Prime Minister's Infrastructure Renewal Program Welcome
The Australian Automobile Association has today welcomed the Prime Minister's commitment to "the renewal of national physical and intellectual infrastructure" given in his Federation speech.
The Association's Executive Director, Lauchlan McIntosh, said the commitment was particularly good news for regional Australia where such a renewal was long overdue.
"We're also pleased that the Prime Minister said in his Federation speech 'our renewal of national infrastructure is ongoing and expanding. It is not dependent on any sale of Telstra'. The proposed Telstra sale is a very complex issue which could take years to resolve", Mr. McIntosh said.
"Roads are our single most important national infrastructure, providing a transport, communications and travel network essential to people and industries across the country. Many roads also happen to be in very poor and deteriorating condition. Recently the Institution of Engineers released a Report Card on Australia's infrastructure. National Roads were given a 'C', state roads a 'C-' and local roads a 'D'.
"The Report Card said that 'because of the age profile and condition of local roads, they can be rated no better than poor. Suburban roads suffer excessive traffic and congestion. Rural roads lack funding'. As a nation we cannot afford to delay addressing this growing crisis on our roads.
"The Australian Automobile Association, on behalf of the 6.8 million motorists we represent, calls on the Prime Minister to increasing road funding in this year's budget in line with his undertaking to renew the nations physical infrastructure.
"The government should instigate a ten year renewal program and it should not concentrate exclusively on major new projects but should also increase existing Commonwealth funding to local government and address smaller projects like road edges, by-passes, bridges and black spots which impact directly on road safety and motoring costs.