More Funding to Improve Bridges in the South West

More bridges in the South West have the opportunity to be upgraded or replaced, thanks to a further investment of $40 million from the Federal Government under the Bridges Renewal Program (BRP).

In a boost for the freight industry and improvements to road safety, the Government will inject an additional $10 million each year for the next four years into the BRP, increasing annual funding to $95 million.

Projects eligible for funding include replacing and widening bridges, strengthening existing structures, and upgrading floodways to bridges.

Federal Member for Forrest, Nola Marino said with more than 85 per cent of projects funded under the BRP located in regional Australia, this additional funding will further improve our roads across the region and our communities connected.

“Upgrading bridges improves the road and freight network across the South West, ensuring businesses can continue to operate efficiently as well as improving road safety for all road users,” Mrs Marino said.

“The Bridges Renewal Program has already had a big impact in our region, including replacing Collie River Bridges on the South Western Highway, replacing the bridge over Tren Creek on the Bussell Highway (underway), replacing the Preston River Bridge on Dardanup West Road, and providing a new concrete culvert for the upgrade of Mountford Road, Crooked Brook,” she said.

“Projects funded under the BRP also support local businesses, jobs and providing opportunities for local suppliers,” Mrs Marino said.

“I will work 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,” she said.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development 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,” the Deputy Prime Minister 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.

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