Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this funding boost is about getting parents, kids, and workers home more safely.
“Keeping Australians safe is my Government’s number one priority.
“When you get in your car to drive home you don’t usually think about it being dangerous. The truth is fatal road accidents are far too common.
“More than a thousand Australians died on our roads last year. That’s devastating.
“These are mums who didn’t make it home from work, or children that didn’t make it to school.
“These programs mean local councils decide where the money should be spent. They are in the best position to identify black spots and problem areas.
“This is why a strong economy is so important. It allows us to invest in safer roads that save lives.”
Today’s announcement locks in:
- An additional $1.1 billion in funding for local governments under the Roads to Recovery program, which allows investment in road safety infrastructure in regional Australia.
- An extra $550 million for the successful Black Spot Program, which targets known high-risk locations and reduces serious crashes by 30 per cent, on average.
- A further $571.1 million to improve the safety and efficiency of heavy vehicle operations through the Bridges Renewal Program, Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program and Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiatives (HVSI).
Deputy Prime Minister, Nationals’ Leader and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said a new Office of Road Safety will also be established.
“The Office of Road Safety will provide a national point for collaboration and leadership on key road safety priorities, working closely with states, territories, local government, and key road safety stakeholders,” Mr McCormack said.
“Safer roads save lives. They also create jobs in construction and boost productivity.
“The Liberals and Nationals are building safer roads and bridges. This means safer heavy vehicle operations, which is critical to our goal of reducing road trauma on the nation’s roads.
“New funding to the HVSI will build on the other 30 projects delivered through the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator to date.
“2018 saw 81 fewer deaths nationwide compared to 2017, but there is no room for complacency. We must push ahead with practical measures and infrastructure funding to drive road deaths towards zero.
“These measures will also include a new $12 million Road Safety Innovation Fund to support research and development in priority areas such as regional road safety, driver distraction from mobile devices, protecting vulnerable road users and reducing drug driving.”
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said safety on our roads was a key concern for every member of the community and that the public would benefit greatly from this important investment.
“Road widening, new overtaking lanes and intersection improvements are all important steps we can take to make our roads safer.”
“As a Government we are able to deliver important investments like our $2.2 billon Road Safety Package as a result of our strong economic management.”
The Government is committed to working in a bipartisan spirit to progress the 12 recommendations made by the National Road Safety Strategy Inquiry in September 2018.
The additional funding announced today builds on the Australian Government’s current investment of around $2.6 billion in safety-enhancing projects, bringing the total investment to $3.1 billion per year over the period 2019–20 to 2022–23.