Issued: 6 October 2016
Flood ravaged communities in the state's Central West have been thrown a life-line with $13 million from the NSW Government to provide immediate funding relief for councils to fix local roads destroyed by floodwater.
Deputy Premier Troy Grant and Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay were in Molong today to make the announcement which is in addition to the natural disaster declaration last week and will allow councils to immediately get on with the job of rebuilding their communities.
In addition, $1 million will be invested to investigate options to improve flood resistance of the Newell Highway at Tichborne - to assist keeping the highway open between Forbes and Parkes during heavy flood events.
Mr Grant said councils are encouraged to apply for natural disaster relief but this additional relief funding will allow for immediate repairs on an increasingly strained local road network.
"Some local government areas are experiencing the wettest conditions in decades with significant road detours in place - the forecast is for more wet weather to come," Mr Grant said. "Some of these detours are likely to be in place for weeks putting even more stress on local roads. This funding will kick start the repair of the council road network."
Mr Gay said he had inspected roads across the region and met with local councils impacted by the severe weather and it was clear the repair of the council road network was a priority.
"Having inspected the roads - the task ahead to repair the network is going to be a big one - with the base under many of the roads across the region completely saturated," Mr Gay said.
"The roads battered by wet weather include the key transport routes for communities across the Central West - I have heard loud and clear how important it is to repair these local and regional roads and now councils can get on with repairs sooner rather than later."
Nationals candidate for Orange candidate Scott Barrett said this was welcome news for communities right across the region.
"Communities in the Central West are strong and resilient - This extra funding will be a real help in ensuring important local repairs can happen as quickly as possible," Mr Barrett said. Of the 21 councils which have been declared eligible for Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements from this flood event, 16 councils will receive $500,000 while the five most affected Local Government Areas will receive $1 million. Those five councils are Forbes, Lachlan, Parkes, Bland and Hilltops Shire Councils.
Other councils to receive immediate funding relief are Bathurst, Blayney, Cabonne, Coonamble, Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional, Cowra, Dubbo Regional, Gilgandra, Mid-Western Regional, Narromine, Orange, Temora, Walgett, Warren, Warrumbungle and Yass Valley.