Councils in the New England will receive more than $11 million in Australian Government funding to build new road and community projects throughout the electorate.
Federal Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said the direct investment to local governments will support local jobs and businesses and boost local economies struggling under the effects of COVID-19.
The package included the establishment of a new $500 million Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program and the bringing forward of $1.3 billion of the 2020-21 Financial Assistance Grant payment.
Mr Joyce said accelerating local infrastructure projects was important for supporting jobs and the local economy in the New England.
“Every single job we support makes a huge difference in our local communities, now and as we navigate out of the coronavirus pandemic,” Mr Joyce said.
“Not only will this package support jobs, construction businesses and the economy across our New England electorate, it will improve our local roads and provide for new and upgraded amenities to help communities stay connected.
“I will be working closely with councils to make sure projects get under way to support jobs and businesses as soon as possible.”
The new Program is based on the successful Roads to Recovery program and will enable local councils to deliver priority projects with a focus on upgrades and maintenance to local roads and community infrastructure.
Local road projects to be delivered under the Program include but are not limited to constructing or improving bridges and tunnels, street lighting, and heavy vehicle facilities such as rest areas.
A broad range of community infrastructure projects will be eligible including new or upgraded bicycle and walking paths, community facilities, and picnic shelters and barbeque facilities at parks.
Guidelines for the Program will be provided directly to local governments by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.
Under the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program the following funding allocations are being made to councils in New England:
• Tamworth Regional Council $2,652,533
• Armidale Regional Council $1,429,701
• Inverell Shire Council $1,402,055
• Gwydir Shire Council $1,182,224
• Upper Hunter Shire Council $1,230,434
• Tenterfield Shire Council $1,044,335
• Glen Innes Severn Council $872,429
• Liverpool Plains Shire Council $866,772
• Uralla Shire Council $596,106
• Walcha Council $591,796