Local government election: Roads election commitment for Labor Part candidates

POTHOLE: A typical Port Stephens roads pothole, this one was on Benjamin Lee Drive, Raymond Terrace, from August 2020. Picture: Supplied

POTHOLE: A typical Port Stephens roads pothole, this one was on Benjamin Lee Drive, Raymond Terrace, from August 2020. Picture: Supplied

Improving the Port's road network has become a priority for Labor mayoral candidate Leah Anderson in the lead-up to the local government elections.

In Port Stephens Council's recently released community satisfaction rating, residents rated the council's performance over the 2020-21 period on road maintenance at a paltry 45 per cent.

Ms Anderson said that, if elected mayor, she would be proposing cameras on garbage trucks to identify surface issues and an urgent report into pothole filling techniques.

"At the first council meeting I will be moving to take proactive steps to improve our road network by dealing with the issue of potholes," the former Business Port Stephens president said.

"I will propose that council puts cameras on its fleet of garbage trucks pointed at our local roads. The data from these cameras would be fed into a computer system that would identify the size and location of potholes, and be able to prioritise the most serious and dangerous ones.

"This would enable council road crews to get out and fix potholes potentially even before anyone has a chance to report it. I will also commission a report into council's pothole filling techniques. Freshly filled potholes breaking apart within days or weeks is not acceptable."

Ms Anderson said that she would be seeking to put more funding into resealing local roads, which would strengthen the road base and delay potholes forming by decades.

"This plan will make living in Port Stephens better and protect family cars from unnecessary damage."

Leah Anderson

Leah Anderson

Labor's west ward councillor Giacomo Arnott said that the council had for year neglected the Port's road network.

"There are thousands of potholes out there waiting to be filled, and kilometres of roads that should be getting resealed and protected. In February this year the councillors rejected a motion I put forward to allocate an additional $1.5million in grant funding towards our local road reseal program. Grant funding that can be used for roads is rare, and an important opportunity was completely wasted. The outcome is obvious - worse roads and more potholes."

The party's central ward candidate Jason Wells said that proactively working on fixing roads would make a huge difference to motorists.

"We all use local roads, we all pay our rates, and we all deserve to travel on a road network that is smooth and not riddled with potholes. Our team's plan will work towards stopping potholes early, but also fix them faster."

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