Councils to receive greater road funding

Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories, Kristy McBain, Federal Member for Paterson, Meryl Swanson and the Mayor of Port Stephens, Ryan Palmer at the Avenue of the Allies, Tanilba Bay.

THE Federal Government has announced a significant increase to the funding available to local councils for road maintenance and upgrades.

Nationally, Roads to Recovery (RTR) funding will rise gradually from $500 million to $1 billion per year, and Black Spot funding will increase from the current annual commitment of $110 million to $150 million per year.

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The Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program (HVSPP) and the Bridges Renewal Program (BRP) will be merged into a new, Safer Local Roads and Infrastructure Program.

Funding for this new program will gradually increase from the current combined annual investment of the BRP and the HVSPP of $150 million, to $200 million per year.

Locally, the Government is investing over $480,000 under R2R towards the upgrade of the Avenue of the Allies, Tanilba Bay – which is supporting pavement widening, installation of additional drainage, and improved intersection layouts.

Under the BRP, the Government has contributed $150,000 towards the Notts Creek Bridge replacement on Oakendale Road in Glen Oak.

The project is expected to be complete by late 2023, and will see the ageing timber bridge replaced with a new concrete structure.

“Every cent counts for local councils, not just in Port Stephens, but across regional communities – because they are calling on us to provide more services than ever before,” said Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer.

“We welcome this additional roads funding from the Albanese Government – because it will play a significant role in how we plan for and deliver the upgrades that locals expect to see.

“The Port Stephens region is fast growing, which is why we want our roads to be ready for the increased demand – whether that’s in residential areas, or some of our key tourist routes – and this extra funding will help us do just that.”

Federal Member for Paterson Meryl Swanson said the Hunter’s “significant and ageing” road networks are under more demand than ever as more people choose to live in the region.

“We drive on local roads every day for school, for sport, and to get to work – and councils are responsible for ensuring that they are safe and fit-for-purpose,” Ms Swanson said.

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