Councils across the North have an opportunity to upgrade local bridges in poor condition with the help of direct funding from the Federal Government.
Northern based Government Senator Ian Macdonald said a new round of funding under the $360million Bridges Renewal Programme opened last week.
“Councils across the north and north-west of the state are already benefitting from this program, with a number of projects funded in the last round, including Punchbowl Road Bridge in the McKinley Shire, which I was pleased to help officially open late last year,” Senator Macdonald said.
Other northern projects include Oakey Creek Bridge (Mareeba Shire), Victory Creek Bridge (Cassowary Coast), and Reedybrook Creek Bridge and Eight Mile Creek Bridge (Charters Towers).
“This is a great opportunity for local governments to apply for funding to repair damaged or ageing bridges, with up to half the cost met by the Australian Government.”
Senator Macdonald said councils can get on board by nominating local bridges that need upgrading or replacement.
“Better bridges improve safety and access for communities, and keep businesses and the road freight sector powering on, which is critical in those regional and rural communities across the North.”
Nominated projects will go through a competitive merit-based selection process, with successful applicants eligible to receive up to 50 per cent of project costs, up to $5million.
“Particularly for regional councils, the cost of upgrading or replacing a bridge is a significant cost burden, so it’s no wonder this programme has proven so popular,” Senator Macdonald said.
Proponents are encouraged to discuss priorities with their local communities, industry stakeholders, Regional Development Australia committees and relevant government road agencies early in the process of compiling their proposals.
Round Three is open for applications until 15 May, 2017. Guidelines and proposal forms are now available on the Bridges Renewal Programme website at www.infrastructure.gov.au/bridges.