What are we asking for?
An increase in Roads to Recovery Funding from $500 million to $800 million per year, and an increase in Black Spot Program funding from $110 million to $200 million per year, and $20 million per year permanent supplementary road funding for South Australia.
Why is it important?
Every year about 1,200 people are killed on Australian roads, and around 40,000 people are seriously injured. Half of all road crashes are on local roads, and these crashes account for 52 percent of all casualties and 40 percent of all road deaths.
Local governments own and manage about 678,000km of sealed and unsealed roads, equivalent to about 77 percent of Australia’s road network.
Councils collect just 3.5 percent of Australia’s taxation revenue, and unlike other tiers of government, local government has no direct mechanism to raise funds for road construction and maintenance such as road user charges, registration charges, or other road or transport- related fees or charges.
Additionally, ALGA’s 2021 National State of the Assets report indicates that a significant number of Australia’s local roads are in poor condition and require intervention.
Road funding is particularly challenging in South Australia where for many years there has been a shortfall in the level of funding to SA councils.
South Australia has 11 percent of Australia’s local roads, and 7 percent of its population, but only receives 5.5 percent of the Identified Roads component of Commonwealth Financial Assistance Grants.
Since 2003, South Australia has received an additional $20 million supplementary road funding per annum to address this inequity, and making this funding permanent would provide South Australian councils with certainty and confidence to invest in their local road networks and provide safer and more efficient roads for all users.
How would it support our communities?
The Ararat Rural City Council delivered three major road safety upgrades worth more than $4.14 million in 2021.
They included road widening to improve visibility and safety for motorists, drainage upgrades, and the laying of a stronger, safer pavement along the Woorndoo-Stratham Road.
The projects were funded through the Commonwealth’s Roads to Recovery Program, the Victorian Government’s Regional Infrastructure Fund and Council itself.
Ararat Rural City Council CEO Dr Tim Harrison said the projects represented the council’s single largest budget investment in roads ever.
“With a municipal road network of over 2300km, we need to make sure investment continues to make sure that rural people who rely on local roads every day can get where they are going safely,” Mr Harrison said.