Funding boost for roads

Holly ThompsonManjimup-Bridgetown Times
O'Connor MHR Rick Wilson has said the Roads to Recovery funding will help improve country roads.
Camera IconO'Connor MHR Rick Wilson has said the Roads to Recovery funding will help improve country roads. Credit: Supplied

The Federal Government has allocated about $73 million in funding to 38 councils across the O’Connor electorate, as part of the Roads to Recovery program.

Four South West councils have been included in the funding, which will be spread over five years to help improve the infrastructure on country roads.

Between 2019 and 2024 the Manjimup Shire Council will receive about $3.5 million and the Boyup Brook, Collie and Bridgetown-Greenbushes shire councils will receive about $1.5 million each.

O’Connor MHR Rick Wilson said the Roads to Recovery funding provided councils the means to upgrade roads for safety and economic benefits.

“It will require close collaboration between Federal and local governments, to deliver road infrastructure improvements required to support economic growth,” he said.

Mr Wilson said the funding was more than had been given out over the past five years.

“Following an extension of the program in the 2016 Budget, the Government will deliver a further $50 million per annum from 2019 onwards,” Mr Wilson said.

“This means the majority of councils will receive more Roads to Recovery funding in the 2019 to 2024 program than their base allocation in 2014.”

Manjimup shire president Paul Omodei said he was delighted to see the Roads to Recovery program had been extended.

“This funding is great for the shire because it goes directly into the local government and provides much-needed funds,” he said.

“It is untied funding which gives us the flexibility to fix urgent projects quickly.”

He said the council had a 10-year plan through a Roads Infrastructure committee, and the Roads to Recovery funding would help to achieve some of their goals.

“The cost for sealed and marked roads is $300,000 per kilometre and so we spread projects over 10 years to account for the high cost,” he said.

“With the Roads to Recovery funding we hope to achieve some of our projects faster.”

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