How new expert panel will help rebuild regional roads
JUST days after the opposition slammed them over inaction, the NSW Government has today announced its expert panel to identify up to 15,00km of regional council-managed roads to hand back to the state.
In February 2019, the NSW Government announced more than $1b towards helping NSW councils manage roads, repair NSW's worst bridges and reclaim up to 15,000km of regional roads.
While Lismore MP Janelle Saffin has been putting pressure on the government on when it would deliver on the promise and how, ealier this week the NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Paul Toole had yet to provide a time frame.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said the new panel will
conduct a review of the road classification framework and recommend roads for
transfer to the State Government.
"This is about delivering on our election commitment to take the financial burden off
local councils and ratepayers, and builds on the record investment we are making in
roads in the bush," Mr Barilaro said.
"Everyone in a regional area has a story about a road that isn't up to scratch and turns
their knuckles white when driving on it - and that isn't good enough.
"This project is even more important now, with the drought and bushfires heavily
impacting regional councils. Road maintenance is something they shouldn't have to
manage on their own."
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said former NRMA president
Wendy Machin would chair the panel and would be supported by five other members
with expertise and experience in roads, transport, engineering, local government and
The members of the Panel are:
- Ms Wendy Machin
- Mr Peter Duncan AM
- Ms Jillian Kilby
- Mr John Roydhouse
- Mr Michael Kilgariff
- Mr Peter Tegart
Mr Toole said the project was about ensuring a safe and modern road network for
generations to come.
"The demands on our roads are changing. As we open up more regional centres and
provide better connectivity across the state, it is vital that the system for managing
and maintaining the network is supporting local communities, freight operators and
motorists," he said.