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The Australian Government has announced a Remote Roads Upgrade Pilot Programme which will see AUD$150 million targeted to road improvements for regional communities.

Australian regional drivers are five times more likely to die on the road than their metropolitan counterparts.

Project submissions with provision of a current risk rating using a recognised standard such as the Australian National Risk Assessment Model (ANRAM) that is an enhanced fatality estimation model based on the AusRAP models or the Australian Road Assessment Programme (AusRAP) are preferred.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP announced the investment which will address significant deficiencies on key regional and rural roads that limit community access, pose safety risks and impact the economic development of the surrounding area.

Australia’s peak motoring body, the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) Managing Director Michael Bradley said despite accounting for just 28 per cent of Australia’s population, the regions now account for 66 per cent of Australian road deaths.

“The Government should be congratulated for committing new funding to regional road treatments, which needs to remain a significant focus of efforts to reduce Australia’s worsening road toll.

“This is a welcome first step, but much more needs to be done, particularly in the area of road safety data collection and reporting,” Mr Bradley said.

Applications are invited by 20 February and can only be lodged by a state/territory government, or local government entities eligible for funding under the Roads To Recovery Programme.

See the application form and guidelines for applicants and recipients here.

Australia has committed to a goal of zero deaths and serious injuries on its roads (Vision Zero) by 2050.

This funding builds on the Office of Road Safety’s administration of a $3 billion Road Safety Programme to support the fast roll out of lifesaving road safety treatments on rural and regional roads and greater protection for vulnerable road users in urban areas.

Read more on recent AusRAP developments here.

Photo source: Unsplash Cassie Smart.

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