Road cash comes as councils and NHVR agree on access


National Local Roads and Transport Congress hears positive messages from three spheres of government

Road cash comes as councils and NHVR agree on access
Sal Petroccitto says councils can now approach task more efficiently.

 

Another round of heavy vehicle-focused road funding has been allocated, the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) National Local Roads and Transport Congress has been told.

The $107 million will be available through Round Five of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program to state, territory and Local government for eligible projects

"The program is an important part of our road safety and infrastructure efforts," major projects minster Paul Fletcher says.

"Applications will be open from 2 December 2015 to 10 February 2016."

Fletcher tells the conference that roads were of clear, common interest to all levels of government, and for many councils roads were their largest expenditure item.

The announcement came as the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and ALGA backed the part each plays in supporting regional economic growth.

"We recognise that local roads have always been local government assets and the Heavy Vehicle National Law allows councils to make decisions on the use of those assets and set appropriate conditions," NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto says.

"Access to the 'first and last mile' is critical for heavy vehicle operators and we encourage councils to open up their road network to facilitate economic opportunities.

"By utilising pre-approvals and gazette notices for agreed routes, councils have the opportunity to make the most efficient use of their resources, allowing them time to focus on more complex applications."

ALGA president and Joondalup mayor Troy Pickard supports this approach.

"The challenge we face is making sure that local government roads can play their part in meeting the nation's freight needs, and that our communities understand the contribution to the local, regional and national economy," Pickard says.

The NHVR works with more than 400 road managers, utility providers and rail authorities to coordinate heavy vehicle access to local roads.

Petroccitto says the regulator's focus is on supporting local government to make timely and considered decisions on requests for access.

"Local government, through the use of their road networks, plays a key role in boosting national productivity," he adds.

 

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