Each of the five councils in the Cowper electorate can now apply for federal funding to fix local bridges in poor condition.
Nationals Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker said a new round of funding under the $360 million Bridges Renewal Programme opened on Friday March 17.
“This is a great opportunity for local councils to apply for funding to have ageing bridges fixed, with up to half the cost met by the Australian Government. This will be the third round of funding under the programme, which is continuing to keep communities connected and local industries profitable,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
“Better bridges improve safety and access for communities, and keep businesses and the road freight sector powering on – delivering dollars into the pockets of local businesses and supporting jobs.
“The flooding experienced throughout the electorate over the weekend was another reminder of how important it is to have safe and reliable access to our communities. The Bridges Renewal Programme helps to ensure that local Councils can afford to upgrade or repair old and damaged bridges.
“Local residents who are concerned about the state of a bridge in their community should contact their Council to find out about any plans they have to apply for funding, or put forward suggestions.
“By working together with governments at all levels – particularly local Councils which often need a hand to get big-ticket projects underway – we are upgrading and repairing bridges in all corners of the country.
“We’ve already seen serious dollars put into fixing bridges in the region, with local councils receiving support to upgrade local bridges under Rounds Two of the programme.
“Since Bridges Renewal started in 2014-15, around $211 million has been invested in 204 projects across the nation. That’s why it is such popular programme – it helps Councils tackle big-ticket upgrades they might not otherwise be able to take on.
“State, territory and local governments are eligible to apply for up to $5 million in Australian Government funding per project – that’s a significant sum of money for any organisation.”
Mr Hartsuyker said submissions would be accepted from state, territory and local governments from Friday 17 March 2017.
Nominated projects will go through a competitive merit-based selection process, with successful applicants eligible to receive up to 50 per cent of project costs, or $5 million.
Proponents should discuss priorities with their local communities, industry stakeholders, Regional Development Australia committees and relevant government road agencies early in the process of compiling their proposals.
Round Three is open for applications until 15 May 2017. Guidelines and proposal forms are now available on the Bridges Renewal Programme website at: www.infrastructure.gov.au/bridges.