Peak bodies combine in call for more road funding

Published: 18th May 2023

Two of Queensland’s most respected peak bodies have combined to call for an increase in funding to tackle the State’s rising road death and injury toll.

The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) and RACQ have joined in their advocacy during National Road Safety Week to highlight the desperate need to increase funding to make Queensland’s roads safer.

Both organisations were part of the Ministerial Road Safety Roundtable in January and welcomed Transport Minister Mark Bailey’s focus on safety, but in the wake of the 297 fatalities in 2022 – Queensland’s worst road toll in more than a decade and an 18 percent increase in fatalities over the previous five-year average – the peak bodies have combined to reinforce the call for more to be done.

Top of the list for councils is an increase in Transport and Infrastructure Development Scheme (TIDS) funding to $100 million to build safer road networks in regional communities.

“While the rate of crashes and fatalities on Queensland’s roads is increasing, critical TIDS funding has not increased since 2015,” LGAQ CEO Alison Smith said.

“This funding flatline means road infrastructure has gone backwards in the face of soaring labour and construction costs.

“Last year’s Budget locked in $70 million a year up to 2025-26 but topping it up to $100 million a year, every year, would make a critical difference to road safety, as well support more than 1,280 jobs, particularly in rural communities.”

The LGAQ has also recommended reinstating the Western Roads Upgrade Program with $25 million a year over the next four years, to help drive tourism, freight and community development as well as increasing maintenance contracts.

“As the growing numbers of tourists discovering Western Queensland can tell you, widening and sealing roads out west would have improve safety while for the resources and other sectors who rely on those routes, it would improve efficiency and reduce maintenance costs,” Ms Smith said.

RACQ CEO David Carter said the State Government needed to prioritise funding for regional roads to address Queensland’s horror road toll which reached a 13-year high at the end of 2022.

“Regional Queensland makes up 36% of the State’s population, but last year accounted for 66% of road deaths,” Mr Carter said.

“Over the years, RACQ has conducted various surveys which show motorists continue to be concerned with the quality and condition of Queensland roads, ranking poor maintenance and safety issues among their main worries.

“The State Government should focus on reducing road trauma by maintaining the elevated Targeted Road Safety Program (TRSP).  We’re calling for all penalty revenue to be dedicated to road safety, and a minimum annual investment of $500 million in the TRSP budget.

“This will help provide safety, capacity, flood immunity and productivity improvements across Queensland.” 

For more information, please contact:
Dan Knowles, LGAQ Media Advisor