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Heavy vehicle safety set for boost in bushfire affected communities

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Townships and regional areas affected by recent bushfires will be assessed by the Federal Government as it loosens the purse strings on $300 million in funding to upgrade key infrastructure for trucks across Australia.

Under Round 7 of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program (HVSPP), roads and rest stops damaged by fires or already deteriorating will be eligible for funding.

Part of the allocated budget will also go towards councils for bridge repair under Round 5 of the Bridges Renewal Program.

“It’s been an incredibly difficult start to the year for so many of our regional communities, particularly those suffering from drought and bushfires,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said.

“Many bridges and roads were damaged in the fires which is why we are continuing to work closely with Local Councils and State and Territory Governments to prioritise and fast-track projects which can be delivered quickly.

“But of course, these funding rounds are open to all areas – both city and country – and we’d like to see applications from right across the nation.

“No matter where you live, the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government is investing in our road infrastructure to help Australians reach their destinations sooner and safer.”

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said new infrastructure projects would provide a huge boost to bushfire-affected economies and also those struggling through drought.

“Efficient freight networks are critical to the national economy and this funding forms part of the Federal Government’s commitment to keeping heavy vehicle drivers safe and improving our road network," he said.

“This is why we increased annual funding for both of these programs by a combined $50 million in the last Federal Budget," said Buchholz.

“Under these programs, proponents can apply for funding of up to 50 per cent of project costs for up to five projects.”

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