FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce has welcomed the news the Australian Government is inviting applications for the second round of its popular $300 million Bridges Renewal programme.
Mr Joyce said the programme is designed to improve access for communities and deliver greater productivity for the nation.
“The New England Electorate fared well in the $100 million Round 1, with three projects receiving funding,” he said.
“The injection of $1.405 million in Round 1 of the Programme to upgrade our local bridges will make them safer and more reliable, while being a huge stimulus for freight providing major benefits for the community and the region,” Mr Joyce said.
In Round 1 the Tenterfield Shire Council’s, Bookookoorara Creek Bridge on the Mount Lindesay Road received $350,000, the Uralla Shire Council’s, Abington Creek Bridge received $705,000 and the Glen Innes Severn Shire Council’s, Severn River Bridge on Nine Mile Road received $350,000.
“In particular, our programme will improve road access for local traffic and increase efficiency on local roads, which will be a relief to all.” he said.
“The New England Electorate is a vibrant region and our Government is investing in its continued growth. Councils will play a significant role in managing these projects, ensuring these bridges can continue to contribute to productivity and community access.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the second round of the programme will provide $100 million, which will be available only for local government projects.
The Australian Government will cover up to 50 per cent of the costs to renew and replace bridges as part of its commitment to building connectivity and productivity.
The second round will be open for proposals until 31 August 2015, with successful projects to be selected through a competitive, merit-based process. Round Two will provide up to $100 million in funding to local councils, including the ACT Government.
Mr Joyce said councils in the New England Electorate are encouraged to discuss priorities with local communities, relevant industry stakeholders, Regional Development Australia committees and state road agencies early in the process.
To find out more about applying for the Bridges Renewal Programme visit: http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/funding/Bridgesrenewal/Index.aspx