SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council will be given an extra funding boost of $1,375,451 for its rural road projects through the second of two parts in Phase 4 of the Federal Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure (LRCI) Program.
This grant comes from Phase 4’s new and further Part B $250 million allocation to the national LRCI program, as announced by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese last week, specifically for “road only projects in eligible non-urban areas”.
South Gippsland Shire has already been notified of its $2,384,531 share of the program’s earlier Phase 4 Part A funding $500 million allocation to be distributed among all Australian councils for roads and community infrastructure projects.
The Shire will now get a total of $3,759,982 from the LRCI program’s Phase 4.
South Gippsland Shire chief executive officer Kerryn Ellis said, “Council welcomes the additional $1,375,451 investment from the Federal Government in our local roads and community infrastructure.
“This is an addition to the $2,384,531 we have already been advised we will receive through Phase 4 [Part A] of the program,” she said.
Funding allocations for the LRCI program and the extension are determined by formula and take into account road length and population.
A Federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts spokesperson said the $500 million Phase 4 Part A funding “supports all Australian councils to deliver priority local road and community infrastructure projects in their region, creating jobs and long-lasting benefits for communities.
“The additional $250 million Part B investment is available to councils classified as rural, regional or outer-urban to spend on road projects.”
South Gippsland Shire is one of 466 of Australia’s 550 councils will benefit from this extra Part B funding.
The spokesperson said the Federal Government has “drawn on the Australian Classification of Local Governments, as a robust framework underpinning the determination of eligible councils for this additional $250 million in funding.
“From April 2023, the Government extended project construction timelines for Phases 1 to 3 of the LRCI program.
“Councils across Australia will now have until June 30 2024 to complete works, giving them a much-needed extra year on the LRCI construction timeframes for all three phases.”
In Phase 1 of the LRCI program, South Gippsland Shire Council was allocated $2,384,531 in funding, with $2,376,032 received during Phase 2, and a further $4,769,062 from Phase 3.
Local councils, including South Gippsland Shire, will be able to access their Phase 4 funding allocations from July 2023, with projects to be delivered by June 2025.
Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King said the further $250 million in the LRCI program’s Phase 4 Part B is “to prioritise road upgrades in regional, rural and outer urban areas.
“We know many councils across the country are struggling to maintain and improve their local road networks – especially following repeated flooding and other natural disasters in recent times,” she said.
“We have listened to councils and are standing stand side-by-side with local governments to support them in their vital role in delivering critical infrastructure for their communities.”
Rural Councils Victoria (RCV) represents rural communities across the state’s 38 rural local government areas, including South Gippsland Shire.
RCV and has welcomed the Federal Government announcement of an extra $250 million for road projects in its members’ municipalities.
RCV Chair Cr Mary-Ann Brown said, “this is fantastic news for rural councils and our communities, especially as this funding is targeted specifically to roads in rural, regional outer urban areas.
“It is pleasing to see that each of RCV’s 34 member councils received funding under Phase 4 of the LRCI program,” she said.
“RCV has been consistently advocating for extra funding for rural roads, which were in a poor state before the recent flood, and many are in even worse condition now.
“This funding will help councils provide better road infrastructure for rural communities, tourists, farmers, transportation, and other businesses that provide the food and other goods needed by those living in our cities.
“Good quality roads improve road safety and cut transportation and vehicle repair costs for farmers and other businesses, helping make food and other goods cheaper for consumers, especially at a time of high inflation,” Cr Brown said.
“RCV will continue having conversations about road funding with the State and Federal Governments to ensure that rural communities, and those who visit or do business in rural communities get their fair share of funding and road repairs.”
LRIC Program Phase 1 to 3 Projects
THE following is a list of South Gippsland Shire Council projects funded through Phases 1 to 3 of the Federal Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program
Phase 1: $2,384,531 – Started July 2020, with works completed.
- Clancys Road, Korumburra – Gravel to Seal
- Atherton Drive, Venus Bay – Gravel to Seal
- Loch-Poowong Road, Loch – Road Rehabilitation
- Ferrier Street, Korumburra – Road Rehabilitation
- Bena Kongwak Road, Bena – Road Rehabilitation
- Poowong Netball Court, Poowong
- Port Welshpool Marine Search and Rescue Hub Redevelopment Project
- Nicholls Road, Mardan – Major Culvert Replacement
Phase 2: $2,376,032 – Started December 2020, with works completed.
- Municipal Lighting Upgrade Project
- Port Welshpool Boat Ramp Car Park Enhancement Project
Phase 3: $4,769,062 – Started October 2021, with works planned or under way.
- Simons Lane, Leongatha – Gravel to Seal
- Mirboo North Pool Carpark, Mirboo North
- Leongatha Early Learning Centre Carpark, Leongatha
- Recreation Stadiums Allocations (Mirboo North, Leongatha, Korumburra, Poowong, Meeniyan, Foster)
- Electric Vehicles (EV) Charging Stations
- Municipal Lighting Upgrade Project – Phase 2
- Recreation Reserves Oval Lighting Upgrades (Fish Creek and Meeniyan)
- Korumburra Showground Change Room Facilities Upgrade
Phase 4: Part A $2,384,531 + Part B $1,375,451 = $3,759,982 – Starts July 2023
- Projects not yet nominated.