Joint media release
Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport & Regional Development
Senator the Hon Sarah Henderson, Senator for Victoria
The Albanese Government is now threatening thousands more local projects by taking aim at a raft of longstanding local road programs.
In disturbing revelations in Senate Estimates, the Roads to Recovery program, Bridges Renewal Program, Black Spot Program and the Heavy Vehicle Safety & Productivity Program are all now at risk of being axed under Labor’s 90-day infrastructure pipeline review.
These programs are designed to help reduce vehicle accidents, eliminate dangerous sections of roads and supplement councils’ road funding.
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Senator Bridget McKenzie said local councils across regional Australia are now being thrown into uncertainty with flow-on effects to local contractors, businesses and communities.
“This has all the hallmarks of a scorched earth policy against all councils highly regarded road programs,” Senator McKenzie said.
“By including these programs in the infrastructure review, the Labor Government is signalling a complete rethink on Commonwealth road funding to local councils,” Senator McKenzie said.
Senator Henderson said these programs have a strong legacy and have made regional Victorian roads safer for decades.
“These programs are critical to road safety in regional communities. This uncertainty over such important road safety programs is another kick in the guts from this heartless Albanese Government,” Senator Henderson said
“Our local councils depend on this funding to upgrade and maintain our local roads, intersections and highways. If Labor’s review scraps Roads to Recovery, regional councils will be forced to jack up rates on families to maintain its commitment to fixing local roads.”
“The targeting of regional roads funding by Labor’s razor gang shows the Albanese Government could not care about regional communities,” Senator Henderson concluded.
- The road safety Black Spot Program has been fixing dangerous sections of road continuously since 1996-97 under the Howard Government,
- Roads to Recovery has been essential in upgrading local roads since 2001
- Bridges Renewal Program has addressed first mile challenges since 2015-16.