Wednesday, 28 September 2022
Dobell Electorate: Roads
My community on the Central Coast is home to some of the worst roads in New South Wales. Our road network spans more than 2,000 kilometres, and, after years of neglect under the former government, the backlog of works has only grown. After recent extreme weather events and local flooding, there are even more potholes and dangerous hazards on our roads than there were before. According to a recent NRMA report, the Central Coast had the second-highest number of callouts to fix tires and wheels in the state, missing out on the top spot by just one callout. Locals have told me they avoid driving at night or take a different route to drive to work in the morning because of the state of our roads. While I'm told council has repaired more than 32,000 potholes on our road network since February, this is only a short-term fix. What we need is proper investment for the future.
The former government completely overlooked the Central Coast when it came to road investment and infrastructure. But the Albanese government is already delivering for the Central Coast. Just last month the Albanese Labor government announced funding for two of the Central Coast's most dangerous roads under the latest round of the federal Black Spot Program. This includes $620,000 to upgrade Fagans Road at Lisarow between Tuggerah Street and the Ridgeway. The funds will go towards vehicle activated signs, upgrading the seal and installing barriers on the roadside to improve safety for motorists and pedestrians. We also announced $205,000 to upgrade Showground Road at Narara between Manns Road and Racecourse Road. This will see the installation of raised islands with additional 'stop' or 'give way' signs, a barrier on the roadside and upgrades to the intersection.
We've seen too many accidents on these roads over the years, some of them fatal. That's why this upgrade is so important to our community. This funding will go a long way towards improving the safety of people across the coast for many years to come. I'm proud that the member for Robertson and I could deliver these upgrades for our community, but there are many others which also need investment. That's why the Albanese government committed $40 million during the election to upgrade roads across the coast. We recognise the need to invest in our road network and to make sure it's fit for purpose for the future. We will work closely with council, the state government and the local community to deliver these upgrades.
During the election we also announced a $250 million expansion to Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program. This is an important funding boost for regional areas like the coast, and I'll make sure that we get our fair share—because our roads should be a priority, and under the Labor government they are. I look forward to the government's budget in October, when we'll have more to say on road funding for communities like the coast.
The Central Coast has been overlooked for years. During close to a decade in power, the former government failed to deliver. But the Albanese government is already taking action to make sure our roads are safe now and into the future.