SA councils pool funds under unique roads program

Local government road projects will get almost $18 million under the latest round of a unique South Australian funding scheme.

The Special Local Roads Program (SLRP), which is administered by the Local Government Association of SA, enables the state’s 68 councils to pool a portion of their federal road funding and redistribute it through competitive grants.

The SLRP was established by the SA, local and federal governments in 1985 to help maintain and improve significant and strategic roads throughout the state.

LGA CEO Clinton Jury, LGA President Dean Johnson, Lower Eyre Council CEO Delfina Lanzilli Lower Eyre Council Mayor Jo-Anne Quigley and Lower Eyre Council staff. Supplied by LGA SA.

Built on the premise that local government as a whole benefits from pooling resources, the scheme has helped South Australian local government undertake projects that would otherwise have been beyond the capacity of an individual council.

Projects eligible for SLRP funding must be shown to have benefits that go beyond the council and its community.

Councils must contribute at least a third of the cost for regional projects. Metropolitan councils must put in at least 50 per cent.

Funds that remain unspent on completion of a project must be repaid.

Funding is comprised of 15 per cent of the FAGs local roads component; 15 per cent of Supplementary Local Road Funding and 15 per cent of the state’s Roads to Recovery allocation.

Bolstering the freight network

Successful projects in the latest round will help reduce congestion, bolster the freight network and improve access for tourists, LGA SA says, with money going towards resealing roads, widening shoulders, improving kerbs and guttering, and connecting local road networks.

The current tranche of grants includes $940 million received by Lower Eyre Peninsula Council for work on the ten-year, $18 million Bratten Way freight route redevelopment.

“Without funding through the Special Local Roads Program, our council wouldn’t have the capacity to complete this vital project for our region,” Mayor Jo-Anne Quigley said.

“The redevelopment of Bratten Way will transform this key roadway on the Eyre Peninsula to ensure it remains fit for purpose in facilitating freight transport across our state.”

South Australia has 11 per cent of the nation’s local roads.

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