The recovery of flood-affected northern NSW communities will be accelerated further with $312 million committed to rebuilding and improving road and transport infrastructure in the region to better withstand the impact of natural disasters.
The Australian and NSW Governments’ Regional Roads and Transport Recovery Package will ensure infrastructure damaged by floods is repaired or rebuilt, and resilience of transport assets are bolstered to face impacts of future natural disasters.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the Coalition Government is ensuring funding flows to projects that will help communities recover and build back stronger.
“Delivering the vital infrastructure that flood-affected communities need will help them get back on their feet now and position them to better withstand the impact of similar events in the future,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“This is part of our plan to build the infrastructure that will make our communities and our nation as strong as possible as quickly as possible.”
Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience Bridget McKenzie said this commitment is vital to the region’s recovery.
“This new funding will facilitate disaster recovery across the road and transport network in flood-impacted regional and rural communities in northern NSW, which will help them return to normal sooner,” Ms McKenzie said.
“Funding will support construction of new roads, upgrades to corridors like drainage improvements, and strengthening road surfaces to better withstand flood events.
“Many communities in northern NSW are still picking up the pieces following unprecedented flooding and we are here to support them all the way.”
NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said Transport for NSW will partner with councils to plan and deliver upgrades to the local network.
“We are focused on doing what we can to ensure the people of the North Coast are connected and can keep moving, now and into the future,” Mr Farraway said.
“This funding boost isn’t just about restoring roads damaged by floods, it’s about building stronger roads, bridges and rail to better withstand the next major natural disaster.
Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the additional support would be a welcome boost for natural disaster-declared council areas across northern NSW.
“This funding is in addition to $46 million already committed by the NSW Government to support councils through Transport for NSW. The extra funding will help speed up urgent road repairs and restore access to communities,” Ms Cooke said.
“The sheer scale and severity of the floods has created a massive and complex recovery job, but we’re committed to working with local councils to prioritise the most important projects to get these communities back on their feet sooner.
An assessment panel will be setup by Transport for NSW to review each submission and make a recommendation to the Minister for Regional Transport and Roads on projects to be funded with funding to be delivered for successful projects before the end of the year.
The NSW Government has provided affected local government areas cash advancements through Category B disaster recovery funding.