Council’s road to improvement

LATROBE City roads will be improved after council received an additional $3.8 million through the national Roads to Recovery program.

Latrobe City general manager of community infrastructure and recreation Steven Piasente said council’s total allocation of $10.9 million would significantly boost investment into local roads.

“The funding provides a boost to the local economy, helps fund much-needed road upgrades and improves road safety,” Mr Piasente said.

“The funding from the Roads to Recovery program at Latrobe City has generally been used to rehabilitate our ageing road network.

“At this stage we do not have detailed projects identified, however once we have determined specific projects we will advise the community.”

The funding arrives after the re-introduction of fuel excise indexation legislation was passed through Federal Parliament last month, with Labor’s support.

Petrol taxes will rise twice a year as a result, with $1 billion of the $3.6 billion revenue raised going directly into Australian roads.

Federal Infrastructure and Regional Development Minister Warren Truss announced the funding last week, along with further commitments for several local government programs.

These involve an additional $200 million towards the Black Spot Program and the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program.

Applications for the second rounds of both the Bridges Renewal Program and National Stronger Regions Fund are also open.

“Latrobe City Council will be making an application for funding for a number of projects under the Black Spot Program to improve road safety in the municipality,” Mr Piasente said.

“(We are) currently investigating if there may be eligible projects under the Bridges Renewal and Heavy Vehicle and Productivity programs.”

Latrobe City decided late last year to bid for its Latrobe Performing Arts and Convention Centre in the current round of the National Stronger Regions Fund.