NSW Nationals Candidate for the Upper Hunter seat David Layzell welcomed Deputy Premier John Barilaro’s announcement today of a $25 million funding package for Dungog’s roads.
Dungog Shire Council’s crumbling roads have been a major issue in the lead up to the May 22 Upper Hunter by-election. Priorities for upgrades under the $25 million package will be determined by Dungog Shire Council in consultation with Transport for NSW.
Mr Layzell, who along with the Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole was in Dungog today, said he was elated the crumbling roads on the back of drought and floods would now be fixed.
“This is fantastic news for Dungog and everyone who lives over this side of the electorate. The community has had to put up with crumbling roads and it’s great to see the Nationals in Government continue to fulfill their election promise to fix local roads in our region,” Mr Layzell said.
He said under the previous Labor Government, the responsibility to maintain more than 100 kilometres of roads was dumped on Dungog Shire overnight, resulting in a huge hit to the local budget.
Mr Barilaro said the funding was about giving the community safer roads, which was what it rightly deserved.
“We know the roads across the Dungog Shire are not up to standard and a reliable road network is essential for a thriving region, which is exactly why we are delivering this funding, to ensure a safer and stronger Upper Hunter,” Mr Barilaro said.
“The NSW Government is reclaiming the management of thousands of kilometres of roads across the state to take the onus off councils and put it back on the government.
Mr Toole said in the past 12 months alone, the NSW Government had invested more than $21 million in projects on Dungog’s local road network.
“In the coming months, locals will also see work get underway on the first four of 23 aging timber bridges on the local road network that will be replaced with modern structures that meet the community’s needs thanks to more than $16 million in funding through our Fixing Country Bridges program,” Mr Toole said.
“We know how important good local roads are in getting families to work, to school, to the shops and home again safely and we’re working with the council to deliver a safer, stronger road network that delivers on the needs of Dungog now and into the future,” he said.
Independent candidate for the Upper Hunter seat and former Dungog Mayor, Cr Tracy Norman was pleased to see today’s announcement.
“It’s interesting timing and we can’t keep having by-elections to get what we need but I want to give recognition to the current councillors and staff who have been advocating for more funding for a long time. I’m going to make sure the Nationals stick to this promise,” Cr Norman said.
For more information on where candidates stand: Voting 101: Upper Hunter by-election.