More bridges across Far North Queensland could soon be upgraded or replaced, thanks to a further investment of $40 million from the Morrison Government under the Bridges Renewal Program.
In a boost for the freight industry, the government will inject an additional $10 million each year for the next four years into the Bridges Renewal Program, increasing annual funding to $95 million.
Projects eligible for funding include replacing and widening bridges, strengthening existing structures, and upgrading floodways to bridges.
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said more than 85 per cent of projects funded under the Bridges Renewal Program were located in regional Australia, including those across Far North Queensland.
He said this additional funding will further improve our roads across the region and our communities connected.
“Upgrading bridges will improve the road and freight network across Far North Queensland, ensuring businesses can continue to safely and efficiently move their goods to where they need to be,” Mr Entsch said.
“This additional funding will also deliver an important short-term economic boost, supporting local jobs and providing opportunities for local suppliers.
“I look forward to working with local groups to help secure funding for new projects that will benefit businesses, locals and tourists visiting our region, now and into the future.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Minister Barnaby Joyce said the extra funding would support more projects and jobs while boosting regional industries.
“To make our country as strong as possible as quickly as possible we must support the growth of the industries that drive our economy,” Mr Joyce said.
“The Nationals and Liberals recognise that many of these industries are in regional Australia, including the mining and agricultural exporting businesses that help pay for the services all Australians rely on.
“Building new bridges and upgrading existing structures will strengthen our freight network and ensure valuable commodities continue flowing to international and domestic buyers.
“Our additional funding commitment will strengthen regional businesses and our economy, create local jobs, and improve safety for freight drivers and regional communities.
“This further demonstrates how our government is getting the job done by delivering the infrastructure needed to improve regional roads that were neglected and left to deteriorate under Labor.”
Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said that the additional funding would assist communities to stay connected and improve regional infrastructure.
“Since the Bridges Renewal Program commenced in 2015-16 it has supported 730 projects, of which 495 projects have been completed,” Mr Buchholz said.
“Last year the government updated the program to accept applications on a rolling basis.
“Accepting applications on an ongoing basis means state, territory and local governments can plan and submit their best-quality projects as and when they are needed.
“The government’s ongoing support for the freight industry recognises its critical role in keeping the nation moving, both during the COVID-19 pandemic and recent severe weather events.”
The Government’s additional $40 million investment in the Bridges Renewal Program brings our total commitment under this program to nearly $900 million.
For further information and to apply visit: www.investment.infrastructure.gov.au/resources/brp-hvspp/index.aspx