FACED with the worst damage to roads seen in their lifetimes, mayors are concerned $50 million from the state government for councils to patch up potholes caused by flooding won't stretch far enough.
Walcha mayor Eric Noakes told the Leader over his lifetime living in the region, he's never seen the council's road network this battered due to constant wet weather events.
"In the drought our roads got potholes in them because we couldn't source water to grade them," he said.
"Now, with the amount of rain we're getting, water is actually coming up under a lot of our roads and breaking them from underneath.
"So we are getting these sinkhole-like, massive wet patches coming in our gravel road network and losing a lot of the asphalt off our sealed road network."
On Tuesday, the NSW government chipped in $50 million to help regional councils fix potholes brought on by the extreme weather.
With millions of dollars worth of damage in each council area across the state, Cr Noakes said the money won't go far, but it's a start.
"I think they're going to have to stump up extra money in this area," he said.
"With the low rate peg last year, the government really has to look at how we maintain these roads into the long term, just keeping us on a thin budget is not going to work."
Of particular concern, is Surveyor's Creek Road at Woolbrook which has completely crumbled away.
Tamworth Regional Council mayor Russell Webb said while the money won't fix every pothole, the council should get a fair chunk given the size of its road network.
"The good news is that the money will be distributed on your road network's length, so Tamworth will not miss out because we have an extensive road network of 3000 kilometres," he said.
"We are now getting coastal rain west of the Great Divide and our roads and infrastructure aren't designed to deal with those coastal rain events.
"It's going to help us move forward over the next six months, but there will be a time into the future where the government is going to have to come back to councils with some more funding."
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said the funding is for the highest priority pothole repairs and will "help ease the pressure on councils and boost the resources they can draw on to improve road safety quicker".
Councils will need to apply for the funding, with allocations to be announced in November and work to be completed next year.
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