• Loddon Herald

Remote road upgrade pilot

Guidelines are now available and applications open for the Liberal and Nationals Government’s Remote Roads Upgrade Pilot Program, paving the way for much-needed upgrades to some of Australia’s forgotten roads.

The Government has committed $150 million for upgrades to unsealed roads throughout remote Australia, many of which haven’t been worked on since the Great Depression.

Councils across Mallee can now apply to have projects that are important to them funded and delivered.

Federal Member for Mallee, Anne Webster, said the funding will improve quality of life in regional and remote areas by increasing accessibility to regional communities and delivering essential infrastructure.

“The Government recognises the costs of upgrading rural and regional roads are often prohibitive for local governments,” Dr Webster said.

“To ensure these important projects are funded, the Government will be funding up to 80 per cent of the approved projects to deliver improved key road networks and road safety.

“Locals will have better access to cultural, social, recreational, educational, medical and economic opportunities in their area as a result of our investment.

“I look forward to working closely with local councils to secure funding for important road upgrades.”

Unsealed or degraded roads 20km or longer with a low safety rating are eligible for funding under the program. The project must not have previously received funding under another program, or received significant investment in the last five years.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the Government is continuing to invest in the future of regional and remote Australia.

“Our Government is delivering the projects that regional Australians need to live and get ahead,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“Remote roads are out of sight and out of mind for most Australians, but that doesn’t make them any less important to our supply chains and the freight operators and regional Australians who rely on them.

“We’re investing in these upgrades because they will keep Australians who choose to live in remote areas safe on their local roads, towns and communities connected, and freight moving.

“These upgrades will give mums and dads confidence they can get their children to school when it rains,

or complete a trip to the supermarket to purchase the products their household needs.

“Improving remote roads will also support our regional businesses, ensuring their products continue to reach supermarkets and ports and keeping them connected with international markets.

“Regional Australians deserve the same services and opportunities as people living in our capital cities and that’s why we’re investing in the projects that are important to people living off the beaten track.”

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