ALGA National Roads and Transport Congress in Ballarat forges new connections
18 November 2015
‘Connecting communities and building the nation’ is the theme of this year's Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) National Local Roads and Transport Congress, which opened yesterday in Ballarat.
Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss addressed the Congress this morning and said the 2015 theme could not be more apt, as it emphasises the importance of connecting Australian communities to create a strong nation.
“This year's host city, Ballarat, is an excellent example of a regional community that has prospered through its road and rail connections to Melbourne and other regional Victorian centres,” Mr Truss said.
“As a nation we need to make the best use of different transport modes, linked by intermodal hubs, to suit local needs while also connecting communities to the wider national transport network.
“This is why the Australian Government made a record $50 billion commitment to upgrade transport infrastructure at both the national and local level.
“The $50 billion infrastructure investment package translates into thousands of kilometres of new and upgraded roads and railways, improved road and rail access to airports and seaports, and extensive improvements to local last mile roads and streets.”
Mr Truss said great examples of major projects included WestConnex in Sydney, the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing, NorthLink in Western Australia, the Pacific and Bruce Highway upgrades and the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project.
“The Australian Government is also making funding available for local transport projects through the Financial Assistance Grant Programme, the Bridges Renewal Programme, the Black Spot Programme, the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Programme and Roads to Recovery,” he said.
“In the 14 years it has been operating, Roads to Recovery has become essential to local councils to assist them to maintain over 650,000 kilometres of local roads. The Roads to Recovery programme has more than $1 billion allocated across Australia in 2015–16 and 2016–17.”
More information on Australian Government funding for transport projects is online at http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au.