Welcome road funding extension
|8 May 2012
A five year extension to the Roads to Recovery program foreshadowed in the 2012 Federal Budget will deliver more than $150m in local road funding to SA Councils from 2014 to 2019 according to SA's Local Government Association.
LGA President, Mayor Kym McHugh, said such funding was vital to communities across SA.
Mayor McHugh said while communities valued well-maintained local roads, most could not guess their dollar value of about $10 billion, or the annual maintenance replacement bill which Councils currently could not meet.
"The $31m a year in Roads to Recovery funding, plus $16.9m in supplementary funding for SA Councils along with untied funds and Council rates just do not go very far on 75,000 kilometres of roads," he said.
"$31m a year for another five years into the future is fantastic news and Councils will welcome it," he said.
Mayor McHugh expressed some concern that some funding was being extended without indexation but he welcomed an advance payment to Councils of half the untied funding they would receive for 2012/13 in June which would provide a small interest bonus.
Mayor McHugh backed comments by acting ALGA President, Mayor Felicity-ann Lewis, welcoming blackspot and heavy vehicle safety funding aimed at a 30% reduction in fatalities and serious injuries on roads by 2020.
He also welcomed funding for several major infrastructure projects for SA including work on the Adelaide rail freight route, ongoing funding under the Regional Development Australia Fund, and funding through the Regional Infrastructure Fund.
"The economy still needs the sort of infrastructure funding being provided by all governments, Federal State and Local."
"The Commonwealth continues to deliver on its commitment to Councils, even if we don't think SA gets a fair share - particularly of the untied Financial Assistance Grants."
Mayor McHugh said that Councils still faced challenging budgets and would be looking closely at the SA State Budget due on 31st May.
"The SA Government already provides the lowest per capita funding to Councils of any jurisdiction in Australia and we are waiting to see what happens to the Solid Waste Levy as it is simply a dead weight on Council rates."