Earlier this month, Local Government NSW (LGNSW) declared a Statewide Roads Emergency, supported by the Country Mayors Association.

Parkes Shire Council is joining LGNSW and the Country Mayors Association of NSW in declaring a Statewide Road Emergency.

Mayor of Parkes Shire Cr Ken Keith OAM said, "We are all aware the Parkes Shire has been hit by a seemingly relentless wave of flood events in the past 12 months, and we are not alone.

"According to the President of Local Government NSW, Darriea Turley, 126 out of 128 local government areas in New South Wales, have had natural disaster declarations within the last 12 months.

"The Statewide Roads Emergency Declaration and urgent call for the NSW and Federal Governments to increase their existing road funding commitments in the wake of the floods, comes on the back of an estimated $2.5 billion in road damages, and a collapse of the local and regional road network.

"I am calling on Parkes Shire Council to show our support for this move and whole-heartedly endorse the Local Government NSW declaration of Statewide Road Emergency," Mayor Keith said.

As part of the Statewide Roads Emergency, LG NSW and Country Mayors Association of NSW are calling for:

  • An acceleration and significant increase in funding for the $1.1 billion Fixing Local Roads and Fixing Country Bridges program from the New South Wales Government
  • A boost to Road Block Grant funding to compensate for the damage to the regional road network from the Federal Government
  • New funding to provide Councils with plant machinery and skilled workers to expedite road repairs from the Federal Government.

"We have faced, and may continue to face, an unprecedented and unrelenting series of natural disasters that has seen residents and business owners cleaning up again and again, people isolated, workers unable to get to work, and students unable to get to training or school.

"This latest rain event has hit at a critical time. Winter crops are ready to be harvested and the window for planting summer crops is rapidly closing. Livestock are ready to go to sale but access restricted or prevented by the damaged and flooded road network," the Mayor added.

The local and regional road network is critically-enabling infrastructure. It is vital to primary producers, and the key to keeping affordable food on the table across New South Wales and beyond. The road network, and the road network of Shires across the state, have disastrous damage.

The Mayor pleaded, "We are facing a task that is beyond the reasonable scope of any local government authority. We need help, our community needs help, other regional and rural communities across the state and beyond need help.