South-west councils are hopeful they will receive additional funds to repair local roads.
Warrnambool, Moyne and Corangamite will be among councils across the country to benefit from a doubling of the federal Roads to Recovery fund from $500 million a year to $1 billion a year over the next four years.
The announcement came after the Grattan Institute argued country roads were underfunded to tune of $1b a year.
Warrnambool mayor Ben Blain said the increased funding was very welcome.
"Council will be a beneficiary of the increase, which is applied using a formula based on population and road length," Cr Blain said.
"At a regional level it is vitally important because our surrounding municipalities have lengthy networks of local roads that are required to cope with a significant and growing freight task."
Cr Blain said he hoped the state government would also ensure sufficient funds were committed to the network of roads it was responsible for.
"Much of the travel undertaken in our region is on the state arterial road network including the Princes Highway, Mortlake Road and Warrnambool to Cobden Road and we urge the Victorian government to provide sufficient funding for these roads," he said.
He said he was also pleased the Black Spot funding stream would also increase from $110 million to $150 million annually.
"Council has received grants from this funding stream for a number of intersection projects over the years," he said.
"Most recently council received $206,600 through the Black Spot program for an upgrade to the roundabout at the intersection of Queens and Botanic roads."
Moyne mayor Ian Smith also welcomed the news.
"Moyne Shire Council manages around 2000 kilometres of local roads, so we welcome any increase in funding that supports us to make more headway in improving our local road network," Cr Smith said.
He said the council was grateful the federal government had made the commitment, which was in line with the recommendations of the recently-released Grattan Institute report.
"We do hope that further announcements are made about the funding model for this program to ensure local government areas like Moyne - with a large asset base, but comparatively low rate revenues and population bases are taken into consideration when determining funding allocations," Cr Smith said.
He said this was also a key recommendation of the Grattan report.
"A number of factors will inform where funding is allocated - this included the results of the condition of sealed road survey, our five-year road asset management plan as well as feedback from the Moyne community received through our customer request process," Cr Smith said.
"An increase in the funding allocation may mean projects flagged for later years of the five-year road program are brought forward."
Corangamite Shire mayor Ruth Gstrein said she was pleased with the news.
"We are grateful for the federal government's continued support through this crucial funding program," Cr Gstrein said.
"The importance of the condition of our road network in relation to road safety and the local economy can't be underestimated.
"Council will continue to advocate for our fair share of funding in the future."
She said over the past five years $11,427,774 had been allocated to Corangamite Shire from the Roads to Recovery program.
She said this included a $2,285,555 allocation for the 2023-2024 financial year.
Councils receive an amount from the Roads to Recovery fund each year based on a formula taking into account population, road distance, road conditions and other factors.
Federal Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development minister and Ballarat MP Catherine King said Black Spot funding would also increase from $110 million to $150 million per year which councils could apply for to tackle dangerous roads and intersections where accidents occurred.
Ms King said the increased funding, and the merging of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program (HVSPP) and the Bridges Renewal Program (BRP) into a $200 million Safer Local Roads and Infrastructure Program, had been recommended by the Independent Strategic Review of the Infrastructure Investment Program.
The funding increases will be phased in over the forward estimates to avoid putting pressure on inflation, supply costs and the construction labour market.
"Big roads and metropolitan highways might get a lot of the attention, but we spend most of our driving lives on local roads around where we live and where we work," Ms King said.
"Regional road networks have been battered by severe weather events over the last few years. This funding will help councils to fix and maintain our roads."
"We've seen story after story on potholes and the weather has been pretty terrible ... local councils are really struggling to keep up. Doubling the money the federal government gives to local councils will allow them to spend money on roads, crews, get those potholes filled and fix those roads," Ms King said.
Her comments come after a Warrnambool man revealed he had been forced to replace two tyres in the past year due to the dire state of south-west roads.
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