Infrastructure Policy

Roads and Transport

Councils are responsible for the management of local road networks, including road safety, road funding, road maintenance, and heavy vehicle access.

NSW councils also play an essential role in a range of other transport-related policy areas such as public and sustainable transport, rail transport, and regional airports and aviation issues.

Road funding

Local government is responsible for around 90% of the NSW road network by length.

Road funding for councils is provided by:

  • The Australian Government through the Identified Local Roads component of Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs), the Roads to Recovery Grants Program, and the Black Spots Program
  • The NSW Government through Block Grants for regional roads and other special purpose grants
  • Councils' own funding streams

Protecting and increasing these funding streams is a priority for Local Government NSW (LGNSW).

Heavy vehicles

The road transport industry is crucial to the viability of local economies, but heavy vehicles can have a detrimental impact on local amenity and local road infrastructure.

LGNSW represents councils on a range of heavy vehicle-related policy areas and has established strong relationships with state and federal government agencies to advocate for better outcomes for our members. This includes providing better data and support for councils when making decisions about the long-term sustainability of the road network.

Road safety

LGNSW collaborates with the Transport for NSW on a variety of road safety issues, including the Local Government Road Safety Program and the NSW Road Safety and Motorcycle Safety Advisory Councils. With 70 per cent of road fatalities occurring on country roads, LGNSW continues to strongly advocate for better funding, resourcing and support for councils to help improve road safety outcomes at a local level.

Road maintenance council contracts

Many councils perform maintenance on state roads on behalf of Transport for NSW through Road Maintenance Council Contract (RMCC) arrangements. This provides an important source of income and employment for those councils involved.

LGNSW represents the interests of member councils in dealings with both the Minister for Transport and Roads, Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, and Transport NSW, and has successfully advocated for ongoing funding of the program, as well as the extension of contracts from one year to two years to help councils better plan and allocate their resources.

Public and sustainable transport

LGNSW advocates for the expansion of public transport and other sustainable transport modes as an alternative to the growth in private car use.

LGNSW also supports the provision of effective public transport services to, and in between, regional centres, and is an important stakeholder in the planning and provision of pedestrian, cycling, parking and public transport facilities (as well as innovative ‘first and last mile’ solutions) in local council areas.

Aviation policy

LGNSW’s central position is that all residents of regional NSW should have equitable access to reliable air services, including to Sydney Airport.

LGNSW has policy positions on a range of aviation-related issues including:

  • Sustainability of regional air services
  • Equitable access of regional air services to Sydney Airport
  • Management of council-owned regional airports
  • Planning-related airport issues, including noise and non-aviation related development at airports
  • A second Sydney Airport

Rail transport

LGNSW’s policy positions on various rail transport issues include:

  • Passenger rail is a vital component of the transport task in both urban and regional areas of NSW.
  • Rail is the most appropriate form of transport for mass/bulk freight products, and should be used as an alternative to road transport where possible.
  • The maintenance and enhancement of rural grain branch lines. In many regional areas of the state rail branch line, closures have forced additional heavy vehicle movements onto adjacent local road networks.
  • Supporting the development of a north-south inland freight rail line.
  • Supporting the development of high-speed passenger rail on the east coast of Australia.
  • Ensuring councils remain a key stakeholder in level crossings management in local areas.