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Haulage road hope

Monday, 21st November, 2011

By Erica Visser

 City Council has requested $3 million for the haulage road in the latest round of Regional Development Australia funding.

Council missed out on funding in the first round and is now hoping for better luck in the second round in which $200 million will be allocated to projects in country areas.

Inexplicably, in round one the largest amount of money for an individual project went to a build a road around the Perth airport. It received $6 million.

The haulage road has a projected cost of $8 million which Council hoped would be met by State and Federal governments, Council and the Perilya mining company. 

Mayor Wincen Cuy said that the road was “extremely important” and that funding was vital.

“If there’s no funding Perilya would enter it as a private road and it would put all the burden on them rather than the tiers of Government,” Mr Cuy said.

“It wouldn’t be a public road; it’d be for private Perilya use.”

If the project is selected by RDA Far West, Council may be asked to submit a full application for review.

Council’s General Manager, Frank Zaknich, said that he was hopeful that the project would secure funding.

“It’s a very competitive process concerning economic development for the city. Based on earlier feedback I think we have a chance,” Mr Zaknich said.

Council has also nominated the Film Studio for $2 million in funding.

“It’s to go towards the rehabilitation of station A,” Mayor Cuy said.

He said that the money would help get the $9 million project up and running.

Meanwhile, Council representatives attended the National Roads Congress yesterday to lobby for more money from the Federal Government for roads.

President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), Genia McCaffery, said research estimated that there was an annual shortfall of $1.2 billion for roads.

Road funding has been a hot topic of late as funding is desperately required for the Pooncarie, Silverton and Tibooburra roads. 

“It’s important that Council continues to lobby Federal Government program funding for the next ‘Roads to Recovery’ program to have success in securing funding,” Mr Zaknich said.

 

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Council’s Manager of Infrastructure, Paul DeLisio, attended the meeting and said 300 councils were represented.

“Council is keen to ensure the Roads to Recovery Program for local councils extends on past is present finishing date of 2014,” Mr DeLisio said.

“There’s been certainly commitment from both sides of Government - Labor and the Opposition - to extend the program for local roads.”

Ms McCaffery said that the Government had to realise that much more money was needed for roads.

“Continued under-investment in local roads hinders local social and economic development,” she said.

“Delegates also noted that no substantial additional funding has been committed to achieving the National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020.

“Delegates called on the Federal Government to commit additional funding to meet the road safety objective of a 30 per cent reduction in fatalities and serious injuries by 2020.”

 

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