The federal government has announced that it will be spending more than $290 million under Round 5 of its Bridges Renewal Program (BRP) and Round 7 of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program (HVSPP).
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the funding, which will be allocated to more than 350 projects, would improve the productivity and safety of bridges and heavy vehicle routes nationwide, while supporting jobs and the economy at a time it’s needed most.
“I am pleased to deliver more than $290 million in funding to help upgrade and replace bridges that have been damaged or are deteriorating, while improving key heavy vehicle infrastructure right across the nation,” Mr McCormack said.
“With nearly 80 per cent of this funding going to local councils, the outcome of these rounds will support local workers, households and businesses through a difficult time and position the Australian economy for a strong recovery.
“By improving our road network, this funding will also help keep people safe on our roads while making key freight routes more efficient, delivering long-term benefits to drivers, businesses and local communities.
“This includes our truckies who form an essential part of the backbone of our national economy and have been working tirelessly during COVID-19 to keep shelves stocked, hospitals supplied and the economy running.
“This is just the latest example of the funding flowing under our record $100 billion infrastructure pipeline, with the continued roll out of road infrastructure projects supporting local jobs, underpinning economic growth and making sure all Australians can reach their destinations sooner and safer.”
Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said that 50 per cent of the funding package would benefit communities affected by the ongoing drought and last summer’s bushfires.
“$146.97 million in funding through these rounds will go to councils affected by bushfires, drought or both, allowing them to prioritise and fast-track their highest priority infrastructure projects while supporting much-needed local jobs and the economy,” Mr Buchholz said.
“Round 7 of the HVSPP includes livestock transport industry projects that will directly support communities currently impacted by drought, such as Longreach Regional Council in Queensland, who were successful in securing federal funding to upgrade the popular Western Queensland Livestock Exchange.
“This project will upgrade the loading and unloading ramps at the facility to improve traffic movement, providing secure work on the books of local contractors and businesses who have felt the cumulative impact of drought and now COVID-19 during construction while delivering lasting benefits to the region for years to come.
“This is just one example of the many impactful projects being funded, with Round 5 of the BRP also providing an opportunity for many councils to begin the process of replacing or upgrading bridges damaged in recent bushfire events
“Already more than 500 projects funded through the BRP and HVSPP across the country have either been completed or are well underway and I look forward to getting shovels in the ground on these next projects.”