Commonwealth and State governments collaborate to deliver millions in regional road safety improvements
The Australian and Western Australian governments are working together to deliver road safety treatments across thousands of kilometres of regional Western Australian roads.
Part of the Targeted Road Safety Program, an initial $100 million partnership was established earlier this year to upgrade 1,400 kilometres of regional roads across the State.
These works are already underway and are expected to be complete by mid-2021.
Building on the success of this first tranche of targeted road safety upgrades, $284 million has been notionally allocated by the Morrison-McCormack Government to Western Australia under the $2 billion Road Safety Program, with a further $71 million provided by the State Government.
The Australian Government's funding for the Road Safety Program is subject to 'use it or lose it' provisions and will deliver life-saving treatments to regional roads across Western Australia, while also supporting local jobs and providing a welcome boost to local economies.
The 'use it or lose it' provisions require States and Territories to use their notionally allocated funds within a timeframe, or the funds can be reallocated to projects in other jurisdictions.
The lifesaving treatments in Western Australia expected to be rolled out by mid-2022 include sealing existing unsealed road shoulders and installing audible edge lines to alert drivers who have left the travel lane.
These treatments have been shown to reduce the number of single vehicle 'run off road' crashes and modelling indicates the potential to reduce road trauma by up to 60 per cent.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Morrison-McCormack Government had allocated billions of dollars to road improvements across regional Australia.
"We committed $500 million for targeted road safety upgrades as part of our infrastructure stimulus package in June, as well as an additional $2 billion for the Road Safety Program in the 2020–21 Budget," the Deputy Prime Minister said.
"The Australian Government is pleased to partner with the Western Australian Government to deliver these much needed upgrades."
Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan said these programs would roll out life saving treatments on up to 7,000 kilometres of roads in total across regional Western Australia.
"As the economy rebuilds we have more people getting back to business and work, as well as people choosing to 'Wander out Yonder' in our beautiful State, it's important we make sure our roads are safe for all users," Premier McGowan said.
"This unprecedented amount of funding will support local jobs and provide a much needed economic boost to the regions."
Western Australian Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said there was now up to $455 million to upgrade regional roads all across the State over the next two years.
"Up to 7,000 kilometres of regional roads will now be scheduled for the roll out of these much needed treatments with works to be completed by mid-2022," Minister Saffioti said.
"Our Government was instrumental in getting this program on the national agenda and I want to thank the Commonwealth Government for their contribution."
Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said regional roads were vital to the economy-shaping work of the State's freight fleet.
"From the State's world-class wool to the thriving iron-ore exports, local truckies work hard travelling the regional road network to keep the economy ticking and businesses running by getting goods to markets," Assistant Minister Buchholz said.
"By funding road safety programs like this, we are continuing to support their economy-shaping work while ensuring they make it home safe at the end of each trip - nothing's more important than that."
Further information on the roads to be upgraded through the program will be announced shortly.