Safer local roads saving lives in Wide Bay

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The Federal Liberal and Nationals Government will help keep drivers safe on local roads by delivering an additional $2.2 billion in road safety funding.

Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien, a former road crash investigator with Queensland Police, said road safety is everyone's responsibility but the Government has a key role to play in delivering safer roads.

"As a former police officer, I'm passionate about reducing road trauma and these commitments to improving road safety are very welcome," Mr O'Brien said.

The Morrison Government has announced an additional $1.1 billion in funding for local governments under the Roads to Recovery program, as well as an extra $550 million for the successful Black Spot Program, which targets known high-risk locations and reduces serious crashes by 30 per cent on average.

"By fixing and upgrading road locations where crashes are occurring through safety measures such as traffic signals and roundabouts, we are helping make our local roads safer for all road users," Mr O'Brien said.

Mr O'Brien said local councils in Wide Bay will receive the following extra funding from 2019/20 to 2023/24 for repairing roads:

  •     Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council would receive an additional $39,849 taking their new five-year allocation to $199,243.
  •     Fraser Coast Regional Council would receive an additional $1,912,056, taking their five-year total to $9,560,283.
  •     Gympie Regional Council would receive an additional $1,361,802 for a five-year total of $6,809,008.
  •     Noosa Shire Council would receive an additional $790,346 for a five-year total of $3,951,729.
  •     South Burnett Regional Council would receive an additional $1,644,465 for a five-year total of $8,222,327.

The Coalition Government will deliver a further $571.1 million to improve the safety and efficiency of heavy vehicle operations through the Bridges Renewal Program, Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program and Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiatives (HVSI).

"This includes Mary River Road Bridge at Cooroy and the Old Noosa Road Bridge at Cooran which have both been replaced at a combined cost of $3.08 million, joint-funded by the Liberal and Nationals Government through the Bridges Renewal Program and Noosa Council," Mr O'Brien said.

"We have also made a $5 million commitment to reconstruct the Coondoo Creek Bridge, and $372,500 to widen and strengthen a 350 metre section of Wadell Road."

Mr O'Brien said the Budget also delivers safer roads through a variety of further initiatives, including establishing a new Office of Road Safety to facilitate a greater leadership role for the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government.

"Safer roads and bridges mean safer heavy vehicle operations, which is critical to our goal of reducing road trauma on the nation's roads," he said.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said 2018 saw 81 fewer deaths nationwide compared to 2017, but there is no room for complacency.

"We must push ahead with practical measures and infrastructure funding to drive road deaths towards zero," Mr McCormack said.

"The Government has also announced a new $12 million Road Safety Innovation Fund to support research and development in priority areas such as regional road safety, driver distraction from mobile devices, protecting vulnerable road users and reducing drug driving.

"In addition, a new Road Safety Awareness and Enablers Fund will offer $4 million in targeted and competitive grants to fund road safety awareness, education and collaboration initiatives.

"We are also backing local governments to prioritise safety, providing a further $2.55 million to the Australian Road Research Board to help councils keep abreast of the latest road safety design and maintenance innovations when managing their local road assets.

"This is in addition to renewed commitments to fostering the skills of new drivers through the Keys2drive program, continued funding to the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) to encourage the purchase of safer vehicles, and an ongoing commitment to safer vehicle design through rigorous and globally harmonised Australian Design Rules.

"The Government will also place road safety at the heart of its infrastructure investment program by prioritising safe system principles in line with the National Road Safety Strategy."

The Government is committed to working in a bipartisan spirit to progress the 12 recommendations made by the National Road Safety Strategy Inquiry in September 2018.

The additional funding announced today builds on the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government's current investment of around $2.6 billion in safety-enhancing projects, bringing the total investment to $3.1 billion per year over the period 2019–20 to 2022–23.

 
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