South-west councils have the opportunity to apply for a share of $100 million from the state government to repair dilapidated roads across the region.
The state government revealed the Fixing Country Roads Program on Tuesday as part of its $941 million regional roads investment.
The state government said the program did not provide “a blank cheque to councils” unlike the previous Liberal National Government’s Country Roads and Bridges Program.
It indicated the program comes with strict requirements to ensure money is actually spent on local roads.
Cash will be distributed for council’s to rebuild deteriorating roads, seal gravel roads, strengthen bridges, improve intersection and complete safety upgrades.
Warrnambool City Council city infrastructure director Scott Cavanagh said it would investigate the program, and apply for funding if it proved suitable.
“Any investment in improving our road network is great news,” Mr Cavanagh said.
“We’ll be looking carefully at the funding criteria to ascertain whether there is potential for us to access a share of the $100 million.”
Moyne Shire’s works and engineering manager Leah Johnston said the council would take “every opportunity to apply for grants, to improve our road network”.
She did not identify which roads in the shire required upgrades, or how much funding the shire would seek.
“We are really pleased to hear of another opportunity for road funding, as we have numerous roads that require funding to improve road safety for our community,” she said.
“We will now review these to see which projects meet the funding guidelines so that we have the best opportunity to be successful.”
Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan said since coming to office the government had doubled spending on road maintenance to make sure regional Victorians got the road works they needed.
“We’ve heard what regional Victorians have had to say about their local roads, now we’re investing $100 million over two years to help local councils deliver safer, faster and more reliable journeys,” he said. The state government advised applications for round one of the program are now open until October 15, and successful council projects will be delivered by June 2019.