Senator for Victoria, Sarah Henderson, has welcomed funding to secure the construction of a bridge across Indigo Creek Rd, in Victoria’s north-east saying it will improve safety and connectivity for local residents.
The allocation of $1,242,414 under the Bridges Renewal Program will be used for the construction of a single span, two-lane road bridge and barriers across Indigo Creek, south of Wodonga.“This important local project will enhance safety and connectivity for the people of Wodonga,” Senator Henderson said.
“The Bridges Renewal Program, a legacy of the former Coalition Government, has been instrumental in rejuvenating local bridges and bolstering our national productivity.
“It’s heartening to see projects like the Indigo Creek Road bridge attracting the support it deserves.”
In all, 11 projects have been funded under the Bridges Renewal Program, a legacy of the former Coalition Government, first introduced in the 2014-15 Federal Budget.
With a total value of $41 million, it delivered on a 2013 election commitment to provide $300 million, to be matched dollar for dollar, to renew and upgrade deteriorating local bridges.
The initiative was an important element of the Coalition’s policy to boost national productivity and economic growth by enhancing the productivity of the national freight task.
“The introduction of the program recognised that for many councils the cost of renewing and upgrading deteriorating bridges was beyond their financial resources,” Ms Henderson said.
“Restrictions and load limits imposed on bridges were significant barriers to higher productivity trucks being able to access farms and loads of primary resources for domestic or export markets.”
The program has been very successful, with all designated funding rounds oversubscribed.
In November 2021 the former Government reformed the program from a round-based application program to one accepting applications continuously.
At the March 2022 Federal Budget, the former Coalition Government committed $464 million for the Bridges Renewal Program over the forward estimates, with an ongoing commitment of $85 million per year from 2026-27.
Under the former Coalition Government, 734 projects were approved for funding under the Bridges Renewal Program, of which 514 were completed, 74 were underway and 118 were in planning at the time of the 2022 election.
While the current government continues to deliver this Coalition program, it has been referred to the 90-day Strategic Review of the Infrastructure Investment Program for potential ‘reform’ by the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, the Hon Catherine King MP.