Tuesday, 06 December 2016 11:07

Road funding reform must include local government

Cars parked and travelling along Western Sydney road. Cars parked and travelling along Western Sydney road.

 

Media release, 6 December, 2016

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called for the Australian Government to review the way local roads are funded as part of its infrastructure funding reform.

WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “While motorways are very important, we should not forget that the major transport task in Sydney, and particularly car-dependent regions like Western Sydney, is carried by the local road network.”

“From private cars, to taxis, buses and trucks, council-maintained roads see it all and are falling into a greater state of disrepair due to a growing funding backlog,” he said.

“Year after year the NRMA local roads report highlights the inability of councils to keep up with the demands of local road maintenance.

“The federal Roads to Recovery funding is a great and much needed initiative, but it is not enough. The backlog is growing. Roads are getting worse and councils still can’t pay for it.

“WSROC agrees that we need to have a serious discussion about the way transport infrastructure is funded, but local roads must be part of that debate,” said Cr Bali.

“Every year this problem is ignored, the problem gets worse and the cost of recovery grows.

“Councils are consistently being asked to do more with less. At the federal level, local government Financial Assistance Grants have been put on hold, while state-level rate pegging has limited councils’ ability to raise much-needed income,” said Cr Bali.

“Road usage charging has been identified by the Australian Government as one option for consideration, however equity must be a core principle in any future discussions,” he said.

“Western Sydney residents are Sydney’s biggest road users, due to the region’s huge scale, jobs deficit and limited public transport network.

“It would be unfair to lock Western Sydney residents into paying significant road usage charges when they already pay tax to support government-subsidised public transport services they don’t have access to,” he said.

“If a road usage charge is the path we are considering then WSROC will insist that the lack of public transport in the West is reflected in the charging regimes and that revenue collected from Western Sydney road users is spent in the West,” said Cr Bali.

[ENDS]

Media contact: Kelly-Anne Gee, 02 9671 4333 (ext. 118), 0425 871 868 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

 

Last modified on Monday, 19 December 2016 12:32

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