Road safety ‘at risk’ with fund cut

Tayler NealeAlbany Advertiser

Local governments throughout the Great Southern will be left with a gap in roadworks funding after the State Government’s recent decision to cut funding for road maintenance.

City of Albany chief executive Andrew Sharpe indicated the $10 million in cuts to road grants, announced late last month would affect the City significantly.

“The City of Albany is disappointed at the announcement by the State Government concerning cuts in road funding,” he said.

“The City is reviewing its position, and depending on how administered, the resulting reduction in road expenditure in the City of Albany is expected to be in excess of $200,000 per annum. A reduction of this magnitude is expected to have an impact on the City’s capacity to maintain services to its community across the board.”

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WA Local Government Association president Lynne Craigie said the cuts would increase risks on the road and hurt the economy.

“Councils will be faced with the choice of passing on the additional financial pain to their communities or deferring road maintenance works indefinitely and putting community safety at risk,” she said. “Cutting back on infrastructure investment will do further harm to the WA economy and will do nothing of substance to either fix the State Budget or create jobs.”

Shire of Denmark chief executive Bill Parker said Denmark’s finances will be affected.

“We are yet to receive final confirmation but estimate a reduction of approximately $40,000,” he said.

The Shire of Plantagenet is expected to lose more than $80,000 from the cuts. However, Shire deputy chief executive John Fathers said the vehicle licensing concessions had softened the blow. “There will still need to be some adjustment, as the reduction in road grants is about $21,000 more than what we would have lost if vehicle licensing concessions had been removed,” he said.

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