Funds not enough to bridge gap

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Shirley Way

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

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