Road rage

By CRAIG McTEAR

COFFS HARBOUR City Council is taking on the State Government over road funding.

Cr Rod McKelvey has described as 'an insult' the RTA's allocation of a mere $13,000 under the regional road repair program for 2008 to 2011.

"I find it completely unbelievable we're only worth $13,000 to this entire program," Cr McKelvey told Thursday's council meeting.

"It's probably not worth writing out a cheque for such a sum."

The council's executive manager of operations, Allan Hindmarsh, said the council had normally fared 'reasonably' under the program, which is jointly funded by the RTA and local councils to rehabilitate and upgrade regional roads.

"It was a bit of a surprise to us. We missed out badly, so did Nambucca (zero) and Kempsey ($35,000)."

Lismore City, on the other hand, was allocated $3.3 million for the same period.

The only Coffs Harbour City project included in the program is fixing up the pavement on a hairpin bend on Main Road 120, the Eastern Dorrigo Way.

The council will match the RTA's $13,000 allocation.

In the previous program (2003 to 2007), the council received $434,500 in funding.

Council staff inspected some of the road projects in the Lismore and Kyogle areas which fared much better than Coffs Harbour did in the current program.

That inspection, according to city services director Jason Gordon, 'revealed roads in extremely poor condition'.

"The question is asked, is Coffs Harbour Council receiving unfair treatment," Mr Gordon said.

"It appears that other councils have allowed the condition of their regional road network to deteriorate to a place where their nominated projects are almost guaranteed to receive funding."

The council will fire in a protest letter to the RTA and will also suggest a better way of distributing funds more evenly for the next program (2011 to 2015).



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