Don’t Forget Rural Roads

Farmers are urging federal and state governments to drastically increase funding for rural road infrastructure as vital roads remain damaged, restricted or even closed three years on from the first major flooding events in the Northern Rivers.

NSW Farmers President Xavier Martin said federal and state roads and bridges were crumbling across NSW, and locals no longer believed repair was on the horizon.

“The state of regional roads is simply not up to scratch, and federal and state governments can no longer bypass their responsibilities and leave us with thousands of kilometres of roads in ruin,” Mr Martin said.

“Since floods first hit the Northern Rivers in 2021, rural road users have little choice but to use dangerous roads or find alternate routes to access their homes, get to work and simply go about their everyday lives.

“While we recognize there has been initiatives such as the Regional Roads and Transport Package, and the appointment of a new CEO of the NSW Reconstruction Authority, the breadth of road devastation means there is still major work to be done, and it’s now getting far too dangerous for many to continue on our crumbling roads.”

As the federal and state governments prepare to deliver their budgets, Mr Martin said regional and rural road repairs and upgrades must be a top priority for budget funding, otherwise farmers would struggle to deliver their food and fibre to the rest of their nation.

“Our roads are key for transporting our world-class food and fibre from farm gate to dinner plate – so when our roads and bridges are crumbling around us, it makes getting food on the nation’s forks a difficult, expensive and even dangerous task,” Mr Martin said.

“Enough is enough, and we need practical action to upgrade our roads and bridges that is front and centre in the federal and state budgets this year.

“Rural Australia has suffered sub-standard access for too long, and it’s truly time for real action.”

/Public Release. View in full here.