Applications are now open for the new Safer Local Roads and Infrastructure Program (SLRIP), which is set to boost safety across Australia’s road network.  

The new program will provide increased funding for projects to address current and emerging priorities in road infrastructure needs. 

Applications can be for projects seeking to improve road safety, productivity, bridge renewal, road resilience, sustainability and/or heavy vehicle rest areas. 

The program consolidates the Bridges Renewal Program (BRP) and Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program (HVSPP), with the Heavy Vehicle Rest Area initiative continuing to operate under the new program. 

At least $200 million will be available for projects under SLRIP each year. 

State and territory governments and local councils are able to apply for funding of up to $5 million per project through the program.  

Applications for SLRIP will remain open on a rolling basis.  

As part of this commitment to road safety, the Federal Government is also releasing new guidelines for the Black Spot Program, with flexibility to address locations where crashes are occurring or are at risk of occurring.  

Black Spot Program funding will also progressively increase to $150 million per year, meaning more money for improving some of the most dangerous sections of road.  

The crash history requirements for a Black Spot have been reduced outside of urban areas, allowing problems to be addressed sooner. Works can be ‘bundled’ together in areas such as those with high pedestrian activity.  

Anyone can nominate a Black Spot for consideration.  

Further, Roads to Recovery funding has risen to $650 million in 2024 up from $500 million the previous year and will continue to rise to $1 billion by 2027-28 per year onwards. 

These changes are set to help ensure funding is stable, predictable and fair into the future. 

Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Catherine King, said that the Federal Government recognises that local governments in particular require more funding to manage the rising costs and increased pressure on transport infrastructure due to climate change and extreme weather events. 

“The increased funding for the Safer Local Roads and Infrastructure Program is a part of a series of changes aimed at strengthening investment in safer, more productive local roads across Australia,” Minister King said.  

“This additional investment in the Commonwealth’s two cornerstone local roads investment programs will lead to safer and more productive roads across Australia. 

“We are committed to delivering the funding local councils need to improve road safety and in a way that reduces the burden on them, allowing more money to be spent on projects and less on administration.” 

Federal Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories, Kristy McBain, said that local road networks, particularly in regions, are ageing and under growing demand, which is why the government has engaged extensively with local councils around how it can continue to support the delivery of their targeted road improvements. 

“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,” Minister McBain said.  

“These funding increases will support councils to progress a pipeline of future projects – to make the local roads we use every day safer, and to ensure that heavy vehicles can deliver essential products and services more efficiently.” 

Federal Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Senator Carol Brown, said that the new guidelines for the Black Spot Program have increased the amount that the Federal Government can contribute to any one project and timelines for delivery, to enable larger scale works to be delivered.  

“This will ensure problems can be addressed sooner, boosting safety for vulnerable road users,” Senator Brown said.  

“We have worked closely with local government stakeholders to ensure that changes to the programs respond to their feedback and funding gets spent where it is needed more quickly.  

“I thank the community for their valuable input, which has been fundamental to the success of this long-running program.”  

Image: King Ropes Access/shutterstock.com 

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