The Federal Government has announced that more than $33 million will be distributed to 16 road and bridge projects across regional and rural Australia, increasing freight productivity and improving road safety.  

The 16 projects come from across Australia, from the Lower Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, Rockhampton in Queensland, through to the Shire of Merredin in Western Australia. 

Over $18.8 million will support upgrading old and worn timber bridges to modern structures that can take more weight, are better equipped for major weather events and are safer for both vehicles and pedestrians. 

Projects include:  

  • $5 million to replace the timber bridge on Purga School Road with an industry-standard two-lane structure in Purga, Queensland 
  • Over $3 million to replace four single-lane bridges on Bass Valley Road in Poowong, Victoria 
  • Over $1 million to construct a two-way concrete bridge on Brownlow Hill Loop Road in Brownlow Hill, New South Wales  

More than $14.8 million will support improvements to roads used in freight routes, including the installation of intersections, widening roads, sealing roads and installing safety barriers – to increase the productivity and safety of heavy vehicle operations. 

Projects include: 

  • Almost $3 million to upgrade Carcuma Road in Coorong District, South Australia, allowing larger, more efficient trucks to use the road 
  • Over $2.6 million to upgrade the Merredin Wheat Precinct in Western Australia, including intersection widening, closure of an intersection, auxiliary turning lanes, railway crossing widening and pavement strengthening 
  • Over $2.5 million to upgrade a 3.4km section of Golconda Road between Little Forester River and North Blumont Road in Tasmania, including rebuilding key sections along with widening and other safety improvements 

To support local councils to continue to deliver high-priority road safety improvements, the government has established the new, $200 million Safer Local Roads and Infrastructure Program – which includes $50 million in additional funding. This program is now open for applications. 

Federal Minister for Regional Development and Local Government, Kristy McBain, said that regional road networks are ageing and under growing demand, which is why the government is continuing to partner with councils to get their targeted road improvements off the ground. 

“Projects sharing in this $33.7 million will make these local road networks safer, and also ensure that heavier freight vehicles can utilise direct routes to deliver essential products and services,” Minister McBain said.  

“When we work together, we get better outcomes, which is why we’ve significantly increased the road funding available to local councils. 

“We’re progressively doubling Roads to Recovery to $1 billion per year, increasing the Road Black Spot program to $150 million per year, and establishing the $200 million Safer Local Roads and Infrastructure Program – a $50 million boost.”  

Federal Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Senator Carol Brow, said that without truckies, Australia stops.  

“That’s why we are investing in keeping them safe on our roads,” Senator Brow said.  

“Road safety is a shared responsibility. We all must do our part to ensure every road user gets home safely. 

“We want to make our busiest freight routes safer for truckies and everyone using our roads.  

“I am pleased to see another seven heavy vehicle safety projects come to life, which will increase safety and reliability for the trucking industry across Australia while bolstering access through local rural communities.” 

Image: Daria Nipot/shutterstock.com 

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