SA councils will recover roads

Local road funding will be delivered to South Australian councils over five years from 2014 to 2019.

The funding from the federal budget will deliver more than $350 million per annum as a five year extension to the Roads to Recovery program.

Minister for State and Local Government Relations, Russell Wortley said the South Australian Local Government Grants Commission will ensure the allocation of the funds is processed.

“Both the State Government and the Local Government Association (LGA) have encouraged the Commonwealth to retain this important funding that goes toward fixing vital road infrastructure,” Mr Wortley said.

LGA President, Mayor Kym McHugh said such funding was vital to communities across SA.

Most communities could not guess the dollar value of about $10 billion or the annual maintenance replacement bill that councils currently could not meet, however they value well-maintained roads, Mr McHugh said.

"The $31m a year in Roads to Recovery funding, plus $16.9m in supplementary funding for SA Councils along with untied funds and Council rates just do not go very far on 75,000 kilometres of roads," he said.

Mr McHugh said, however, Mayor McHugh expressed some concern that some funding was being extended without indexation.

However, Mr McHugh approved of an advance payment to councils of half the untied funding they would receive for 2012/13 in June which would provide a small interest bonus.

According to the state government, an extension of the Black Spot road safety program to 2019 was announced in the federal budget.

This extension will have $60 million per annum allocated to fixing roads and intersections.

The state government announced that a further $20 million per annum will be spent on road safety improvements creating more rest areas for heavy haulage drivers.

Mr McHugh said this is aimed at a 30 per annum reduction in fatalities and serious injuries on roads by 2020.

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