The NSW opposition has labelled the state government lazy for not taking action to stop the road flooding at Testers Hollow.
Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison took opposition roads and freight spokesperson Jodi McKay to inspect the trouble spot at Cessnock Road on Wednesday afternoon.
The visit came amid increasing calls for a solution to ongoing flooding on the main road, which has been closed to traffic for periods of about a week twice in the past year.
Ms McKay called for the government to include money in its forthcoming budget to investigate how to solve the problem at Testers Hollow.
“Obviously the government has completely ignored the issues here with Testers Hollow,” she said.
“One should expect that in the budget, come June, there should be money at least for planning, if not for the road itself.
“I think the government is lazy and I think the government refuses to listen to the community.”
When asked why former Labor governments hadn’t previously dealt with the problem, given how long the issues had been ongoing, Ms McKay said: “We saw during the recent flooding why this issue needs to be fixed.
“It has been a long standing issue, I know people have been lobbying for it.
“There is no excuse now to have it fixed.”
Raising the road and alternate routes have been suggested as possible ways to fix the problem, which newspaper archives show has existed for at least the past century.
A Roads and Maritime Services report completed in late 2013 showed that any viable solution would require flood mitigation and road related measures.
While RMS told the Mercury last month that it continued to work towards a solution with Maitland City Council, little progress appears to have been made since 2013.
“I think there needs to be another look at this, there needs to be a feasibility study to look at what really needs to happen here, so we’d like to see that happen,” Ms McKay said.
Ms Aitchison urged residents to sign the petition to have the road fixed at Testers Hollow and she said she would raise the issue during the next sitting of Parliament.
“We can’t have road infrastructure that is regularly inundated causing social isolation,” she said.
“During the construction of the Hunter Expressway, the government set aside $31 million to improve access roads to the dual carriageway, however, Testers Hollow was placed in the too hard basket.”