A $1.8 billion boost from the Federal Government will be provided for road and community projects through local governments.
Funding will enable local councils to support jobs and businesses by delivering priority projects focused on infrastructure upgrades and maintenance.
The boost comes from the new $500 million Local Road and Community Infrastructure program and the bringing forward of the $1.3 billion 2020-21 Financial Assistance Grant Payment.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said local governments were playing a critical role in responding to the impacts of COVID‑19.
“Our funding boost will help councils accelerate priority projects that will employ locally and support local business and also stimulating our economy,” Mr. Morrison said.
“These projects will cut travel times, make our communities safer and upgrade the facilities we all enjoy while also getting more people into jobs.”
He said this support would be vital, particularly for councils that have faced the combined impacts of drought, bushfires and now COVID-19.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said supporting councils to improve local roads and community infrastructure would have lasting economic and social benefits for communities, particularly those in the regions.
“Projects could include constructing or improving bridges and tunnels, street lighting and heavy vehicle facilities such as rest areas,” Mr. McCormack said.
“Providing support for social infrastructure projects such as new or upgraded bicycle and walking paths, community facilities, picnic shelters and barbeque facilities at parks, will help communities, especially those in regional and remote areas, stay connected.”
Guidelines for the Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program will be provided directly to local governments by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.
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