Road to repair a long way still to go

IT WAS one of the battleground issues of the federal election campaign, but it seems local residents' calls for road upgrades are falling on deaf ears and empty council coffers.

Griffith City Council has revealed its schedule of budgeted major roadworks for the next decade and it makes sobering reading for the hundreds of locals banking on their roads being sealed.

Only Jones Road at Lake Wyangan and a stretch of Lakes Road are earmarked for sealing before 2023, despite a raft of petitions circulating for other high-priority roads to be sealed.

Among them are Bringagee Road, Bob Irvine Road, Cooper Road, Stokes Road and the northern section of Boorga Road.

Bringagee Road Action Group co-founder Lydia Dal Broi, who has fought a pitched battle with council for near-on a decade to have the gravel road sealed, said she was "furious" residents would have to wait at least another 10 years for the deadly stretch to be tarred.

"I'm furious the road is deteriorating very quickly and I can't believe there are other roads that are a higher priority," Mrs Dal Broi said.

"It's just totally unfair."

The road, which runs from Griffith out to Carrathool and Hay, is littered with potholes and has been the scene of a host of major accidents in recent years.

Under council's 10-year budget forecast, Jones Road is set down for construction in the 2015/16 budget, while an unsealed section of Lakes Road is expected to be sealed as part of the 2016/17 budget.

From 2017 to 2023, funds are designated only for road rehabilitation projects, not construction.

Council's director of infrastructure and operations, Dallas Bibby, said Roads to Recovery funding ends in 2019.

"We don't want to give people false hopes and it comes down to purely a funding issue," Mr Bibby said.

"If the federal government would give us another $1 million a year, we'd be OK.

"Sealing roads is a very expensive business."


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