$500m shot in the arm for local roads and infrastructure projects

A new $500 million federal government program will be established to allow councils to deliver priority local road and community infrastructure projects across the nation.

The Local Road and Community Infrastructure (LRCI) Program is one of two components of a $1.8 billion local government stimulus package announced today by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack.

The pre-payment of $1.3 billion of next year’s Financial Assistance Grants is the second component.

The LRCI Program will be administered along the lines of the successful Roads to Recovery program with a similar allocation methodology.

This means that councils in NSW would receive $139.3 million, Victoria $101.7 million, Queensland $101.7 million, Western Australia $73.1 million, SA $44.9 million, Tasmania $16.3 million, ACT $8 million and the Northern Territory $14.5 million.

This money will be available to councils from 1 July, 2020, and can be put towards local road projects such as constructing or improving bridges, traffic signs and control equipment, street lighting, and heavy vehicle facilities such as rest areas.

Funding will also be available to support community infrastructure projects such as new or upgraded bicycle and walking paths, community halls, picnic shelters and barbeque facilities at parks, playgrounds, and off-road car parks such as those near sporting grounds.

For more information visit the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications website.

In other infrastructure funding news, the Victorian State Government has announced it will allocate $48.4 million for water projects to modernise irrigation systems and secure town water supplies.

The funding is part of the Government’s new $2.7 billion Building Works package, which is intended to support economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic by delivering shovel-ready projects.

Tourism will also benefit, with $382 million set aside for upgrades, maintenance, and “new experiences”.