Federal boost for infrastructure

Roads and infrastructure projects in Mitchell Shire received a $1.7 million boost from the Federal Government to support the local economy’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding is part of a $1.8 billion package announced on Friday directed to councils across Australia to support jobs and businesses, and boost economies struggling under the effects of COVID-19.

The package includes the establishment of a new $500 million Local Road and Community Infrastructure Program and the bringing forward of $1.3 billion of the 2020-21 Financial Assistance Grant payment.

The new program is based on the Roads to Recovery program and will enable councils to deliver priority projects with a focus on upgrades and maintenance to local roads and community infrastructure.

Along with Mitchell Shire, neighbouring councils also received funding including more than $1.4 million each for Macedon Ranges Shire Council and City of Whittlesea.

Member for Nicholls Damian Drum said accelerating infrastructure projects was important for supporting jobs and the economy.

“Every single job we support makes a huge difference in our local communities, now and as we navigate out of the coronavirus pandemic,” Mr Drum said.

“Not only will this package support jobs, construction businesses and the economy across Nicholls, it will improve our local roads and provide for new and upgraded amenities to help communities stay connected.

As well as roads projects, a broad range of community infrastructure projects will be eligible including new or upgraded bicycle and walking paths, community facilities, and picnic shelters and barbecue facilities at parks.

Mitchell Shire Mayor David Lowe said council was looking forward to new projects, but did not outline specific projects.

“We look forward to delivering a number of roads and infrastructure projects brought about by this funding,” he said.

“We’ll look through a number of priorities to ensure we can align our projects with this funding.”