$13.3m for local roads

WELLINGTON Shire Council will receive more than $13.3 million from the federal government for local road construction and street repairs.

The funding will be delivered during the next four years under the federal government’s $2.1 billion Roads to Recovery program.

This includes Wellington Shire’s annual allocation of $2.2 million for the 2014-15 financial year.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss is writing to all councils advising them of their full allocations under the Roads to Recovery program.

Gippsland MHR Darren Chester said the money would make a difference in building roads, repairing streets and creating better access across the community.

He said the government was doubling Roads to Recovery payments to councils next year (2015-16), describing it as “a tremendous windfall for muchneeded local road works”.

“Importantly, the Roads to Recovery program is set up for councils to make road spending decisions based on local needs — without interference from Canberra — to ensure that funding is truly directed to where it is most needed in the community,” Mr Chester said.

“The Australian Government has extended Roads to Recovery for another five years to ensure councils all over Australia receive the funding they need to ensure local roads are safe, our communities are well connected and moving freight in and out of town is efficient.”

Mr Chester said Wellington Shire Council would receive its funding allocations next month.

He said local councils could lodge their applications this month, which would allow payments under the new Roads to Recovery program to be made this November.

“Through Roads to Recovery, the Australian Government is supporting our councils with the ongoing maintenance of Australia’s local road infrastructure, facilitating greater access, improving safety, and driving economic and social advances.”

Mr Chester said Wellington Shire Council would also get access to the $565 million Black Spot and $248 million Heavy Vehicle programs, the new $300 million Bridges Renewal program and the new $1 billion National Stronger Regions Fund.