Saturday, April 13, 2024

Queensland councils call for road funding to secure supply chains

Queensland councils are calling on the Federal Government to urgently fund local road projects as they seek to minimise future supply chain woes. 

Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) CEO, Alison Smith said the funding boost would provide vital support for Queensland’s supply chains, with the flow-on effect of making the state’s roads safer for all. 

“The COVID pandemic has stress-tested supply chains across the state, highlighting the important role they play in our economy,” Ms Smith said. 

“Building and maintaining a resilient road network is a key piece of the puzzle when it comes to addressing these supply chain issues, and it’s one that needs immediate attention.” 

Ms Smith said ‘first and last mile’ links were critical to seamless supply chains and to unlock regional economic potential. 

“The impact of ‘first and last mile’ issues on the Queensland economy are profound, but by investing $300 million per annum into a strategic local roads program, the Federal Government can deliver a significant boost to regional Queensland economies.”

“And, while the Federal Government’s ‘Roads to Recovery’ program has been an economic lifeline to regional Queensland, it is in dire need of a funding increase to $800 million per annum to ensure councils are building and maintaining the best possible roads. 

“Similarly, by committing to permanently allocate an annual $500 million to the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program, the Federal Government is in a position to enhance the liveability of communities in regional Queensland by further supporting local jobs and small businesses,” she said.

She said local governments were responsible for more than three-quarters of Australia’s roads, with Queensland councils managing more than 150,000 kilometres of roads and almost 3,000 bridges. 

“Councils aren’t asking for numbers on a budget paper, but for an annual $1.6 billion investment to upgrade road infrastructure that will bolster supply chains, create jobs and deliver a much-needed shot in the arm to local economies in Australia’s most decentralised state,” Ms Smith said.

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