Local Road Funding Welcomed
|22 January 2004 (amended: 22 January 2004)
SA Councils have welcomed the renewal of the Commonwealth Roads to Recovery Program for a further 4 years but will not back away from demands that all Commonwealth local road funding be distributed fairly.
The President of SA's Local Government Association, Cr John Legoe, said the Federal decision would probably equate to a further $100m for SA Local Roads from 2005-2009, "which will be gratefully received."
"However in rough terms SA will continue to be shortchanged by more than $20m a year because of the way all the funds are distributed," he said.
He said that the Association was already committed to increasing pressure on the Commonwealth to correct the grossly unfair share of local road funding to SA prior to the Federal Election.
Further information on the LGA's "Fair Federal Funding :: Fix SA Local Roads" campaign can be found on www.lga.sa.gov.au (including the campaign logo).
SA Councils receive Commonwealth funding for local roads primarily through identified local road grants under which we receive 5.5% of the national funds and the original 4 year Roads to Recovery program under which we receive 8.3% of the national funds.
Cr Legoe said SA had 11% of the national local road length and 7.7% of the national population and that the 5.5% identified local road grant allocation was "grossly unfair".
"We think using road length and population (which is a reasonable indicator of relative road use) are appropriate and that would give SA about 9.4% of local road funding."
Using that as an indicator SA is losing about $23m a year ($19.4m of identified local road grants and $3.3m of Roads to Recovery grants).
"We want this resolved in this year's budget or we will be running a very strong campaign in marginal electorates - and we have plenty of those in South Australia - on this issue in this year's Federal Election."
"We don't want to sound ungrateful at all for the renewal of the Roads to Recovery program but South Australians are not being well served by the interstate distribution of these and more particularly the identified local road grants."