Welcome boost to road safety but more investment needed
Queensland councils have welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement of increased roads funding, a move that will help improve road safety outcomes across the state.
The Local Government Association of Queensland said today’s announcement would allow councils to secure funding needed to progress vital projects while also creating employment opportunities.
The Government has promised an additional $1.1 billion in funding over 10 years for local governments under the Roads to Recovery program, which allows investment in road safety infrastructure in regional Australia, and an extra $550 million for the successful Black Spot Program, which targets known high-risk locations.
LGAQ chief executive Greg Hallam welcomed today’s announcement, saying the Roads to Recovery program in particular was a powerful example of how councils were best placed to decide which projects needed to be prioritised to improve and maintain the efficiency and safety of Australia’s road network.
However, he said the funds were only a partial solution and local councils across Australia would continue to push for a minimum of $800 million a year to be invested in the Roads to Recovery program.
The announcement also included a further $571.1 million 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 as well as a commitment to establish the Office of Road Safety.
“Addressing the road toll requires a coordinated response across all three levels of government, and leadership from the Commonwealth is vital in this regard” Mr Hallam said.
“As part of our seven-point plan for the upcoming federal election, the LGAQ has pushed the major parties to deliver increased funding across the range of federally funded roads programs. Today’s announcement is great start ahead of next week’s federal budget but more needs to be done”.
“We look forward to seeing how the Opposition and other parties respond”.
Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006
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