Michael Daley and Labor will support communities across the Hunter by investing $81 million to deliver long overdue repairs and upgrades for rural and regional roads.

A recent NRMA report found the Hunter had a rural and regional roads infrastructure backlog totalling $162 million.

Cessnock, Dungog, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Muswellbrook, Port Stephens, Singleton and Upper Hunter Councils will all get help from a Labor Government to fix their local roads. Labor will work to repair the roads in each council area designated to be in “poor” or “very poor” condition, which will halve the road maintenance backlog.

Labor’s package to help communities across the Hunter will come from the additional $900 million over five years to improve safety and productivity on rural and regional NSW roads announced by Michael Daley and Labor.

Labor’s commitment is almost twice the size of the existing $543m ‘Fixing Country Roads’ program.

The Liberals and Nationals have spent eight years ignoring regional and rural NSW. They have let the rural and regional roads infrastructure backlog grow by 30 per cent since 2014-15, while spending $2.2 billion on Sydney stadiums.

The Liberals and Nationals have also broken their promise to make sure that 30% of funds from Restart NSW are allocated to rural and regional NSW. Rural and regional NSW got 17% of funding from restart NSW in the last financial year.

The NRMA’s ‘Funding Local Roads’ report found that the Regional and Local Roads Network, which covers 80 per cent of NSW roads, is falling into disrepair and is unable to properly accommodate existing passenger and freight movements.

Poorly maintained regional roads are more dangerous, and mean longer journeys for travellers, freight and emergency service vehicles.

Shadow Minister for Roads, Jodi McKay, said: “The maintenance backlog for rural and regional roads across the Hunter is a disgrace.

“Councils across the Hunter have been left on their own to deal with this problem by the Liberals and Nationals who are spending $2.2 billion on Sydney stadiums.

“Labor knows well maintained roads are safe roads and a Labor Government will put the work in to make sure rural and regional roads across the Hunter are safe for our communities.”

NSW Shadow Minister for the Hunter Kate Washington said, “The Hunter just doesn’t matter to the Liberals and Nationals. That’s why they’ve let our roads go to rack and ruin while they are spending $2.2 billion on stadiums in Sydney.

“People across the Hunter deserve safe roads, and they deserve more than the contempt shown to them by Gladys Berejiklian and Andrew Constance last Sunday.”

NSW Labor Member for Maitland Jenny Aitchison said, “Eight years of neglect from the Liberals and Nationals has run down our local roads, and left our local councils with a heavy burden to bear.

“I welcome Michael Daley and Labor’s commitment to help our local councils and make our roads safer.”

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