The Federal Government has announced further investment boosts for Australian roads, through the Road Safety Program, to fast-track projects in WA, VIC, SA and Queensland.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure,Transport and Regional Development, Barnaby Joyce, said one life lost on Australian roads is one too many.
“That’s why the Australian Government has committed $3 billion for the nationwide Road Safety Program,” Mr Joyce said.
“Our Government is committed to keeping our communities safe, while securing our economic recovery.
“The funding supports the fast roll-out of life-saving safety works on rural and regional roads, and is another example of the Australian Government working to reduce the number of Australians missing around the dinner table due to tragedies on our roads.”
Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport, Scott Buchholz, said, “Making our roads safer is a critical component of our work to reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads and move towards achieving vision zero – that is zero deaths or serious injuries on our roads by 2050.
“We are also investing significantly in other life-saving road safety initiatives including the Black Spot Program, Targeted Road Safety Works initiative and Road Safety Innovation Fund.
“This additional funding complements that work, resulting in an even greater roll out of improved infrastructure and roads right across the nation.”
Funding boosts per state:
An additional $56 million investment in road safety in Victoria will fund another 29 lifesaving projects, bringing the total investment in 2021 through the Road Safety Program to more than $300 million.
Of the extra funding, almost $49 million will be invested in regional Victoria to deliver 18 road safety projects, with the remaining funds directed toward traffic calming, safer pedestrian access and electronic speed limit signs at schools and other high traffic pedestrian areas in metropolitan Melbourne.
Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Ben Carroll, said the bulk of the Victorian investment is being targeted in regional areas, including the installation of flexible safety barriers and rumble strips.
This will help lower the risk of the two most significant causes of deaths on regional Victorian roads – head-on and run-off-road crashes.
“The Road Safety Program is already delivering life-saving improvements across Victoria’s roads, with each project directly contributing to reducing road trauma and saving lives,” Mr Carroll said.
“It also supports Victoria’s Road Safety Strategy 2021–2030 which sets ambitious targets to halve road deaths and significantly reduce serious injuries by 2030 – setting the state on a path to zero road deaths by 2050.”
The initial $245 million investment in the Road Safety Program is already delivering results with more than 59 projects in regional Victoria delivered.
South Australia will have 570kms of road safety projects fast-tracked, through a $52.7 million package to enable upgrades to be completed in the 2021–22 financial year.
The announcement builds on the $104.6 million in joint funding already announced under the Road Safety Program in January this year to support the accelerated delivery of 15 road safety projects in the state.
South Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Corey Wingard, said the projects involved a range of shovel-ready upgrades that could be delivered quickly, to help save lives sooner at targeted high-priority locations across the state.
“Upgrades include delivering much-needed road widening, shoulder sealing, new barriers, rumble strips to alert drivers they are moving out of their lane and wide centre line treatments on high-risk roads across the state,” Mr Wingard said.
“Our governments are working hand in hand to make our roads safer, while supporting employment in regional communities, with this second round of funding set to support around 570 jobs over the life of the program of works.”
Queensland road safety projects will be streamlined with a $174.7 million package to enable almost 50 more upgrades to be completed in the next 12 months.
The announcement builds on $296.25 million in joint funding announced in January 2021 to accelerate the delivery of almost 100 Queensland road safety projects.
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said the additional funding was part of the Palaszczuk Government’s plan to tackle road safety, whilst creating more jobs.
“We now have almost $475 million in joint funding announced since the start of the year being rolled out across the state for almost 140 projects, with construction works fast-tracked to provide investment certainty and job security in communities across the state,” Mr Bailey said.
“A total of 45 new projects are now being rolled out across the state, with construction works fast-tracked for completion.
“The Palaszczuk Government will be delivering better rest facilities, intersection upgrades, new barriers, extra street lighting and overtaking lanes, audio tactile line-marking and wide centre line treatments on high-risk roads across the state.”
The projects included:
Rest area upgrades (statewide)
$14 million for fatigue management upgrades to roadside rest areas throughout Queensland.
Dawson Highway – Banana to Rolleston (Central Queensland)
$4 million for widening works to reduce the risk of head-on crashes.
Dawson Highway – Rolleston to Springsure (Central Queensland)
$4 million for widening works to reduce the risk of head-on crashes and address surface issues.
Capricorn Highway and Blackwater-Rolleston Road (Central Queensland)
$3.5 million to upgrade the intersection to address crash history.
Gulf Developmental Road (Far North Queensland)
$2.5 million for widening and sealing along the Gulf Developmental Road to create two lanes.
Brisbane Road – Ipswich
$2.5 million for upgrades to the intersection of Brisbane and Braeside roads.
Palmerston Highway – Innisfail to Ravenshoe (Northern Queensland)
$2 million to widen shoulders to create safer roadsides and to install guardrail at high-risk locations.
Carnarvon Hwy and Noondoo‐Thallon Road (Southern Queensland)
$1.5 million for improvements to the intersection of Carnarvon Hwy and Noondoo‐Thallon Road to ensure safe traffic movements on heavy vehicle route.
Western Australian government is prioritising and fast-tracking 69 new road safety projects, thanks to a $100 million joint funding package with the Federal Government to enable upgrades to be completed in the 2021–22 financial year.
Western Australian Minister for Transport and Planning, Rita Saffioti, said the projects are helping reduce fatalities and serious injuries on our roads, while also supporting job creation and the local economy.
“Upgrades include delivering critical road widening, shoulder sealing, rumble strips to alert drivers they are moving out of their lane and wide centre line treatments on high-risk roads across the state,” Ms Saffioti said.
“The new projects being rolled out across the state will support around 470 jobs, bringing much-needed opportunities to the regions.
“These works will reduce crashes, while also providing a much needed boost to local economies and supporting local jobs. With these new projects, up to 7,000kmof regional roads will have been given these much needed treatments by mid-2022.”
The Federal Government’s funding for the Road Safety Program is subject to ‘use it or lose it’ provisions and will deliver life-saving treatments on regional roads and protect vulnerable road users across Victoria, while also supporting local jobs and providing a welcome boost to local economies.
The ‘use it or lose it’ provisions require states and territories to use their notionally allocated funds within a timeframe, or the funds can be reallocated to projects in other jurisdictions.
More information on the Road Safety Program, and further nationwide funding details, got to: https://www.officeofroadsafety.gov.au/programs/infrastructure-programs
Infrastructure took a closer look at the road safety projects underway around Australia in the latest edition of the magazine, read the article here.