Funding now available for the Bridges Renewal Programme
Councils throughout the Riverina and Central West now have the chance to fix local bridges in poor condition with the help of direct funding from the Federal Government.
The third round of funding under the $360 million Bridges Renewal Programme is now open and the Nationals’ Federal Member for Riverina and Minister for Small Business, Michael McCormack is encouraging local councils across the electorate to apply for funding.
“This is a great opportunity for local councils to apply for funding to have ageing bridges fixed, with up to half the cost met by the Australian Government, helping to keep communities connected and local industries profitable,” Mr McCormack said.
“Councils can get on board by nominating local bridges that need upgrading or replacement and local residents who might also have thoughts on bridges requiring attention should get in touch with their Council to nominate local bridges, or put forward suggestions.
“Better bridges improve safety and access for communities, and keep businesses and the road freight sector powering on – delivering dollars into the pockets of local businesses and supporting jobs.
“By working together with governments at all levels – particularly local Councils which often need a hand to get big-ticket projects underway – we are upgrading and repairing bridges in all corners of the country.
“We’ve already seen serious dollars spent fixing bridges in the region, with 5 upgrade projects having received support under Rounds One and Two of the programme.
Successful projects across the Riverina and Central West have included; $595,000 for the replacement of Kadina Bridge in the Parkes Shire Council area, $9.8 million in Wagga Wagga for the replacement of the Eunony Bridge, $2.5 million in Gundagai for the replacement of the Gobarralong Bridge, $100,000 in Caragabal for the replacement of Beazley’s Lane Bridge and the widening of McHenry’s Creek Bridge in the Hilltops Council area totalling $838,000.
“Since Bridges Renewal started in 2014-15, around $211 million has been invested in 204 projects across the nation. That’s why it is such popular programme – it helps Councils confront big-ticket upgrades they might not otherwise be able to tackle on their own.
“State, territory and local governments are eligible to apply for up to $5 million in Australian Government funding per project and that’s a significant sum of money for any organisation,” Mr McCormack said.
Mr McCormack indicated nominated projects will go through a competitive merit-based selection process, with successful applicants eligible to receive up to 50 per cent of project costs, or $5 million.
Round Three is open for applications until 15 May 2017. Guidelines and proposal forms are now available on the Bridges Renewal Programme website at: www.infrastructure.gov.au/bridges or by contacting Mr McCormack’s Wagga Wagga electorate office.