The Federal Coalition Government is backing our regions through increased funding that will help councils build the roads and infrastructure their communities need.
Addressing the Local Government Association of Australia's Annual Breakfast, Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said the Government acknowledged the vital role councils played in helping get important local projects off the ground, particularly in regional areas.
“We are committed to working with all levels of government to deliver for all Australians and this annual event helps to build on the strong relationships we’ve developed with councils,” Mr Buchholz said.
“Our strong commitment to supporting councils in building important local infrastructure and safer roads is backed by significant funding increases in the last Budget.
“We have committed $2.2 billion over ten years to the dedicated Local and State Government Roads Package, which includes $1.1 billion directly to councils under the Roads to Recovery Program to support vital road maintenance. A further $500 million will be provided for the hugely successful Black Spot Program to fund safety works in places where there have been serious crashes or where they are likely to occur.
“There is also an additional $275 million for the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program, which is increasing safety for everyone on our roads, including truck drivers, as well $275 million for the Bridges Renewal Program to build or upgrade key bridges that will improve access and road safety in many regional areas.
“An extra $1 billion for the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative, bringing our total funding to $4.5 billion, will also connect regional businesses to local and international markets, boosting local economies.
“This initiative will upgrade some of our key freight routes and we will be working closely with the states and local governments, particularly in Northern Australia, to ensure this additional funding goes to where it will make the biggest difference.
“Local governments are also set to benefit from the $200 million for Round four of the Building Better Regions Fund, and $22.7 million to deliver a fifth round of the Stronger Communities Program.
“These programs will support community organisations and councils to make local infrastructure projects and community programs a reality, providing funding for investment-ready projects that will create jobs, drive economic growth and deliver social benefits for local communities.
“Today I wish to thank all local governments who work so hard to see their communities thrive, and I look forward to working together to ensure a strong future for all communities throughout Australia.”