Mayors across Western Sydney and Northwest Sydney have united to campaign for the establishment of a metropolitan road repairs fund to help support Sydney councils with the extent of damage across their respective road networks. Pothole Repairs Program
Mayors from The Hills Shire, Hawkesbury and Hornsby and others who are supporting the cause, including Wollondilly, Penrith and Campbelltown have called for funding from the State and Federal Governments after many Local Government Areas (LGA) experienced record-breaking rain and multiple flooding disasters over a three-year period.
The joint campaign comes after Local Government NSW declared a ‘Statewide Roads Emergency’ at the National Local Roads and Transport Congress in Hobart. The declaration, that was supported by NSW mayors, urged the State and Federal Governments to increase funding commitments to help local councils repair their road network before the situation becomes even more dire.
The NSW Government has already announced it will provide $50 million under the Fixing Local Roads Pothole Repairs Program to regional and rural councils to address their highest priority pothole requests.
Mayor of The Hills Shire, Dr Peter Gangemi said Sydney councils, especially those with large rural or semi-rural areas, are in desperate need of a similar fund to assist with repairs to return roads to a standard which residents have been calling for.
“Just like rural regions, The Hills Shire has also been affected by persistent wet weather systems. On top of this, residents have endured several major flooding disasters in the last few years and our roads are deteriorating much quicker than our modelling could have predicted under a third consecutive La Nina. Despite about two-thirds of our Shire being considered rural, it is hard to understand why we are still not eligible to apply for this funding.
In addition to the record rain, we are seeing more requests for pothole and road repairs than ever before. In 2019, Council received 1680 calls to fix potholes and carryout road patching work. This has now grown to 5086 requests in 2022 – and we still have just under two months to go”’ Mayor Gangemi said.
Mayor of Hawkesbury City Council, Sarah McMahon said since the July flood, Council has filled 9,400 potholes. In the past three years, $1.07 million has been spent repairing potholes, with another $1 million to be spent this year. This is on top of the $240 million in flood related repairs and other routine upgrades and maintenance that is currently being managed.
“After six floods in three years, roads in the Hawkesbury and right across Sydney are in dire need of coordinated and well-funded assistance from the government. Without assistance to recover and future-proof these networks, millions of motorists will continue to be put at risk every day,” Mayor McMahon said.
Mayor of Hornsby Shire Council, Philip Ruddock said the recent weather events have been unprecedented and resulted in significant damage to roads across the Shire, particularly in the rural areas.
“I am pleased to join with Hills Shire Mayor, Dr Peter Gangemi, and other fellow Sydney Mayors in seeking assistance to repair our rain damaged roads”. Mayors from Penrith City Council, Campbelltown City Council and Wollondilly, echoed similar sentiments. State Government assistance is essential to get NSW roads repaired following the damage caused by the wettest year on record.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]