The Federal Government has launched a new $150 million Remote Roads Upgrade Pilot Program.
The trial program will target unsealed roads throughout remote Australia, many of which rarely see more than an annual light grade.
Councils will be offered between 80% and 100% of funding to upgrade unsealed roads and improve safety with works including resurfacing, removing dangerous corners, and managing vegetation.
Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said the funding would make a real difference to rural and regional communities by providing to upgrade roads which always seem to just ‘out of reach’ of the council budget.
“As a government we have recognised the value local councils provide and have significantly increased funding to them across a range of projects in recent years,” he said. “They are the ones on the ground, living in their communities, with resident workforces that know where the works are required and how to get best value for money.
“Everyone should have all weather access to local community centres, schools and medical care, and nobody should be cut off from their township because of the condition of the roads.”
“I travel thousands of kilometres a year on unsealed roads and mostly councils do a great job in keeping them serviceable.
“However, finding one with corrugations so bad it is dangerous to drive on is far from impossible and this fund will help councils target those roads.
“The program is not open yet.
“But I expect details will be released in the coming weeks and will advise councils at that time.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said regional towns are the lifeblood of the nation, and every Australian deserves safe and efficient roads regardless of where they live.
“This is not about sealing roads; it is about making them safer. It is about putting down gravel to stop parents getting bogged in the rain when they drive their kids to school; it is about removing dangerous corners. Many of these remote roads haven’t been touched since the Great Depression,” he said.
“This new funding will support our existing record investment under the Government’s 10-year, $110 billion nationwide infrastructure plan.”
Media Contact : Leonie Lloyd-Smith November 4, 2021.