Labor will deliver over $41 million for roads, bridges in Northern Rivers region and Tenterfield LGA

Janelle Saffin MP has secured over $41 million in NSW Labor funding commitments for fixing roads and bridges across our Electorate of Lismore, contingent on a Minns Labor Government being elected on 25 March.

A Minns Labor Government will commit a total of more than $41 million in funding for the upgrade of ‘legacy’ roads and bridges projects across the Lismore Electorate.

Under NSW Labor’s Regional Road Capital Fund, in addition to Government funding already announced, Labor will provide additional funding of:

  • $12 million to Kyogle Council towards the replacement of council’s remaining 30 timber and composite bridges.
  • $7.5 million to Lismore City Council to construct a roundabout at the Alphadale crossroads, Bruxner Highway, to improve driver safety at a notorious black spot, and in the interim reduce the speed limit from 80kmh to 60kmh on approaches to this intersection.
  • $4 million to Kyogle Council towards improving flood immunity of the Clarence Way at Tunglebung and Culmarran creeks between Sandilands and Bonalbo.
  • $3.12 million to Tenterfield Shire Council to ensure completion of a major upgrade of Mount Lindesay Road between Legume and Woodenbong.

NSW Labor will also provide an additional $14.6 million in funding under its Emergency Road Repair Fund, which will provide more than:

  • $3 million to Lismore City Council
  • $2.9 million to Kyogle Council
  • $4.1 million to Tweed Shire Council
  • $3.1 million to Byron Shire Council
  • $1.5 million to Tenterfield Shire Council

The funding outlined above is in addition to, and in fact more than double the Government’s pothole repair funding announced earlier this year.

In 2019, the Liberals and Nationals promised to reclassify and transfer up to 15,000 km of roads to help lift the burden on councils. Despite being the Government’s signature regional roads commitment in 2019, it remains unfulfilled — and in the last four years the Government has transferred a total of zero kilometres of regional roads.

One of the reasons there has been no progress on this signature election commitment is that the independent panel’s report has been sitting on Minister Farraway’s desk for nearly four months. The Opposition has repeatedly called for its release. Transport documents show that once commenced, the process may take more than eight years.

Mayors and councillors across the state have expressed extreme frustration at the Government’s broken promise on roads reclassification and transfers, demanding action now.

Mayors and councillors have been outraged to discover that the Nationals have in fact put in five times the amount of money per kilometre for pothole funding to Sydney Metro councils, than they did in the regions.

Quotes attributable to John Graham MLC, NSW Shadow Minister for Roads and Shadow Minister for the North Coast:

“For the last 12 years, the Nationals have overseen billions of dollars of spending on toll roads in Sydney at the expense of roads in the regions.

“Labor is committed to supporting Councils to fix the local roads that people use every day to get to work, get the kids to school or get to medical appointments. We will prioritise local roads over toll roads.” 

Quotes attributable to Jenny Aitchison MP, NSW Shadow Minister for Regional Transport and Roads:

“For the last 12 years, the Nationals have overseen billions of dollars in cost blowouts and overspends in mega projects in metropolitan areas at the expense of the regions.

“Labor’s commitment of over $41 million for Lismore Electorate roads and bridges will provide much needed cost of living relief for councils and communities by repairing their damaged roads after 12 years of inaction, floods and fires, and deliver the roads that are needed to provide the roads our regions need for the future.

“Labor’s plan to address this funding shortfall has been welcomed by local councillors across the state, as the state of our regional roads has become a dangerous safety issue, and a massive cost for councils and their ratepayers, and drivers who are destroying tyres and rims and damaging their cars on dangerous pothole ridden local roads.”

Quotes attributable to Janelle Saffin MP, State Member for Lismore:

“Some of these ‘legacy’ projects have been around for decades — put in the too-hard basket or sitting low on priority lists — and I’ve spent my first Parliamentary term lobbying for them in a strategic, strong and sustained way.

“I thank Shadow Ministers John Graham and Jenny Aitchison for taking them up in this funding package because all projects will improve road safety and connectivity in areas hard hit by bushfires and floods in recent years.

“I know that there is always more to do; road and bridge repair are among my top priorities.

“I will continue to work with local councils and communities to ensure that we receive our fair share of the increased funding which will be invested by a Minns Labor Government.”

INFLUENCER: Lismore MP Janelle Saffin thanked NSW Shadow Minister for Roads and Shadow Minister for the North Coast John Graham MLC for taking up a number of ‘legacy’ projects in the roads and bridges funding package announced at the Alphadale crossroads east of Lismore.