The Roads to Home Program
The Roads to Home Program
In March 2019, the NSW Government announced that $54.8 million would be spent on a new Program called Roads to Home (R2H) to upgrade road reserves and associated infrastructure in discrete Aboriginal communities in Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC) areas. The Program’s works include upgrades to:
- Stormwater and other drainage
- Kerb, guttering and footpaths
- Street and public space lighting
- Upgraded road surfaces
The following 10 discrete Aboriginal communities (nine LALCs) were chosen to be part of the initial Program, to take place over four to five years.
- Bellwood Reserve (Nambucca LALC)
- Bowraville Reserve* (Bowraville LALC)
- Cabarita Reserve* (Forster LALC)
- Gulargambone Top Reserve* (Weilwan LALC)
- Narwan Village* (Armidale LALC)
- Three Ways (Griffith LALC)
- La Perouse (La Perouse LALC)
- Gingie Reserve (Walgett LALC)
- Namoi Reserve (Walgett LALC)
- Wallaga Lake (Merrimans LALC).
The decision to select these initial 10 communities was partly based on previous LALC involvement in the former NSWALC Subdivision Project. Four of the 10 discrete communities chosen for R2H (those with the * next to their names above) obtained development consent for subdivision through the Subdivision Project, so there was a desire to capitalise on the progress that those LALCs had already made. Other factors in selecting the initial 10 R2H communities were ensuring a good geographical spread as well as a mix of urban, regional, and remote communities.
In addition to the upgrade of road reserves and associated infrastructure, the R2H Program also provides the opportunity to address issues relating to the single title nature of the discrete communities by proposing long term planning and subdivision solutions. This will enable the transfer of road reserve infrastructure to local authorities and the subdivision of land into multiple lots.
Dedicating the road reserve to the Local Government Authority (LGA) is not mandatory under the R2H Program and an alternative option for LALCs is to establish a care/control and management arrangement with the LGA whereby the LGA maintains the road infrastructure.
Roads to Home is administered by the Roads to Home team within the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE). Please see the link below to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Roads to Home webpage which has additional Program information.
For further information on the R2H program please contact the DPIE R2H team via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Funding for the R2H Program
The Program is entirely funded by the NSW Government, and it is the Government’s intention to eventually upgrade all NSW’s discrete Aboriginal communities in the coming years, using the “first tranche” of 10 communities as a Pilot Project. However, the anticipated cost of the upgrade works for the remaining discrete communities is likely to be significant and will vary for each community depending on issues including the current condition of the community infrastructure and thus scale of the works required, topography and current zoning status of the land and the remoteness of the community.
Which communities will be next in line for inclusion in the R2H Program?
Following the provision of some Stimulus Funding provided by the NSW Government in November 2020 DPIE’s R2H team have been in discussions with a number of LALCs to add approximately 11 further communities to the R2H program. It is likely that DPIE’s R2H team will be making a public announcement confirming which communities have been added to the Program in the coming months.
NSWALC continues to support the Program and advocate for the Program to be rolled out to all discrete communities in NSW in the coming years.
Roads to Home Maintenance Program
In late 2020 as part of the NSW Government Stimulus Funding, AHO was successful in receiving funding for housing repairs and maintenance in the 10 R2H communities. This is being called the Roads to Home Maintenance Program (R2HMP) which will be administered and funded via the Aboriginal Housing Office (AHO). This is not part of the original DPIE’s R2H program.
The AHO has received $16.8 million to provide funding support to the 10 R2H communities to address any maintenance issues within their communities’ housing portfolio. Of the $16.8 million, $9.4 million was earmarked for the dwellings on the 10 R2H LALCs’ discrete communities with the remaining $7.4 million being used for the R2H LALCs’ housing stock which is outside their discrete communities. AHO have advised NSWALC, in practice, the LALCs will have some flexibility in how their allocation of the $16.8 million is spent on their houses.
R2HMP will be funded and administered by the AHO as a grants program. There are separate funding agreements in place with the AHO as the Government agency party to the agreements. There will be different Project Managers/contractors in place to help the LALCs to progress and manage the works as the nature of the works is different (repairs and maintenance to housing stock rather than civil construction).
For further information on the R2HMP please contact Silexa Smith from the AHO via email at email@example.com.