The ACT will receive $8 million for roads and community projects under a new $500 million Federal Government fund for local governments to deliver priority infrastructure projects and boost local economies.
A further $9 million has been allocated to local government in the region, including $1.5 million for Queanbeyan-Palerang, $1.7 million for the Snowy Monaro, $1.2 million for the Bega Valley Shire and about $1 million each for Cootamundra-Gundagai and Goulburn Mulwaree.
The Federal Government has also brought forward $1.3 billion from the 2020-21 Financial Assistance Grant payment to help local governments recover from the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and boost investment in the short-term.
The ACT Government has not put forward any projects at the moment, but further announcements are expected to be made early next week.
“The ACT welcomes the funding from the Federal Government; we are working with them to finalise the list of projects,” an ACT Government spokesperson said.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the investment in local infrastructure like roads and public places will help kickstart some regional economies.
It will also help better connect some regional centres and provide local communities with safer and more efficient infrastructure, he said.
“This package will improve road safety and bolster the resilience of our local road networks, which will get Australians home sooner and safer, no matter where they live,” he said.
“Projects could include constructing or improving bridges and tunnels, street lighting and heavy vehicle facilities such as rest areas.
“Providing support for social infrastructure projects such as new or upgraded bicycle and walking paths, community facilities, picnic shelters and barbeque facilities at parks, will help communities, especially those in regional and remote areas, stay connected.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison lauded local governments for being at the forefront of local recovery in responding to the impacts of the pandemic.
“Our funding boost will help councils accelerate priority projects that will employ locally and support local business and also stimulating our economy,” the Prime Minister said.
“These projects will cut travel times, make our communities safer and upgrade the facilities we all enjoy while also getting more people into jobs.
“We know this is going to be vital support, particularly for councils that have faced the combined impacts of drought, bushfires and now COVID-19.”
The full list of allocations to local councils under the Financial Assistance Grant and Local Road and Community Infrastructure programs can be found at Infrastructure.