Significant boost for road safety

The Albanese Government is strengthening its commitment to road safety with significant increases in funding and changes to programs to reduce the administrative burden on local councils.

Roads to Recovery funding will rise gradually from $500 million to $1 billion per year, and Black Spot funding will increase from the current annual commitment of $110 million to $150 million per year.

This additional investment in the Commonwealth’s two cornerstone local roads investment programs will lead to safer and more productive roads across Australia.

We are also committed to delivering the funding local councils need to improve road safety and in a way that reduces the burden on them, allowing more money to be spent on projects and less on administration.

We will merge the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program (HVSPP) and the Bridges Renewal Program (BRP) into a new Safer Local Roads and Infrastructure Program.

The amount of funding for the new program will also gradually increase such that $200 million will be available per year, up from the current $150 million total annual investment in the HVSPP and the BRP.

The changes have been recommended by the Independent Strategic Review of the Infrastructure Investment Program and the increases in funding will be phased in over the forward estimates to avoid putting pressure on inflation, supply costs and the construction labour market.

We will be working with local government stakeholders in the lead-up to the Budget to ensure that changes to the programs respond to their feedback and funding gets spent where it is needed more quickly.

The Government recognises that local governments require more funding to manage the rising costs and increased pressure on transport infrastructure due to climate change and extreme weather events.

These changes will also help ensure funding is stable, predictable and fair into the future.

The Albanese Government is committed to investing more money in the projects and programs that deliver real benefits to Australians across the country.

Quotes attributable to the Minister Catherine King:

“Big roads and metropolitan highways might get a lot of the attention, but we spend most of our driving lives on local roads around where we live and where we work.

“Regional road networks have been battered by severe weather events over the last few years. This funding will help councils to fix and maintain our roads.

“This investment will support regional communities, and help move freight to and from our rural production centres.

“This funding increase will give councils certainty and the ability to plan, along with a reduction in the administrative burden.

“We are doing this in a responsible way, to give councils the funding they need while also ensuring the increase doesn’t put pressure on inflation.”

Quotes attributable to Minister, Kristy McBain:

In discussions with local councils, strengthening capacity to maintain their local road network has been at the top of their agenda.

We’ve listened and will inject more money where it counts – making it easier for local councils to access the support they need to progress their priority road projects.

This will make a huge difference for councils outside of our big cities in particular – which have significant and ageing road networks under more demand than ever, as people flock to our regions.

When all levels of government work together, we get better results in our communities, which is why we’ll continue to collaborate with local leaders across the country as we roll out this additional support.

Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister, Carol Brown:

“Local governments look after more than 85% of Australian roads.

“Our local governments are the cornerstone of delivering road safety improvements across the road networks in our communities.

“This extra funding will help us all reach the Vision Zero target, that is zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads by 2050.”

Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister Anthony Chisholm:

“We’re committed to working constructively with councils across Australia, because we know the best outcomes are only achieved when we work together. This announcement is a prime example of our commitment to continuing that collaboration.

“As our major regional centres continue to grow, that means more cars on our roads. We’re committed to delivering the infrastructure upgrades that our growing regions need to improve travel times and protect lives on our roads.

“This significant boost in funding through the Australian Government’s two cornerstone local roads investment programs will lead to safer and more productive roads across Australia.”