Changes to Black Spot Programme for safer regional roads

Media Release

JB056/2014

18 June 2014

The Australian Government is delivering on its promise to broaden the eligibility criteria of the national Black Spot Programme to make it easier for regional communities to compete for a record $200 million in additional funding for vital road safety projects.

In 2015-16 and 2016-17 the Australian Government will almost triple its investment in the Black Spot Programme to $160 million a year.

At least 50 per cent of the funding in this period will be dedicated to fixing roads in regional Australia, where more than 60 per cent of road deaths and 35 per cent of serious injuries occur.

In addition to this, the minimum required benefit cost ratio for funded projects will be reduced from 2:1 to 1:1, making more projects eligible.

The crash history requirement for black spots will also be reduced from three to two casualty crashes in five years.

These changes are being introduced to ensure we build economically productive infrastructure across regional Australia whilst also delivering genuine road safety solutions to the communities that need it most.

Re-focusing the programme's criteria will also help to address the increased risks motorists face on regional roads with the per capita risk of death or hospitalisation following a crash in a rural area significantly higher than urban areas.

Black Spot Programme Consultative Panels are already established in each state and territory to independently consider and prioritise nominated sites for funding.

Panels can direct up to 40 per cent of programme funding to fixing Black Spots that do not meet the crash history criterion, provided they have undergone an independent safety audit.

The Australian Government's record $500 million investment in the Black Spot Programme will help save lives, boost productivity and create new local jobs throughout Australia.

Where there is a known crash history, anyone can nominate a black spot in their area for funding.

Nomination forms for Black Spot Projects are available at: investment.infrastructure.gov.au/funding/blackspots/.