Photo caption: State Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders, Dubbo Regional Council Mayor Stephen Lawrence and Member for Parkes Mark Coulton turned the first sod for upgrades on the Boothenba Road at the Dubbo Regional Livestock Markets earlier this year. This project was funded under the last round of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program.
Motorists and freight operators in the Parkes electorate could soon benefit from further funding to build better bridges and safer freight roads, with applications now open for the latest rounds of the Bridges Renewal Program (BRP) and Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program (HVSPP).
The Liberal and Nationals Government has committed $250 million under these programs to improve heavy vehicle safety, keep freight moving and create new economic opportunities and jobs.
For the first time, the BRP and HVSPP are running concurrently so that applicants can access the right program, for the right project at the right time. Applications will be assessed on an ongoing basis.
In a boost for our regions, rural and regional projects can now apply for funding to cover up to 80 per cent of the total project cost.
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said this is welcome news for freight operators and the businesses and communities they support across the electorate.
“Funding under the BRP and HVSPP supports the infrastructure needed to ensure freight operators can continue to make essential deliveries as well as keeping communities connected and motorists safe,” Mr Coulton said.
“This includes projects to upgrade or replace ageing bridges, and for road projects which improve the productivity and safety of heavy vehicle movements across Australia.
“Under the last round, more than $16 million worth of projects were funded in the Parkes electorate, including the $2 million Boothenba Road upgrade near the Dubbo Regional Livestock Markets, the $1.25 million Lucas Bridge replacement in Gilgandra, $2.5 million for the widening of the Mitchell Highway between Bourke and Nyngan, and more than $5 million for roadworks in the Walgett Shire.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said changes to the program guidelines will give applicants better access to funding, ensuring the road upgrades Australia needs can be funded and delivered.
“Keeping heavy vehicles safe and moving on our roads is key to maintaining a strong economy into the future,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“Investing $250 million to make bridges safer and heavy vehicle routes more productive will ensure Australian businesses that rely on freight operators can stay connected to international markets while continuing to supply the products Australians need to live.
“Projects funded through these programs also create jobs and opportunities for local suppliers and businesses, delivering an economic boost to local economies and driving their growth.”
Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said as part of the continuous assessment, successful projects would be announced on a rolling basis.
“Both programs are well known and well regarded by state and territory governments and local government authorities,” Mr Buchholz said.
“These improvements will further enhance their ability to deliver safer, more productive bridges and other road infrastructure into the future.
“Accepting applications on an ongoing basis means state, territory and local governments can plan and submit projects when they are needed.
“This makes these programs easier to access, more flexible and better aligned to the Government’s commitment to invest in strategic priority roads and respond to local community needs.
“Crucially, the revised program guidelines will also see the Australian Government able to invest up to 80 per cent of project costs in regional areas, encouraging the best regional projects to be put forward.
“The Liberal and Nationals Government is committed to making our heavy vehicle routes and particularly regional roads safer, more efficient and we know better roads improves productivity.”
The Liberal and Nationals Government will continue to build on our strong record of investment in these initiatives, with more than $760 million locked in for the BRP and $607 million for the HSVPP, and ongoing funding into the future.
For more information, visit https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/about/local-initiatives.