The 2024-25 Federal Budget has allocated $4.4 billion to the Roads to Recovery program over the next five years, with the Federal Government committing to progressively doubling the program’s funding to $1 billion annually. 

The funding increase will allow local governments to plan for the long-term maintenance and upgrade of their road network, shielding critical road safety measures from the uncertainty of budget cycles. 

Roads to Recovery supports local road construction and maintenance by the local government. 

It directly impacts the quality of local roads, allows for potholes to be filled, pavements to be repaired, culverts to be installed to improve drainage and keep roads open during bad weather, and helps make sure Australians get home safely. 

Local governments in each state and territory will receive additional funding: 

  • New South Wales councils will receive $1.2 billion over five years, an increase of $461 million
  • Victorian councils will receive $895 million over five years, an increase of $368 million
  • Queensland councils will receive $895 million over five years, an increase of $353 million 
  • South Australian councils will receive $395 million over five years, an increase of $153 million
  • Western Australian councils will receive $643 million over five years, an increase of $278 million 
  • Tasmanian councils will receive $143 million over five years, an increase of $60 million
  • Northern Territory councils will receive $128 million over five years, an increase of $55 million
  • The ACT will receive $70 million over five years, an increase of $30 million

The increase in funding will be phased in to avoid putting pressure on inflation, supply costs and the construction labour market.

Roads to Recovery funding for each local government area is determined based on factors such as population and road length. The government has worked closely with councils to ensure that funding is distributed where it is needed and able to be spent more quickly.

Local councils are now being advised of their increased funding allocation. 

The increased funding is part of a series of changes aimed at strengthening investment in safer, more productive local roads across Australia. 

The Black Spot Program funding will also rise from $110 million to $150 million per year, meaning more money for improving some of the most dangerous sections of roads. 

The new Safer Local Roads and Infrastructure Program has $200 million available per year, $50 million more than what was available for the two programs it replaced.

The Federal Government has also committed to improving data collection, providing $21.2 million to the National Road Safety Data Hub, and providing $10.8 million for a National Road Safety and awareness campaign.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Catherine King, said that the Federal Government is committed to ensuring local government road funding is stable, predictable and fair into the future.

“Local councils are our trusted delivery partners and they know where the work on local roads is most needed to improve safety,” Minister King said. 

“That is why we have increased the funding provided through the Roads to Recovery program, delivering on our commitment to improve road safety across Australia.” 

Federal Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories, Kristy McBain, said that the government understands that many Australians spend most of their driving lives on local roads near where they live and work. 

“Councils across Australia have consistently asked for more support so that they can better maintain and upgrade their road networks, especially with the severe weather events that have so heavily impacted local infrastructure in recent years,” Minister McBain said. 

“We have listened to local councils’ calls for more support and will significantly increase the funding available to them – making it easier for councils to progress priority road projects that their communities are calling out for.”

Image: chinasong/shutterstock.com

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