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Budget Shows The Road To Recovery

Australian Coat of Arms

MEDIA RELEASE
The Hon John Anderson MP
Deputy Prime Minister
Leader of The Nationals
Minister for Transport and Regional Services

TRS14/Budget11 May 2004

The 2004-05 Budget confirms that the Australian Government will spend almost $1.5 billion on the Roads to Recovery programme over the next five years, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Services, John Anderson, said today.

The Government will spend $253.1 million on the programme in 2004-05, in addition to the $471.2 million that councils will receive in untied local roads grants.

"In November 2000, we promised that we would spend $1.2 billion under the Roads to Recovery programme to help local councils maintain and upgrade their local roads. Our spending on Roads to Recovery in 2004-05 completes our commitment and brings our spending under the existing programme to the amount we promised - $1.2 billion," Mr Anderson said.

"Roads to Recovery has been the largest capital injection by any Australian Government in history into the local road system. It is funding 12,000 local road projects throughout Australia, and has been particularly important in regional areas, where councils have to maintain enormous local road networks with limited resources. About $850.0 million of the programme has been allocated to regional Australia.

"But there is more to come. The 2004-05 Budget confirms our decision to extend the programme for another four years from 1 July 2005, again at a cost of $1.2 billion. We have retained the programme's key elements of certainty, simple administrative arrangements and local decision-making.

"We will allocate $200 million a year to local councils on the basis of a formula, as at present. The funds will be paid directly to councils.

"Where there are no councils, in the unincorporated areas of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and the Northern Territory, money will still be allocated for local roads under the programme. Funds will also be provided for the Indian Ocean Territories.

"The remaining $100 million a year will be available direct to councils for local land transport infrastructure projects of strategic regional importance. The guidelines for assessing strategic projects are being developed in conjunction with the Australian Local Government Association and will be distributed to councils for comment after the Budget.

"We will be calling for applications under the strategic component before the end of 2004, and will be particularly looking to fund projects that enhance access for regionally significant production, industry resources, attractions or services," Mr Anderson said.

A table showing the Government's Roads to Recovery payments by state is attached.

Media contacts:

Paul ChamberlainDeputy Prime Minister's office02 62777680 / 0419 233989

 

Roads to Recovery payments, 2004-05

 2004-05
 $m
New South Wales70.8
Victoria52.1
Queensland52.1
Western Australia37.5
South Australia20.8
Tasmania8.3
Northern Territory (1)5.2
Australian Capital Territory4.2
Other (2)2.1
Total253.1

(1) Includes $1.0 million in additional funding for the Northern Territory announced by the Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads on 31 March 2004.
(2) Comprises funding for unincorporated areas and the Indian Ocean Territories.