Councils and communities across NSW are set to see almost immediate benefits from new and accelerated funding worth more than $497 million for a range of local road and road safety upgrade projects.
Local Government NSW (LGNSW) President Linda Scott strongly welcomed the State and Federal funding, which LGNSW had vigorously advocated for as part of efforts to help communities recover from the economic impacts of the COVID 19 pandemic.
“Originally the NSW Government offered $25 million to councils as the first part of its Fixing Local Roads program,” Cr Scott said.
“Today’s announcement sees the amount increased to $191 million, with the Federal Government matching it with another $191 million as part of its Shovel Ready Project program designed to accelerate projects that are ready to go.
“This is a major win for our councils, which are on the front line in driving a locally led economic recovery.
“Councils will be able to use the funding to invest in everything from fixing potholes to desperately needed road reconstruction projects on local and regional roads across the State.
“This vital funding comes on top of the more than $150 million delivered to NSW councils on 1 July as part of our State’s share of the $500 million Australian Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.”
According to Australian Government figures, the funding injection will support an estimated 3,500 direct and indirect jobs across NSW.
Additionally, the Australian Government’s new Targeted Road Safety Works Program adds an extra $140 million to the State Government’s previously announced $258 million Safer Roads Program over the 2020-21 financial year.
The amount includes a further $23 million funding for the mass rollout of “rumble strips” on road line markings.
“Road safety improvements resulting from the rumble strips alone are expected to help prevent an estimated 394 fatalities and serious injuries,” Cr Scott said.
“With 70 per cent of fatal crashes occurring on local and regional roads in NSW, this funding will help address a vital community safety issue and one LGNSW has long advocated for on behalf of councils to Government.”
Projects will commence from July and are expected to be completed by June 2021 and are also estimated to add 950 new and indirect jobs.