Local councils will undertake more than 55 road upgrades and share in a total of $132.5 million in funding under Round Six of the Federal Government’s Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program.
These projects are part of the 93 road upgrade works that were announced by Acting Prime Minister and Minster for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack.
The program aims to increase productivity and safety of heavy vehicles by building the capacity of existing roads and improving connections to Australia’s freight networks.
Brewarrina Shire Council has been allocated $5 million to help fund the council’s $28 million sealing of Goodooga Road and replace two bridges between Brewarrina and Hebel to reduce travel times and transport costs.
Mid Coast Council will use $5 million in funding from the federal program to realign and widen 12.65 kilometres of The Bucketts Way through the construction of nine individual projects and the construction of passing lanes at three locations to increase heavy vehicle access and improve safety.
Mr McCormack said one of the keys to success of the program is the input of local knowledge from councils to address local road issues.
“By upgrading these routes and rolling out supporting infrastructure such as rest stops and parking bays, heavy vehicle operators across the country will enjoy safer, quicker and more productive journeys,” Mr McCormack said.
Assistant Minister for Roads and Transport Scott Buchholz said the productivity improvements of a more efficient freight system would provide major benefits across a number of industries and allow them to compete more effectively in domestic and international trade markets.
“The Federal Government’s commitment of $132.5 million in this round of the program will be matched by local councils and State and Territory Governments, delivering a total investment of at least $319 million towards these vital projects,” Mr Buchholz said.
Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Andrew Broad said supporting the trucking industry was critical for road safety.
“Today’s announcement means more than $3.7 million will be spent to improve heavy vehicle rest stops on the Murray Valley Highway, providing more opportunities for drivers to rest, making trips from paddock to port safer for truckies in regional Victoria, as well as on many similar projects around the nation,” he said.