Wollondilly Shire will finally receive funds to help fix 870km of flood-ravaged road network as part of the NSW State Government’s $500 million allocated towards road repair funding for councils across the state.
The Shire was declared a natural disaster area with extreme weather events in February 2020, March 2021, February 2022, March 2022 and July 2022. Council has been labouring since to repair approximately $140m in significant damage to roads in the face of ongoing wet weather, and the shortage of qualified contractors and road repair materials.
Mayor of Wollondilly Matt Gould hailed the announcement as a big win for residents.
“Road repairs remain our top priority, however we are in dire need of additional resources to enable our team to provide safer roads for our community after the damage it has sustained over the last 12 months,” Cr Gould said.
In November, $50 million was announced as part of the State’s Local Roads Pothole Repair Program, however, Wollondilly Shire Council alongside other Councils on the fringes of Greater Sydney were excluded.
Cr Gould alongside Blue Mountains City Mayor Mark Greenhill OAM and Hawkesbury City Mayor Sarah McMahon strongly advocated for all three councils to be included in the program, or for additional supportive to be provided to assist with the backlog of storm damage.
They issued a joint letter to the Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway and Minister for Metropolitan Roads, Natalie Ward explaining the extensive flood damage faced by the regional councils, and the lack of appropriate funds to provide short-term repairs for the community.
Cr Gould also met with several key ministers late last year pushing for additional support for Council’s road network.
“I look forward to receiving the funds so that we can target the critical works as quickly as possible,” he said.
The new half a billion-dollar funding will help councils fix landslips, potholes and other damage to roads. Funding will not be allocated according to the severity of flood damage experienced by local councils. Instead, the amount each area receives will be determined by the total length of roads the council manages.
The program of works currently being undertaken in response to recent storm damage will be able to be extended (subject to final funding allocation) to help improve the condition of roads within the Shire. This will include targeted reconstruction/ heavy patching and full reconstruction works.