HVIA has welcomed the Government’s commitment to invest a further $40 million for upgrades to bridges on regional roads.
In a boost for the freight industry, the Government will inject an additional $10 million each year for the next four years into the Bridges Renewal Program (BRP), increasing annual funding to $95 million.
HVIA Government Relations and Policy Manager Greg Forbes said the funding is crucial to enabling the most efficient use of Australia’s freight network.
“We welcome the additional funding but call on State and Local Government road managers to prioritise the weak links in the network,” Mr Forbes said.
Projects eligible for funding include replacing and widening bridges, strengthening existing structures, and upgrading floodways to bridges.
“We are asking the Federal Government to tweak the criteria to better support the expansion of national networks for high productivity vehicles,” Mr Forbes added.
“It is not just the highways but the routes in and out of regional centres that need to be included, to guarantee access for our safest and most efficient combinations.”
More than 85 per cent of projects funded under the BRP are located in regional Australia.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the extra funding would support more jobs while boosting regional industry.
“To make our country as strong as possible as quickly as possible we must support the growth of the industries that drive our economy,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“Building new bridges and upgrading existing structures will strengthen our freight network and ensure valuable commodities continue flowing to international and domestic buyers.
“Our additional funding commitment will strengthen regional businesses and our economy, create local jobs, and improve safety for freight drivers and regional communities.”
Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said that the additional funding would assist communities to stay connected and improve regional infrastructure.
“Since the Bridges Renewal Program commenced in 2015-16 it has supported 730 projects, of which 495 projects have been completed,” Mr Buchholz said.
“Last year the Government updated the program to accept applications on a rolling basis.
“Accepting applications on an ongoing basis means state, territory and local governments can plan and submit their best-quality projects as and when they are needed.
“The Government’s ongoing support for the freight industry recognises its critical role in keeping the nation moving, both during the COVID-19 pandemic and recent severe weather events.”
The Government’s additional $40 million investment in the Bridges Renewal Program brings its total commitment under this program to nearly $900 million.
For more information and to apply: https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/resources/brp-hvspp/index.aspx
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