The Albanese Government is now threatening thousands more local projects by taking aim at a raft of longstanding local road programs.
In disturbing revelations in Senate Estimates, the Roads to Recovery program, Bridges Renewal Program, Black Spot Program and the Heavy Vehicle Safety & Productivity Program are all now at risk of being axed under Labor’s 90-day infrastructure pipeline review.
These programs are designed to help reduce vehicle accidents, eliminate dangerous sections of roads and supplement councils’ road funding.
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Senator Bridget McKenzie said local councils across regional Australia are now being thrown into uncertainty with flow-on effects to local contractors, businesses and communities.
“This has all the hallmarks of a scorched earth policy against all councils highly regarded road programs,” Senator McKenzie said.
“By including these programs in the infrastructure review, the Labor Government is signalling a complete rethink on Commonwealth road funding to local councils.
Member for Capricornia said these programs have a strong legacy and have made Capricornia roads safer for decades.
“Programs like the road safety Black Spot Program and Roads to Recovery provide critical funding that have given road users in Capricornia and their families greater peace of mind for decades,” Ms Landry said.
“There have been many sections of roads that have been upgraded through the Black Spot Program to improve the safety of motorists; Derby Street/East Street intersection, William Street/Davis Street intersection, Moores Creek Road, Feez Street and Kerrigan Street roundabout, Glenmore Road/Main Street intersection and Richardson Road and Red Hill Shopping complex intersection.
“Our local councils depend on this funding to upgrade and maintain our local roads, intersections and highways.
“If Labor’s review scraps Roads to Recovery the local councils in Capricornia will be forced to jack up rates on families to maintain its commitment to fixing local roads.
“These programs support local priorities in country communities to fund much needed upgrades for tens of thousands of kilometres of roads and have never been at risk under previous Labor governments.
“This Budget has been a litany of disasters for Capricornia and confirms that regional communities like ours are indeed in the middle of a two-year funding drought thanks to the Albanese Government.”