Hike funding

Councils need federal funding support for emergency road repairs I Australian Rural & Regional News

Regional roads are in desperate need of emergency repairs, prompting Riverina MP Michael McCormack to call on the government to step up support.

McCormack is urging the federal government to increase funding for councils to repair damaged roads, which pose a significant safety risk to regional road users.

“Relentless rain and flooding has led to serious disrepair on many regional roads and the deluge expected this week will only exacerbate the problem,” McCormack said.

“I’ve driven many regional roads recently and spoken to several regional mayors and they all agree the roads have never been worse – wherever you go.

“Road safety must come first and this government must understand that people in the region depend on our roads to get to and from work, to take their children to school and to play sports or other activities. .

“I am more than happy to show the Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development the roads around the Riverina electorate to highlight how desperate this situation has become over the past few months of heavy rains. and floods.”

Mr McCormack said some councils were already looking for special rate variations to help defray the cost of road repairs. “With the cost of living escalating, the last thing people need is to be burdened with rising rates,” McCormack said.

“Raising rates is an unpleasant option when mortgages, rents, gas prices and grocery bills continue to rise with no real plan from this government to ease the pain for families and businesses, who have also had to endure the harsh health and economic consequences of a global pandemic.”

An emergency road repair program would complement the highly successful Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program and ongoing funding through the Roads to Recovery program.

“Now is not the time to cut funding to regions,” McCormack said.

“Government Nationals have provided record funding to local councils to empower them to improve local roads to suit local needs and I call on the Federal Government to build on this commitment to ensure that these road conditions dangerous are repaired as soon as possible.

“With the October budget looming and country roads in dire condition, there has never been a more appropriate time for this funding.”

This article appeared in the Narrandera ArgusOctober 13, 2022.