Road funding stripped by Federal Government

A sealed road, completed through the Roads for the Community initiative.

More than 138km of road sealing projects have been abandoned, following the Federal Government’s decision to cut more than $100 million from the Roads for the Community Initiative.

In 2019, the previous Federal Government announced a nine year, $150m funding plan for Yarra Ranges, with the same amount pledged to Cardinia Council, to seal roads within the Dandenong Ranges and surrounding areas.

Following the 2022 Federal Election, the new Federal Government informed Council that only $47.7m of the original $150 will be honoured, leaving the project without two thirds of its projected funding.

As a result, more than 403 roads across the Yarra Ranges cannot proceed, impacting more than 5200 properties.

Yarra Ranges Mayor, Jim Child, said that Council and the community were devastated by the funding cut.

“We’ve already heard from upset community members, who will either face long waits and significantly higher costs to build their road, or will face the prospect of their road not being sealed at all,” he said.

“Councils have been hamstrung for decades, with no State or Federal Government funding to seal crushed rock roads – leaving community members and Councils to pay huge sums for this infrastructure.

“Roads for the Community would have allowed us to complete 60-100 years’ worth of road sealing projects in less than 10, but now the majority of this project has to be abandoned.

“Sealing these roads offers significant benefits – from safety for drivers and pedestrians, access for emergency vehicles, better evacuation routes, reduced dust on local roads and associated drainage works to prevent flooding and run-off. We are incredibly disappointed to lose this funding.

“We’re aware that the pledge in 2019 back-loaded the funding, meaning the incoming Federal Government would have significant amounts of funding to provide, but the commitment at the time was bipartisan, so all parties were on board. We cannot emphasise enough the enormous community benefit of these projects would have provided, beyond the construction cost.

“We urge the Federal Government to reconsider this funding cut. We will continue to advocate for new funding to progress these vital projects on behalf of our disappointed community members.”

Community members on impacted roads have been sent letters, with details of the funding cut and whether their sealing project can continue.

To see whether your road project is impacted by these funding cuts, visit

To sign a community-led petition to Parliament, visit this link before midnight on 8 March.

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