Funds not enough to bridge gap
A FIVE-year extension to the Federal Government’s Roads to Recovery program will inject $7.6 million into North Burnett roads and bridges.
North Burnett Regional Council chief executive officer Mark Pitt said while the council would be $600,000 better off in those five years, the budget would be adjusted for a drop in the annual amount from $1.4 million to $1.26 million.
“We’re struggling with where we’re at,” Mr Pitt said.
“Rural councils find it hard to recover from (budget cuts).”
With the Federal Government committed to a double allocation of funds ($2.52 million) in the 2015–16 financial year, Mr Pitt said some roadwork may be Cahalan Rd; Mack’s Bridge and Hochmuts Bridge.
Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd said Roads to Recovery enabled councils to prioritise funding for safety and economic growth.
“The Roads to Recovery Programme is set up for councils to make road spending decisions based on local needs – without interference from Canberra – to ensure that funding is truly directed to where it is most needed in the community,” Mr O’Dowd said.
Mark Pitt, North Burnett Regional Council CEO The one year of doubling doesn’t make up for operational difficulties.
“The one year of doubling doesn’t make up for operational difficulties,” he said.
Mr Pitt said this financial year’s allocation of $1.26 million would be split between bridge work ($700,000) and rural road maintenance ($565,720).
While priority was yet to be determined, Mr Pitt said six bridges were listed for attention: Guyatts Bridge replacement on Mt Debateable Rd; Mungee Bridge; Galloways Bridge; Mungungo Bridge on