Joint media release with The Hon Paul Toole MP and The Hon Sam Farraway MP
Applications are now open for 26 flood-damaged regions to share in $312.5 million, to rebuild damaged roads and transport infrastructure, in order to better withstand future natural disasters.
A total of 26 Councils affected by the February 2022 floods are eligible for the package, which is funded jointly by the Commonwealth and New South Wales governments.
While support to rebuild damaged roads was announced earlier this year, it only allowed for infrastructure to be repaired to pre-disaster conditions. It has now been expanded to enable Councils to build back in a more resilient way.
This new agreement between the Commonwealth and New South Wales governments means roads can be improved, and built to withstand future natural hazards.
The new Betterment program is open to Councils in the following NSW local government areas: Armidale, Ballina, Bellingen, Byron, Central Coast, Cessnock, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Dungog, Glen Innes Severn, Kempsey, Kyogle, Lake Macquarie, Lismore, Maitland, Mid-Coast, Muswellbrook, Nambucca, Newcastle, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Port Stephens, Richmond Valley, Singleton, Tenterfield, Tweed and Upper Hunter.
Further information about the Regional Roads and Transport Recovery Package is available.
Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt:
This is the next step in the process to get these projects underway, and I’d encourage Councils to apply for this funding.
We’ve seen infrastructure like roads and bridges damaged time and again, with no opportunity for them to be repaired or built to a standard that would help them withstand and bounce back from a future natural disaster.
By rebuilding to a better standard we can protect communities during disasters, while also lessening the long-term damage to regions.
Quotes attributable to NSW Deputy Premier, Paul Toole:
This is a $312.5 million investment in stronger, more resilient roads and transport infrastructure to help keep communities safe during disaster – and allow them to bounce back faster.
Building back better means councils could, for example, upgrade and improve key routes that were impacted during the major floods of earlier this year or raise road and bridge levels so they perform better during flooding.
They could realign some roads to secure travel routes and reduce closures, re-build roads and bridges to provide links between communities isolated by flooding and upgrade infrastructure to help ensure communities stay connected.
Quotes attributable to NSW Regional Transport and Roads Minister Sam Farraway:
During March we heard loud and clear about the need for a funding program where infrastructure wasn’t built back on a like-for-like basis but built back stronger and safer to better protect our northern communities during extreme weather events.
It is the first time funding of this kind has been provided for infrastructure and it will minimise the impact of natural disasters and improve connections between communities so when Mother Nature strikes people can get their lives back together much more quickly.
Ultimately, it reduces the risk of economic impact and lowers repair costs for asset owners during clean-up following a natural disaster.
Quotes attributable to Federal Member for Richmond, Justine Elliot:
This funding is vitally important for our region, especially following the devastation of the recent flood.
When we have heavy rain we often see roads washed away, which means local drivers are often cut off or put at risk.
Investing in better roads will minimise the frequency and duration of disruptions to the community. It will ensure more reliable journeys and provide locals, businesses and freight with access to the services they need.
Quotes attributable to State Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest:
Today’s announcement really is fantastic news and gives hope back to the community that we will recover, and we will recover stronger.
Tweed Valley Way will be a prime candidate for funding from this new program, and I know locals will want this road to be finally fixed so they no longer put up with repeat flooding.