Updated: Oct 18, 2020
Local council jobs across New England could be at risk after the state Government reached out to private companies to complete local road and infrastructure works.
An expression of interest published on October 13th by Transport NSW asks private contractors to put their hand up to do minor road and infrastructure works normally done by local councils.
This comes just one month after Tamworth Regional Council decided to hand over several roads to state government management.
The main aim, of reclassifying local roads as regional ones, was to reduce the burden of maintenance costs on the Tamworth Council, the total of which amounted to roughly $42 million in the year 2019-2020.
A report to Tamworth Council on the 8th of September, 2020 written by Murray Russell, Manager Infrastructure and Works, did, however, anticipate Tamworth Regional Council would likely be expected to maintain the roads under contract to Transport NSW and thus not have any negative financial impacts.
Greg Warren, Shadow Minister for Local Government, said the NSW Government should be prioritising the thousands of Council workers who maintain the roads, instead of outsourcing to contractors.
"We don't want to see this sort of work outsourced to companies in the city that will ultimately result in people out of work," Mr Warren said.
A total of 15,000km's of additional roads across NSW will be placed under Transport NSW management, meaning the impacts of private contracting would be felt statewide.
A spokesperson from Transport NSW said there is no link between the reclassification of regional roads and the Request for Information.
In a statement, Transport NSW said, "This advertisement does not shift work from regional councils to the private sector."
Tamworth Regional Council and Minister for Transport and Roads have been contacted for comment.