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New money ticks over for council road works

Western Plains App

River McCrossen

07 July 2024, 9:20 PM

New money ticks over for council road worksThe federal government will provide around $4.4 billion for local governments to repair and upgrade roads

Western Plains roads will receive just shy of a million dollars over the next five years for road upgrade and repair projects under the federal government's Roads to Recovery (RTR) program.

The government published in July 2024 the amount local councils across Australia would receive from the $4.4 billion pool, with the 551 recipients given the call on which projects to prioritise.


The RTR operates under ongoing five-year funding periods, the idea being to provide a stable and predictable funding source. The new period began with the start of the 2024-25 financial year on 1 July.

Source: Australian Government

Shires will not receive all their money in one go. Instead, they'll receive a nominal yearly increase in funds from the total accolated up to 2029.


For example, Narromine Shire Mayor will receive $1.18 million in the 2024-25 financial year, then $1.45 million in the next.


Narromine mayor Craig Davies singled out the Widgeree, Weemabah and Enmore roads in his shire for a face lift, the three totaling around 70 to 80 kilometres.


"While it's a help, the funding will only go a small way to resolving the issues that we've got with our roads," Cr Davies said.


"Our roads make up the vast majority of our spending, there's no doubt about that. We look after in the Narromine Shire around 1500 kilometres of roads. Half that's tar, half that's gravel or dirt."


Locals can track works undertaken under the program, including estimated costs and expected start and finish dates, via an interactive map from the federal government.


While he welcomes the funding, Cr Davies said Narromine Shire has struggled to maintain all it's roads.


Bogan Shire major Glen Neill echoed the sentiment.


"We're very at any stage for funding, the thing is that it's just not keeping pace with our costs unfortunately."


"As far as roads go, the amount of unsealed roads we have in the shire is an ongoing process, it just doesn't stop. You can grade a gravel road and then in six months time you'll need to regrade it."


"There's never really enough money to go around until you can get it to the point where you have them sealed. And then all that requires a reseal after a few years or you lose that too."


He said school bus routes are a road funding priority.


"And then we've got several other roads in the shire that we've tried to link up with other major roads over a lot of years, so it'll go into some of those projects for sure," Cr Neill said.