IPWEA NSW welcomes the budget and recognition of Local Government in economic recovery

IPWEA NSW welcomes the budget and recognition of Local Government in economic recovery

In the 2020 budget, the government announced a further expansion of the transport infrastructure pipeline, with the aim to create 40,000 more jobs.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has announced an $14 billion of investment in new and accelerated infrastructure projects, to be delivered over the next four years.

The budget includes an additional $3 billion towards shovel-ready projects, on top of the $2 billion announced since May 2020. This extra funding will be provided to state and local governments to deliver $2 billion of road safety projects as well as $1 billion of funding for the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.

IPWEA NSW President Warren Sharpe OAM highlights the importance of the role of Local Government in the recovery from the latest bushfire season, flooding and now COVID19: “The natural disasters we experienced this year and the COVID19 crisis have devastated our NSW communities. Early this year we called on the NSW and Australian Government to inject funding into local infrastructure as part of our recovery and both responded positively. This budget adds to that and will allow Local Government to play a vital role in the social and economic recovery. It’s great to see this role has been recognised by the Australian Government.”

“A total of $451 million will be allocated to New South Wales including: $120 million for pinch points, $191 million to fix local roads, $140 million for targeted safety works. A significant portion will be delivered by Local Government, working together with local suppliers.”

“Local Government needs to be strategic in the projects chosen to deliver improved road safety, lower road related trauma, improve equity in the bush and deliver improved transport efficiency for all road users. The decisions taken need to ensure the on-going funding is available to maintain what is built over the long term, otherwise the annual funding gap to look after local roads of $351 million dollars per year will grow and the network outcomes will fail to meet community need”.

“We also call on the Australian Government to play a greater role in funding improved water security and the implementation of the national water quality standards, especially for larger scale water supply projects that support economic growth, decentralisation and employment in our regions. In the driest continent in the world, we really need a greater involvement at a Federal level in national water security for our regional towns if we are to become a resilient and prosperous nation.” 

Mr Sharpe added, “All levels of Government need to continue to work together to ensure communities across NSW have the infrastructure needed for the long term, and to ensure Local Government is provided with a more sustainable funding model for the future.”

More information on the NSW Transport Infrastructure Backlog is available on https://www.roadsdirectorate.org.au/road-asset-benchmarking-project.

ENDS

For further comments, please contact:

Warren Sharpe OAM (IPWEA NSW President) 0409 398 358
Francine Binns (IPWEA NSW CEO) 0417 065 505
Arjan Rensen (Manager Road and Transport Directorate) 0420 531 500
E: nsw@ipweansw.org
W: www.ipweansw.org