The Federal Government has allocated an extra $1 million in funding for Whitsunday roads.
The Federal Government has allocated an extra $1 million in funding for Whitsunday roads. Darryn Smith

Extra funding for roads

More than $1 million in extra funding has been allocated for Whitsunday Regional Council roads over the next five years.

The Federal Government yesterday announced an additional $1,050,357 in Roads to Recovery funding in the period from mid-2019 to mid-2023.

This is in addition to the $4,202,149 already allocated under the program for those four years.

This money goes to the Whitsunday Regional Council which will choose what projects to use it on.

Council roads and drainage executive manager John Gwydir said with the extra funding council would look to accelerate its existing capital works road program and draw from projects on its backlog of works to address a variety of issues across the region's vast road network.

The extra money is part of an additional $2.2 billion in road safety funding announced by the Federal Government.

Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen said road safety was everyone's responsibility but the government had a key role to play in delivering safer roads and vehicles.

As well as the Roads to Recovery funding, the Federal Government has also announced an extra $550 million for Black Spot funding which targets known high-risk locations and reduces serious crashes by 30 per cent on average.

Mr Christensen said the government would also deliver a further $571.1 million to improve the safety and efficiency of heavy vehicle operations through the Bridges Renewal Program, Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program and Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiatives.

"Safer roads and bridges mean safer heavy vehicle operations, which is critical to our goal of reducing road trauma on the nation's roads,” he said.

Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Minister Michael McCormack said 2018 saw 81 fewer deaths nationwide compared to 2017, but there was no room for complacency.

"We must push ahead with practical measures and infrastructure funding to drive road deaths towards zero,” Mr McCormack said.

"The government has also announced a new $12 million Road Safety Innovation Fund to support research and development in priority areas such as regional road safety, driver distraction from mobile devices, protecting vulnerable road users and reducing drug driving.

"In addition, a new Road Safety Awareness and Enablers Fund will offer $4 million in targeted and competitive grants to fund road safety awareness, education and collaboration initiatives.

"We are also backing local governments to prioritise safety, providing a further $2.55 million to the Australian Road Research Board to help councils keep abreast of the latest road safety design and maintenance innovations when managing their local road assets.