MORE FUNDING TO IMPROVE REGIONAL BRIDGES AND CREATE JOBS IN WIDE BAY

More bridges in Wide Bay could soon be upgraded or replaced, thanks to a further investment of $40 million from the Liberal and Nationals Government under the Bridges Renewal Program (BRP).

Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien welcomed the new investment that will inject an additional $10 million each year for the next four years into the BRP, increasing annual funding to $95 million.

“This additional funding will enable more bridges to be upgraded, keeping communities connected, improving road safety, and increasing access for local traffic, tourism and freight, so that local primary producers and businesses can continue to safely and efficiently transport their goods,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The BRP is an investment in a stronger road network that also delivers short- and long-term economic benefits by supporting local jobs and providing opportunities for local suppliers through the construction phase, and opening up the regional economy to create long-term jobs and opportunities.

Mr O’Brien said the Bridges Renewal Program has already had a significant impact locally, with Noosa Regional Council receiving nearly $7 million under previous rounds of the program for upgrades to Doonella Lake Bridge, Cooroy Belli Creek Road Bridge, Garth Prowd Bridge, Wahpunga Lane Bridge, Tablelands Road Bridge and Lawnville Road Bridge.

“People living and working in Bauple, Gundiah, Tiaro, Kandanga, Cooran, Cooroy and Kin Kin are benefiting from BRP investments through previous rounds of the Bridges Renewal Program, and I strongly encourage local councils to apply for funds for new transport infrastructure projects,” Mr O’Brien said.

Projects eligible for funding include replacing and widening bridges, strengthening existing structures, and upgrading floodways to bridges.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the extra funding would support more projects and jobs while boosting regional industries.

“To make our country as strong as possible as quickly as possible we must support the growth of the industries that drive our economy,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“The Nationals and Liberals recognise that many of these industries are in regional Australia, including the mining and agricultural exporting businesses that help pay for the services all Australians rely on.

“Building new bridges and upgrading existing structures will strengthen our freight network and ensure valuable commodities continue flowing to international and domestic buyers.

“Our additional funding commitment will strengthen regional businesses and our economy, create local jobs, and improve safety for freight drivers and regional communities.

“This further demonstrates how our Government is getting the job done by delivering the infrastructure needed to improve regional roads that were neglected and left to deteriorate under Labor.”

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said that the additional funding would assist communities to stay connected and improve regional infrastructure.

“Since the Bridges Renewal Program commenced in 2015-16 it has supported 730 projects, of which 495 projects have been completed,” Mr Buchholz said.

“Last year the Government updated the program to accept applications on a rolling basis.

“Accepting applications on an ongoing basis means state, territory and local governments can plan and submit their best-quality projects as and when they are needed.

“The Government’s ongoing support for the freight industry recognises its critical role in keeping the nation moving, both during the COVID-19 pandemic and recent severe weather events.”

The Government’s additional $40 million investment in the Bridges Renewal Program brings our total commitment under this program to nearly $900 million.

For more information and to apply: https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/resources/brp-hvspp/index.aspx