Classification is crucial when it comes to funding roads. Clarence Way is classified as a regional road and not a rural road.
This affects state funding. Kyogle mayor Danielle Mulholland said it put Clarence Way in the same pool as roads in Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie and this meant tougher competition for funds.
Kyogle Council received $9.1 million from the Federal Government to upgrade the southern part of the Clarence Way near Tabulam. A further $2 million federal grant along with council’s $3 million will upgrade the road between Urbenville and Woodenbong.
“Council is prepared to commit funds to the remaining part between Bruxner Highway and Urbenville but we need this partnership funding to be able to undertake the work,” Ms Mullholland said.
“I feel very strongly about addressing the problems associated with the Clarence Way and we will not stop lobbying until the road is fully funded.”
A Transport for NSW spokeswoman said the Fixing Country Roads program provided state funding for councils to improve local and regional roads to benefit the movement of freight. This is a competitive process and in 2018 Kyogle successfully applied for $4.1 million to seal 14.8km of Clarence Way.
Under a more recent round of the program, Kyogle was unsuccessful in its application for more than $33 million to upgrade 14.8km of Clarence Way.
State MP Janelle Saffin said the funding of roads took a long time. While Kyogle did not receive the recent funding it applied for, she urged patience.
Ms Mulholland advised residents to voice their opinion on the potholes and condition of the Clarence Way.
“If you’re feeling as frustrated as I am, please write to minister Paul Toole supporting our $33 million application under the Fixing Country Roads program, round 2.
“The more letters of support we get from the community, the higher our chance of success.”
Send your photos and stories about the Clarence Way direct to Danielle Mulholland so she can compile a portfolio to present to the minister to support the council’s application. Email CrDanielle.Mulholland@kyogle.nsw.gov.au
This article appeared in the Richmond River Independent, 27 January 2021.