Local road funding announced

28 Sep 2018 Warracknabeal Herald, Warracknabeal VIC (General News) LOCAL council roads will get a massive boost the with the State Government unveiling a $100 million Fixing Country Roads Program as part of a record $941 million regional roads investment. It is the Victorian Governments commitment to regional Victorians to improve the condition of their local roads and $100 million has been provided for grants to rural and regional councils to undertake local road projects beyond regular road maintenance. Welcomed assistance Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford, has welcomed the introduction of the Fixing Country Roads Program, which will assist rural and regional councils with grants to fix local roads and bridges. Im confident this funding will make a big difference for local councils across Western Victoria and will ensure council managed roads arent left behind, Ms Pulford said. This fund is not a blank cheque for councils. It comes with strict requirements to ensure money is actually spent on local roads, she said. Weve heard what regional Victorians have had to say about their local roads, now were investing $100 million over two years to help local councils deliver safer, faster and more reliable journeys, Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Luke Donnellan, said. Assistance for Councils Projects to assist councils improve the current state of their local roads to enhance the connectivity, reliability and efficiency of regional communities through projects such as: Pavement quality improvements including, pavement rehabilitations and sealing of gravel roads; Reconstructing damaged roads, with priority given to strategic transport links or connections to essential community services; Bridge improvement works including bridge strengthening/replacement on strategic routes; Capacity upgrades to promote better traffic flow and journey efficiency and reliability including intersection improvements; Local road intersection improvements; or Safety upgrades on local roads. Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan joined Member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes near Benalla to open the first round of the Governments $100 million Fixing Country Roads Program. Biggest Blitz These grants come on top of the biggest road maintenance blitz regional Victoria has ever seen, $333 million is being invested this year to repair, rebuild and resurface 1500 kilometres of country roads, creating more than 650 construction jobs in regional Victoria. This fund will make a big difference for our local councils, making sure that council managed roads arent left behind as we roll out our record investment in country roads, Member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes, said at the announcement. The Government has more than doubled their road maintenance spending since coming to office and established Regional Roads Victoria a new, dedicated country roads authority to oversee this record investment. Weve heard what regional Victorians have had to say about their local roads, now were investing funds to help local councils deliver safer, faster and more reliable journeys, Jaala Pulford said. Round one Grants of up to $500,000 will be funded in round one. This includes grants of up to $15,000 which councils can use to develop projects for submission in round two. Recognising that not all councils have the same capacity to source cocontributions, this is not mandatory in round one, to ensure all eligible councils are able to deliver projects. In round one, councils that choose to fund projects beyond $500,000, will be met with a co-contribution from the State Government on the Round 2 funding co-contribution basis. This co-contribution is limited up to the project cap of $1.5 million. Applications for round one of the Fixing Country Roads Program are now open until October 15. Successful council projects will be delivered by June 2019. Round two Grants of up to $1.5 million will be funded in round two. Applications for round two will open in early 2019. Co-contribution is mandatory in round two and applicants are required to make a financial contribution or source third party funding for each submission. Recognising rural councils have a lower ratepayer base in comparison to the size of the network, a 2:1 State/Council funding contribution will be offered to rural councils and a 1:1 funding contribution to regional councils. Information Successful grant applications for Round 1 will be announced in late October 2018. Round 2 recipients will be notified in mid-2019. Construction of projects funded in Round-1 must be completed by June 30, 2019 and Round-2 projects must be completed by June 30, 2020. For more information or to apply visit regionalroads.vic. gov.au. Yarriambiack intentions Yarriambiack CEO, Jessie Holmes, believes the program is an important acknowledgment that rural road funding requires significant investment and this allows for projects to be delivered in a manner consistent with asset management principles adopted by local councils. The guidelines were released yesterday so we are still working which exact projects we have that will be eligible but believe we will have a number of them, she said. Yarriambiack will be going for the maximum amount of $500,000 in year one to be spent by June 30, 2019. We will also be positioning ourselves to go for the maximum funding in year two, which will require matching unlike year one, Ms Holmes concluded.