Chamber of Commerce pushes for a bigger share of road funding for the Peninsula

A top priority for roads funding on the Peninsula is Rabaul Ave

Peninsula Chamber of Commerce is hoping for a bigger slice of the funding pie in Round 2 of the NSW Government’s Fixing Local Roads program.

Central Coast Council is compiling a list of roadworks to apply for a share of the $136.4M available in the second round.

The Peninsula saw less than 10 per cent of the $2.7M delivered to nine projects on the Coast through Round 1 of the funding, scoring $186,750 for works on North Burge Rd, Woy Woy, and $81,000 for Hillview St, Woy Woy.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Adam Crouch, said millions of dollars were now on offer through Round 2 to repair and maintain more of the Coast’s 2,200km road network.

“The funding will be prioritised for projects that can commence quickly and will need to be delivered within two years,” he said.

Chamber of Commerce president, Matthew Wales, said the Chamber was extremely disappointed with the Round 1 funding and was looking towards a higher level of commitment in the Round 2 allocations for the Peninsula.

“Certainly our top priority is the reconstruction of Rabaul Ave, which is a major collector road that runs parallel to Ocean Beach Rd,” he said.

“This carries significant amounts of overflow traffic off Ocean Beach Rd and serves as a major connection from Woy Woy to the southern parts of Umina Beach and through to Pearl Beach and Patonga.

“It is in poor state of repair with no kerb and gutter, no footpath paving and limited stormwater drainage yet acts as a major bus route especially for school children.

“Rabaul Ave has been on the Chamber’s top 10 list of roads for the last five years but continues to get ignored by both Central Coast Council and the State Government.”

To be considered for funding, Rabaul Ave would first have to make Council’s list of preferred projects and then meet government criteria for small shovel-ready projects to repair and maintain high-use roads and provide more jobs.

The Fixing Local Roads program is a $500M NSW Government investment over five years to assist councils across the state reduce their local roads maintenance backlog.

Federal Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks, said the Australian Government has also committed $191M to build on the State Government funding, bringing the total for local roads to $691M over the next five years.

“Fixing Local Roads is a grant-based program where councils can apply for funding to repair, patch, maintain and seal priority local council roads,” she said.

“Applications can be made for 100 percent contribution from the NSW Government for specific works and councils are encouraged to co-contribute to any projects with funds or in-kind contributions.”

“We can already see projects from Round 1 commencing throughout the region and with this injection of funds, even more local communities will be able to see the benefits of this program,” Wicks said.

Terry Collins