Mayor Mat Hatcher who will be returning to report on the congress, issues raised and recommendations to be further tabled and actioned.

LGNSW President Darriea Turley said the state had suffered $2.5 billion worth of road damage and a seen a collapse of the regional network as a result of successive flooding and torrential rain.

“More than 220 natural disaster areas have been declared across NSW this year, leaving the road network in a state of disrepair,” Cr Turley said.

“Road repair funding pledged to date has fallen well short of what is required so we’re declaring this Statewide Roads Emergency to get help before the situation becomes even worse.”

As part of the declarations LGNSW is calling for the Fixing Local Roads and Fixing Country Bridges to be expanded and fast-tracked.

It’s also asking for a cash injection to provide councils with machinery and skilled workers for road repairs, as well as a boost to Road Block Grant funding.

Cr Turley said alsmore $4 billion worth of crops will have to be harvested and transported in coming weeks, but harvesting machinery will be unable to access many of these.

Many NSW residents traveling to regional areas over the summer break would also have plans disrupted, she said.

“NSW communities are facing an unprecedented disaster which requires an unprecedented response,” Cr Turley said.

“I call on the NSW and Federal Governments to take action on the Statewide Roads Emergency and help our regional and rural communities bounce back from the devastation caused by this year’s floods.” This article was first published in The Conversation

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