Major Funding Boost to $1 Billion Aims to Enhance Road Safety

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Image: by Rhys Moult on Unsplash

The Australian Government has announced a significant increase in funding for road safety, with the Roads to Recovery (RTR) Program’s budget set to rise to $1 billion annually. This development was revealed in the 2024-25 Federal Budget and marks a crucial step towards addressing the nation’s infrastructure needs.

The RTR Program plays a vital role in the construction and maintenance of local road infrastructure across Australia.

Available to all local government areas, the program facilitates greater accessibility and improves safety, economic, and social outcomes. Operating under the National Land Transport Act 2014, it also provides a stable and predictable source of funding over five-year periods. With the flexibility to address local priorities, the program has already contributed to significant improvements across numerous road sites.

In the current funding period (2019-20 to 2023-24), the RTR Program has been allocated $2.6 billion, supporting the repair and upgrade of nearly 12,000 road sites. With the new budget announcement, starting from July 1, 2024, a new funding period will begin, eventually increasing the annual budget to $1 billion.

This escalation reflects the government’s commitment to bolstering road safety and infrastructure resilience at a time where road accidents are rampant.

Alongside the RTR Program, other initiatives like the Black Spot Program and the new Safer Local Roads and Infrastructure Program will also see increased funding. The Black Spot Program, aimed at improving high-risk road sites, will have its funding boosted from $110 million to $150 million annually. Meanwhile, the Safer Local Roads and Infrastructure Program, which merges the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program with the Bridges Renewal Program, will receive a minimum of $200 million each year.

Prioritising such significant investments, Australia aims to enhance the quality of its road networks, reduce accident rates, and ensure the safety of its citizens. This strategic focus on infrastructure is expected to yield long-term benefits, contributing to the nation’s overall development and well-being.

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