Australian Transport News - - News -

The Aus­tralian Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion (ALGA) has brought new fed­eral in­fra­struc­ture and trans­port min­is­ter Dar­ren Ch­ester up to speed with coun­cil con­cerns about road freight net­works.

ALGA pres­i­dent Troy Pickard re­ports he raised main­te­nance fund­ing short­falls, es­ti­mated at about $ 1.2 bil­lion an­nu­ally from 2010 to 2025 for lo­cal roads and bridges, in his first meet­ing with the min­is­ter.

“To this end, I re­it­er­ated to the min­is­ter ALGA’s call for the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to make the Bridges Re­newal Pro­gram per­ma­nent and per­ma­nently dou­ble the Roads to Re­cov­ery fund­ing to as­sist coun­cils to man­age their lo­cal roads ef­fec­tively,” Pickard tells his mem­bers.

“The min­is­ter and I also dis­cussed the im­por­tance of ad­di­tional in­vest­ment in pro­duc­tiv­ity pri­or­i­ties, par­tic­u­larly in ad­dress­ing first and last mile ac­cess is­sues.

“ALGA strongly sup­ports the gov­ern­ment’s fo­cus on im­prove­ments in pro­duc­tiv­ity through in­vest­ment in in­fra­struc­ture, but we must not for­get the is­sue of first and last mile ac­cess, which is a vi­tal fac­tor in the pro­duc­tiv­ity equa­tion, and the role lo­cal roads play in this area.

“There is a need for ad­di­tional in­vest­ment to im­prove ac­cess for freight ve­hi­cles and the con­nec­tiv­ity be­tween lo­cal roads and pre­ferred state and na­tional freight routes.

“I took the op­por­tu­nity to brief the Min­is­ter on ALGA’s call for a tar­geted in­vest­ment of $ 200 mil­lion per an­num over the next five years with the spe­cific ob­jec­tive of in­vest­ing in iden­ti­fied lo­cal projects that will achieve mea­sur­able pro­duc­tiv­ity out­comes through im­proved ac­cess and con­nec­tiv­ity.”

ATN is re­quest­ing a re­sponse from Ch­ester on the points raised.

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