GREEN ROADS: Byron Shire Councillor Michael Lyon, the endorsed Green's candidate for the federal seat of Richmond, Ballina MP Tamara Smith, Federal Greens leader Richard Di Natale and Lismore Greens candidate Sue Higginson.
GREEN ROADS: Byron Shire Councillor Michael Lyon, the endorsed Green's candidate for the federal seat of Richmond, Ballina MP Tamara Smith, Federal Greens leader Richard Di Natale and Lismore Greens candidate Sue Higginson. Christian Morrow

Greens commit to road funding

GREENS state candidates have committed to $195million in needs-based funding to address the backlog in road maintenance across the Northern Rivers.

In a joint statement, Member for Ballina Tamara Smith and Greens Candidate for Lismore Sue Higginson said the road maintenance backlog as it stood was $70million for Byron Shire, $65million for Lismore, $42million for Kyogle Shire, $10million for Ballina Shire and $8million for Tweed Shire.

"Why do we pay taxes if only city folk get good roads and infrastructure for public amenity?” Ms Smith said.

"The State Government is happy to reap the tax rewards of Byron Shire's thriving tourism industry, but it doesn't want to maintain the infrastructure used by tourists, leaving local councils with a never-ending backlog of broken roads and failing infrastructure.

"Over the next 10 years, every single Sydneysider will have $1900 per year, per person spent on them just for roads.

"That would translate to about $90million per year, every year for the next 10 years for the Ballina electorate alone. Imagine our councils being able to count on that money and plan accordingly.

"We are supporting needs-based funding for regional NSW that isn't tied to the politics or government of the day.”

Ms Higginson said: "Instead of recognising this and providing the much-needed support and investment, the State Government continues cost-shifting its responsibilities to local government, thus eroding the ability of local councils to provide the services their residents expect and deserve. We have a number of significant environmental and climatic factors, such as high rainfall, volcanic soils, high temperatures and humidity that contribute to the state of our roads.

"Our Northern Rivers Councils need real support and investment to get our road networks up to scratch. We also need investment into research and development to build better roads so they are fit for purpose and long-lasting.”

Tenterfield Shire will be added in a further announcement.


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