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With the Federal election just around the corner, both major parties must look for new infrastructure funding that will support councils to create new jobs, deliver safer roads for all users and improve community wellbeing.

The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) is calling for an increase in a number of existing federal infrastructure programs and a new affordable housing partnership.

MAV President Cr David Clark joined with Australia’s 537 councils in asking for:

  • A $500 million per year permanent extension of the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program – this would give councils more certainty to plan for projects;
  • A new $300 million per year Strategic Local Roads Program to address first and last kilometre and support an efficient freight network;
  • An increase in Roads to Recovery Funding to $800 million per year and Black Spot Funding to $200 million per year;
  • Continuation of the Stronger Regional Digital Connectivity Package at $55 million over four years; and
  • A new $200 million per year fund to support councils to invest in innovative affordable housing partnerships.

These priorities have been independently assessed and, if funded, they would create 10,088 jobs and add $1.558 billion per year to Australia’s GDP.

Cr Clark said this election is an opportunity for federal parties to show how they’ll work with communities to create better connected communities for all users.

“Councils and communities across Victoria need greater support from the Australian Government to deliver safe and well-maintained roads, paths and other infrastructure,” he said.

“In many rural and regional areas, the limited council revenue and large road network responsibilities makes it very difficult for councils to deliver other important community services.”

Councils own and manage 33 percent of Australia’s public infrastructure, including 678,000km of road – 75 percent of the nation’s road transport network. The Australian Local Government Association’s 2021 National State of the Assets report shows that around 10 percent of this infrastructure requires urgent attention to be brought to standard, and another 30 percent requiring improvement works.

“Existing funding is unsustainably low. Local road funding contributions from the  Australian Government needs to be substantially increased in an ongoing and sustainable manner,” Cr Clark said.

“There needs to be a shift away from programs requiring quick delivery of shovel-ready projects to programs with minimal administrative burdens and greater flexibility.”

For further information, contact the MAV Strategic Communications team on (03) 9667 5590.