Council supports declaration of state-wide road emergency

Murray River Council

Murray River Council has joined with Local Government NSW and Country Mayors Association of NSW in declaring a State-wide Road Emergency.

The declaration – and urgent call for the NSW and Federal governments to increase their existing road funding commitments in the wake of the floods – comes on the back of an estimated $2.5 billion in road damages and a collapse of the local and regional road network.

“We are all well aware that Murray River Council has been hit by a seemingly relentless wave of flood events,” Mayor, Cr Chris Bilkey said.

“And we are not alone. A total of 126 of New South Wales’ 128 local government areas have had natural disaster declarations within the last 12 months.”

“We have faced, and may continue to face, an unprecedented and unrelenting series of natural disasters that has seen residents and business owners cleaning up again and again, people isolated, workers unable to get to work, and students unable to get to training or school.”

“Add to this our very real and immediate concern for our primary producers who heavily rely on the local and regional road network.”

As part of the State-wide Roads Emergency, LGA NSW and Country Mayors Association of NSW are calling for:

• An acceleration and significant increase in funding for the $1.1 billion Fixing Local Roads and Fixing Country Bridges program from the New South Wales Government

• A boost to road ‘Block Grant’ funding to compensate for the damage to the regional road network from the Federal Government

• New funding to provide councils with plant machinery and skilled workers to expedite road repairs from the Federal Government.

“Our road network, and the road network of councils across the state, have disastrous damage,” Cr Bilkey said.

“We are facing a task that is beyond the reasonable scope of any local government authority.”

“We need help. Our community needs help. Other regional and rural communities across the state and beyond need help. We desperately need our leaders to lead.”

In supports of the actions of Local Government NSW and Country Mayors Association of NSW, Council will write to the Prime Minister of Australian Anthony Albanese and the Premier of New South Wales Dominic Perrottet pleading for immediate action.

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