Councillor calls for spotlight on Forbes' rural roads

There are have been some exciting developments in our town in the past few years, but they can be hard for our shire's rural residents to appreciate as they navigate boggy roads or drive through water with no depth markers or guideposts.

That was the message to councillors at a recent meeting, when Cr Jenny Webb showed a slideshow of photos of rural roads with ruts as deep as a water bottle or where you could see drivers had been veering from side to side on roads to avoid the deepest potholes or boggiest sections.

"I'm here today representing Forbes' rural constituents, who contribute 47 per cent of Forbes shire rates, about the conditions of our local roads," she said.

"The residents look around and we see all this bright new equipment and money being spent within the town, and we're all liking it ... but we need somehow to get more funding put onto our roads."

Cr Webb shared images particularly from Slimbridge Road, a bus route, and Carlachy Road, the route from Warroo to the Bogan Gate silos, as well as highlighting the water levels over Bedgerabong Road and near Warroo Bridge.

"Council needs to plan so most roads and bridges can take B-doubles, road trains and oversized machinery, which is currently restricting access to key markets and processing facilities such as grain to Bogan Gate, cotton to Trangie and goods to Inland Rail," she said.

"The reality is, some roads have a long way to go just for every day traffic movements."

Mayor Phyllis Miller spoke up on behalf of council's roads staff, who she said had no way of getting onto roads in the recent wet conditions to do any work.

"The inclement weather has been terrible for us," she said.

"I feel very sorry for the staff at the moment ... we've got people that can't even get into their places and we cannot do anything about it. We're going to make everything worse by putting heavy machinery out there."

In an explanation for rural residents, she also clarified that the funding that has delivered improvements to the Lake surrounds, sporting fields and CBD has been designated grant funding for those projects.

"We are spending a lot of grant funding in this town but it's not our revenue," she said.

"Our biggest revenue that we spend is our roads."

Cr Webb said some outstanding works had been done: West Plains Road "looks amazing" and the new Seven Sisters Bridge has enabled heavy vehicles to keep travelling that route through all this year's wet weather.

But she added for the long term she had been trying to reconvene the freight advisory group to identify key routes for transport so those roads could be prioritised for funding.

That's in motion again after the July council meeting but in the meantime Cr Webb said," we can't just accept the conditions of the roads".

"It's not just the flooding," she said.

"I emailed council 12 months ago and sent photos to show these roads.

"I took quite a few snaps of this road in March on the snap solve send app.

"I believe somewhere we need more funding or something to improve our roads."