Port Macquarie-Hastings Council is facing an $80 million roads maintenance backlog from the 2017/18 financial year.
The figure was reported in the latest NRMA ‘Funding Local Roads’ document released on January 21.
It paints a dire picture of the state’s roads infrastructure and in particular the local council area.
The funding shortfall revealed as part of the report identifies a $2.2 billion backlog across NSW, with the overwhelming majority of the burden – $1.7 billion – falling to regional councils.
The NSW North Coast has been flagged as the worst in the state for its backlog, with an estimated $438 million needed to maintain local roads to a safe and satisfactory standard.
North Coast councils have seen a backlog increase of over $7 million since the last report.
The local North Coast councils with the biggest backlogs were MidCoast Council with a $116 million backlog, Port Macquarie-Hasting Council recording an $80 million backlog and Lismore Council with a $71 million backlog.
NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury said it was important to recognise the backlog could cause a safety risk to drivers.
“The backlog issue is very important from a safety perspective because we know the highest backlogs are with regional councils and that is where more than 80 percent fatalities happen,” Mr Khoury said.
“Better roads are vital for transporting freight and in Port Macquarie specifically they are important for ongoing tourism in the region.
“The backlogs continue to grow for a number of reasons including council revenues falling as well as the sheer number of roads councils have to look after.”
The report coincides with the launch of the NRMA’s Rate Your Road, which calls on members of the community to rate their local roads and public transport.
“Due to the increasing backlog we are calling on members of the public to take our survey to pinpoint the worst roads in the state,” he said.
“When we have done this survey in the past the Pacific Highway consistently rated as one of the worst roads in the state however due to significant upgrades we expect that to change this year.
“It takes less than two minutes and with the data collected we will be lobbying the political parties in the lead up to the state election.”
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council say they priorities road repairs based on traffic volumes, regional and local significance, speed limits, bus routes and pedestrian activity.
Council director Jeffery Sharp said maintaining and improving the condition of the council’s road networks was a high priority for the community and for the council.
The Port Macquarie-Hastings Council reseals about eight per cent of its 875 kilometre sealed road network each year.
The NRMA survey is accessible via the myNRMA app and through Rate Your Road website.
The collated data will be released in time for the NSW state election on March 23.
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