Councils across the state have urged the federal government to rethink massive infrastructure cuts announced by Minister Catherine King, claiming the move could exacerbate the already dire housing crisis.
Local Government NSW (LGNSW) President Darriea Turley slammed the move as short sighted, adding the move would shelve a whole host of projects, disproportionately affecting New South Wales.
“We will lose the expected productivity gains and jobs associated with the projects, over and above the long-term benefits for the regional communities the projects were designed to serve,” Cllr Turley said in a media release.
“This decision came out of the blue without any consultation with councils and communities on the projects to be cut and I would urge the Federal Government to take another look at the list of projects and reconsider.”
Cllr Turley went on to call the move a bitter blow for communities across the state who had been hit hard by natural disasters in recent years but did add a caveat that the increase in road funding is long overdue.
“The only positive our communities are being offered is the long overdue increase in road funding,” Ms Turley said.
“While we are horrified at the infrastructure cuts, we do very much welcome this critical increase which doubles Roads to Recovery funding from $500 million to $1 billion each year, and the $40 million increase in annual Black Spot funding.
“These funding programs are critical to the maintenance, improvement and safety of our local road infrastructure, and we hope it will help us chip away at a roads maintenance backlog estimated by the NRMA to be as high as $2.6 billion.”