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Rural councils welcome money for local roads

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25 June 2015

A significant increase to Roads to Recovery funding from the Australian government will be a big win for Victorian rural councils, according to Rural Councils Victoria (RCV) chair, Cr Rob Gersch.

Cr Gersch said that while rural councils don’t yet know what percentage of the additional funds for Victoria will come to them, he said the additional money will be very welcome.

“The Australian government announced increased Roads to Recovery funding for local roads as part of re-introducing the indexation of fuel excise to inflation.

“We understand Victorian councils are expected to receive an extra $61.1million in 2015 -16 and an extra $163.9million in 2016 -17,” he said.

This funding is on top of the government’s announcement in its 2015 -16 budget that it will double Roads to Recovery funding in 2015 -16 to Victoria to $142.4million.

Cr Gersch said the decision is a real win for small councils and will assist with local road maintenance projects across the state.

“Rural councils have really only had news about funding cuts in the recent past, so this is very welcome. Our members are still all dealing with the freeze to indexation of the Federal Assistance Grants which severely impacted their budgets. This announcement means that all rural councils will soon be able to be more confident in their forward planning for road works,’ he said.

RCV is the alliance of Victoria’s 38 rural councils. It supports and promotes sustainable, liveable and prosperous rural communities, including a program of activities focused on developing practical solutions to issues shared by the state’s rural councils and communities.

Rural Councils Victoria is supported with funding from the Victorian Government’s $3.3million Networked Rural Councils program.

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