Roadwork: As well as a $51.25 million backlog for road maintenance, the estimated annual maintenance of $25 million for Blacktown roads fell short of $8.7 million of the actual costs.Blacktown roads have accounted for almost half of the infrastructure backlog in western Sydney, a reporthas found.
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The Funding Local Roads report, released by the NRMA, found in 2015, Blacktown hadbacklog of $51.25million, the highest in theSydney metropolitan area.

It accounts for 43.6 per cent of the $85 million of the total backlog shared between the councils at Blacktown, Parramatta, Holroyd and Auburn (now the Cumberland Council).

“What this reports shows is when you look at the result for western Sydney, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done,” NRMA spokesman, Peter Khoury, said.

Mr Khoury attributed Blacktown’s massive backlog to its high population density and industrial zones.

“There are a lot of major roads and major motorways running through it,” he said.

“Whiththese you will expect considerable congestion and compared to other council areas.

“The amount of industry in Blacktown [attracts] more trucks resulting in more maintenance on those roads.”

Councils are responsible for 80 per cent of the the costs associated withrepairing and upgradingof road networks.

“Councils alone can’t do the work alone and they’re carrying the lion share of the bitumen,” Mr Khoury said.

“They need continued support from federal and state government.”

The latest federal budget outlined a $50 million per year from 2019-2020 for theRoads to Recovery program to clear the backlog by 2027.

Over $15.2 billion from the fuel excise tax is also going into NSW roads, but there is no guarantee the rate of the excise will remain the same.

The NRMA said they would support the party which presents both a faster and more permanent solution to the problem.

“We can close this shortfall by 2027, but 11 years is too long to wait,” Mr Khoury said.

“We’re only just into the election campaign, and we’re seeing policies being announced by the both the government and opposition.

“We’re waiting to get a sense of which party will met the shortfall to ensure councils get the road they need.”