Bushfire-affected communities could receive $300 million to upgrade or repair bridges as part of two Federal Government funding programs.
The funding will be available to councils under round five of the Federal Government’s Bridges Renewal Program and round seven of the Heavy Vehicles Safety and Productivity program.
Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Minister Michael McCormack said it has been an incredibly difficult start to the year for many regional communities, particularly those suffering from drought and bushfires.
“Many bridges and roads were damaged in the fires which is why we are continuing to work closely with Local Councils and State and Territory Governments to prioritise and fast-track projects which can be delivered quickly,” McCormack said.
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“But of course, these funding rounds are open to all areas – both city and country – and we’d like to see applications from right across the nation.”
Assistant Road Safety and Freight Transport Minister Scott Buchholz said new infrastructure projects means jobs.
“It means more people spending money in local shops and cafés which will provide a huge boost to bushfire-affected economies and also those struggling through drought,” Buchholz said.
“Efficient freight networks are critical to the national economy and this funding forms part of the Federal Government’s commitment to keeping heavy vehicle drivers safe and improving our road network.”
The Federal Government is providing $640 million to the Bridges Renewal Program from 2015-16 to 2022-23, with an on-going commitment of $85 million each year following and $508 million to the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program from 2013-14 to 2022-23 financial year.