30 November 2022

Riverina councils to receive pothole repair funding in timely safety boost before harvest, Christmas

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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Potholes on a street

Riverina roads have been severely impacted by the unprecedented flooding this year, resulting in widespread pothole dangers. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

Councils in the Riverina will soon start receiving funds for urgent pothole repairs in the wake of the recent damaging deluges.

As part of the NSW Government’s $50 million Fixing Local Roads Pothole Repair Round, Wagga City Council will receive $793,152, while other councils will bank the following amounts: Coolamon Shire – $480,671; Junee Shire – $301,004; Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council – $473,892; Hilltops Council – $943,321; Bland Shire – $870,863; Temora Shire – $457,707; Narrandera Shire – $370,405; and Cowra Shire – $441,613.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the funds would go straight into the bank accounts of each of the councils to help them cover the extra costs and workload pressures following this year’s unprecedented rain and storms.

“These grants are a rapid injection of cash to help councils get on with the job of repairing potholes to get us through the wet summer ahead,” Ms Cooke said.

“This is on top of the ongoing investment in a stronger road network through [the programs] Fixing Local Roads, Fixing Country Roads and Fixing Country Bridges.”

READ ALSO Wagga City Council more than $50m short on funds needed to fix roads

Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council Mayor Charlie Sheahan welcomed the extra money.

“We have nearly 1400 kilometres of local and regional roads to manage across the shire. Every dollar counts towards ensuring they are repaired as quickly as possible,” Cr Sheahan said.

“Council greatly appreciates this funding as we come into harvest and the associated increased volumes of freight and heavy vehicles on the road. With Christmas just around the corner, road safety for all users is paramount.”

Junee Shire Council Mayor Neil Smith, who also welcomed the financial boost, said Junee Shire Council had always been proud of the way it had maintained its road network.

“The damage that we have seen during the continued wet weather has been worse than anyone can remember,” Cr Smith said.

“Combine this with the upcoming bumper harvest, and the risk to our roads is very worrying.”

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Coolamon Shire Council Mayor David McCann said the funding was greatly appreciated in what had been an unprecedented year of weather emergencies.

“For Coolamon Shire, it’s especially important as harvest is getting underway, which will see an increase of heavy vehicles on the road, making now the time to repair and maintain our road network,” Cr McCann said.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said all 94 regional councils that applied for funding had been approved for grants.

“From December, councils across regional NSW will receive their share of $50 million to repair pothole-ravaged local and regional roads,” Mr Farraway said.

“This additional support will help councils to repair their most damaged roads, improving safety and reducing wear and tear on vehicles.

“The NSW Liberal and Nationals Government is backing our councils with this dedicated pothole repair funding, which is the first of its kind in NSW.”

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