COMMUNITIES and businesses will have better local road connections, with 126 ageing bridges to be replaced throughout rural and regional Australia.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Liberal and Nationals government had committed $58 million to help fund local upgrade projects through round four of the Bridges Renewal Program.

“The Liberal and Nationals government has provided up to 50 per cent of the cost of replacing old and unsafe local bridges, which often act as a gateway through regional areas,” Mr McCormack said.

“Older bridges in the bush are often restricted by load limits, meaning trucks are diverted and forced to travel longer routes hindering our local businesses and driving up costs.

“Rural and regional areas rely on bridges as vital links between the farm gate and getting products to market, and we want to ensure we’ve got the best infrastructure to support them.

“That’s why, as a government focused on rural and regional issues, the Liberal and Nationals established the Bridges Renewal Program to help stimulate local economies around the nation and make communities stronger and safer, especially those in regional areas.”

Mr McCormack said the announcement follows the Liberal and Nationals government additional $2.2 billion commitment to road safety funding recently announced in the 2019-20 budget.

“The Liberal and Nationals government is investing unprecedented funding in safer roads that save lives,” Mr McCormack said.

“More funding for the Roads to Recovery program, Black Spot Program, Bridges Renewal Program and the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative is our commitment to people living in rural and regional areas, so that local communities can make more local decisions on their local roads.”

A full list of successful projects is available at

Shane Manning