Roads to Recovery passes Senate after wrangling

Local Government seeks to make program permanent with guaranteed funding

Roads to Recovery passes Senate after wrangling
Warren Truss says Bill allows roads funds to flow


Relieved councils have welcomed the Senate's passing of legislation extending the Roads to Recovery (R2R) initiative to 2019.

This year’s Federal Budget had provided $350 million to R2R per year until 2019 in the May 2014 Budget, with a doubling of funds for 2015-16,

But Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) president Felicity-ann Lewis has called for the funding to be made permanent to avoid a repeat of this year's political impasse in the Senate.

The Roads to Recovery funding legislation has been caught up in debate of the Land Transport Infrastructure Amendment Bill 2014 which originally passed the House of Representatives on 27 March this year.

"Councils and their communities across Australia have been left in a state of uncertainty for months as the major political parties failed to resolve their differences on matters unrelated to R2R," Lewis says.

"The only way to avoid a repeat of this situation is to make the program permanent and give local government a guaranteed Roads to Recovery program."

Infrastructure and Regional Development minister Warren Truss thanked the Palmer United Party (PUP), Motoring Enthusiast and Family First senators "for their goodwill in working through the issues".

"The $2.1 billion that flows from today’s passage of the Land Transport Infrastructure Amendment Bill 2014 will make a real difference to the ability of councils to deliver the better, safer local roads and streets their communities need," Truss says.

"This Government is committed to building the infrastructure Australia needs… from the local level up."

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