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Roads upgrade pilot still accepting applications

Federal govt to inject much-needed cash to the rural and regional roads upgrade program

Applications will close soon for the federal government’s Remote Roads Upgrade Pilot Program.

The program is expected to pave the way for upgrades to some of Australia’s forgotten roads.

The government has committed $150 million for upgrades to unsealed roads throughout remote Australia, many of which haven’t been worked on since the Great Depression.

Councils can now apply to have projects that are important to them funded and delivered, with the Government covering up to 80 per cent of total project costs.

The projects will deliver an important economic boost to remote towns and communities, creating jobs for locals and opportunities for local businesses and suppliers.

Transport and regional development minister Barnaby Joyce says the government is continuing to invest in the future of regional and remote Australia.

“Our government is delivering the projects that regional Australians need to live and get ahead,” Joyce says.

“Remote roads are out of sight and out of mind for most Australians, but that doesn’t make them any less important to our supply chains and the freight operators and regional Australians who rely on them.

“We’re investing in these upgrades because they will keep Australians who choose to live in remote areas safe on their local roads, towns and communities connected, and freight moving.

“These upgrades will give mums and dads confidence they can get their children to school when it rains, or complete a trip to the supermarket to purchase the products their household needs.

“Improving remote roads will also support our regional businesses, ensuring their products continue to reach supermarkets and ports and keeping them connected with international markets.

“Regional Australians deserve the same services and opportunities as people living in our capital cities and that’s why we’re investing in the projects that are important to people living off the beaten track.”

The government recognises the costs to upgrade rural and regional roads is often prohibitive for local governments, which is why we are providing this vital funding for neglected roads.

Unsealed or degraded roads 20 kilometres or longer with a low safety rating are eligible for funding under the program.

The project must not have previously received funding under another program, or received significant investment in the last five years.

Joyce says the program will also play a pivotal role in improving road safety.

“Death and serious injury as a result of driving on roads occur at a disproportionate rate in regional and remote areas compared to cities,” he says.

“Our government remains committed to delivering improved road safety outcomes and essential infrastructure nationwide and this program will help us achieve our goals.”

Last day for applications is Sunday, February 20, 2022.

For more information, including program guidelines, click here.

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