The Liberal and Nationals Government today launched a new $150 million Remote Roads Upgrade Pilot Program.
The trial program will target unsealed roads throughout remote Australia, many of which haven’t been upgraded since the Great Depression.
Councils will be offered between 80% and 100% of funding to upgrade unsealed roads and improve safety with works including resurfacing, removing dangerous corners and managing vegetation.
Nationals Senate Leader and Senator for Victoria, Bridget McKenzie said the funding would make a real difference to rural and regional communities.
“The Government recognises local government bears the brunt of the often significant costs of upgrading rural and regional roads, and we are stepping in to back councils to undertake crucial works,” Senator McKenzie said.
“We will partner with local government to deliver this funding and address many neglected roads that most people don’t see.
“Everyone should have access to local community centres, including schools and medical care, and nobody should be cut off from their township because of the condition of the roads.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said regional towns are the lifeblood of the nation, and every Australian deserves safe and efficient roads regardless of where they live.
“This is not about sealing roads; it is about making them safer. It is about putting down gravel to stop parents getting bogged in the rain when they drive their kids to school; it is about removing dangerous corners. Many of these remote roads haven’t been touched since the Great Depression,” he said.
“This new funding will support our existing record investment under the Government’s 10-year, $110 billion nationwide infrastructure plan.