Australia gives $12.1M funding boost to better road networks
Australia’s heavy vehicle industry welcomes the $12.1 million funding boost aimed at delivering a better assessment of road assets across the country.
As part of the government’s Strategic Local Government Asset Assessment Project (SLGAAP), Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said the funding would support efforts to ensure that heavy vehicles have safe and reliable access to high-quality road networks.
“This program is vital for helping road managers better understand their local infrastructure capacity, bringing opportunities for new heavy vehicle networks to move freight efficiently – which will, in turn, bring significant boosts for local economies,” Assistant Minister Buchholz said.
“As the heavy vehicle industry continues to grow, we must make sure that proper assessment is carried out on our roads, particularly across rural and regional Australia.”
The funding boost will allow local government road managers to deliver as many as 1,000 assessments on local government road assets, bringing critical attention to local infrastructures such as bridges, roads and culverts.
It will also support the second phase of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR) SLGAAP.
SLGAAP’s initial first phase had used the $8 million grant from the government to support managers in making informed assessments of more than 200 bridge, road and culvert assets.
Assistant Minister for Local Government Kevin Hogan said the added funding reflects the government’s commitment to the safety of regional and rural communities and the industries that rely on them.
“With this additional funding commitment, we can provide greater support to local governments and assist them with their infrastructure assessment needs,” Assistant Minister Hogan said.
“The work of local governments is essential for maintaining local road infrastructure, and the Australian Government is committed to our shared goal of creating safer and more efficient road networks for all.”
NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto welcomed the additional funding as he notes that the tangible value was already provided by the SLGAAP.
“This funding builds on the critical work already rolling out across our regions, supporting industry and making our communities safer,” CEO Petroccitto said.
“It also means that as decisions are made on upgrading or allowing access to increased road assets, drivers will gain expanded access to local communities and townships, providing them more places to rest in comfort and boosting local economies.”
The NHVR and road managers are currently working through the delivery and assessment of phase two of SLGAAP. They are calling on local governments to submit any assets that may be eligible for assessment.