$2.2 billion road safety boost

The federal government announced it will deliver an additional $2.2 billion in road safety funding.

The announcement locks in $1.1 billion in funding for local governments under the Roads to Recovery program, which allows investment in road safety infrastructure in regional Australia.

An extra $550 million for the Black Spot Program, which targets known high-risk locations and according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison has reduced serious crashes by 30 per cent.

A further $571.1 million has been announced to improve the safety and efficiency of heavy vehicle operations through the Bridges Renewal Program, Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program and Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiatives.

Mr. Morrison said the funding comes following more than a thousand Australian road deaths last year.

“Keeping Australians safe is my Government’s number one priority.

“These programs mean local councils decide where the money should be spent. They are in the best position to identify black spots and problem areas,” Mr. Morrison said.

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said a new Office of Road Safety will also be established.

“The Office of Road Safety will provide a national point for collaboration and leadership on key road safety priorities, working closely with states, territories, local government, and key road safety stakeholders.

“The government are building safer roads and bridges. This means safer heavy vehicle operations, which is critical to our goal of reducing road trauma on the nation’s roads,” Mr. McCormack said.

“2018 saw 81 fewer deaths nationwide compared to 2017, but there is no room for complacency. We must push ahead with practical measures and infrastructure funding to drive road deaths towards zero.”

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said road safety was a key concern for every member of the community and that the public would benefit greatly from the investment.

“Road widening, new overtaking lanes and intersection improvements are all important steps we can take to make our roads safer.”

“As a Government we are able to deliver important investments like our $2.2 billon Road Safety Package as a result of our strong economic management,” Mr. Frydenberg said.

The Government is committed to working in a bipartisan spirit to progress the 12 recommendations made by the National Road Safety Strategy Inquiry in September 2018.

The additional funding builds on the Australian Government’s current investment of around $2.6 billion in safety-enhancing projects, bringing the total investment to $3.1 billion per year over the period 2019–20 to 2022–23.


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