Roadwork backlog on Northern Rivers is 'appalling'
Opinion, David Kirkpatrick, Editor of The Northern Star
I'M today calling on our State and Federal representatives to lobby for the $432m required to fix the North Coast's backlog of road repairs.
These figures were provided during an NRMA Roadshow to Lismore on Monday so they are both fresh and accurate.
Councils can't fix such a massive backlog on their own, they can only fill in potholes and tinker around at the edges of this problem.
It's appalling that of the $1.9 billion total backlog in road infrastructure repairs, regional NSW makes up $1.5 billion.
Therefore, the North Coast's $432 million figure makes up nearly a third of the overall figure for regional NSW.
If ever you needed confirmation that regional areas like ours are treated as second class citizens then re-read the sentences above.
Given the lack of public transport options on the North Coast we are very much a drive market.
Citizens here drive to and from work every day and often vast distances to access all the services people in metropolitan areas take for granted.
Given we also pay higher than average amount of money for our petrol and pay taxes like everyone else, we are thoroughly being short changed on road repairs.
It's time our local politicians stood up to their mates in Macquarie St and in Canberra and demanded this backlog be funded as an emergency in one block not in dribs and drabs.
The lease of poles and wires in NSW brought in billions to government coffers and it's there to be spent.