Applications are now open for the Remote Roads Upgrade Pilot Program, which will seek to provide much-needed upgrades to some of Australia’s forgotten roads.
The federal government has committed $150 million for upgrades to unsealed roads throughout remote Australia, many of which haven’t been worked on since the Great Depression.
Councils can now apply to have projects that are important to them funded and delivered, with the government covering up to 80 per cent of total project costs.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce, says the projects will deliver an important economic boost to remote towns and communities, creating jobs for locals and opportunities for local businesses and suppliers.
“Remote roads are out of sight and out of mind for most Australians, but that doesn’t make them any less important to our supply chains and the freight operators and regional Australians who rely on them,” said Joyce.
“Improving remote roads will also support our regional businesses, ensuring their products continue to reach supermarkets and ports and keeping them connected with international markets.
Unsealed or degraded roads 20 kilometres or longer with a low safety rating are eligible for funding under the program. The project must not have previously received funding under another program, or received significant investment in the last five years.
Joyce said the program will also play a pivotal role in improving road safety.
“Death and serious injury as a result of driving on roads occur at a disproportionate rate in regional and remote areas compared to cities,” said Joyce.
Applications are open until Sunday, 20 February 2022.
More information, including program guidelines, is available here.