State slashes Shire direct road grant

Saskia AdystiGreat Southern Herald

The State Government has reduced Katanning road funds to almost half of its total, as Transport Minister Rita Saffiotti announced the $10 million cut in Main Roads “direct road grants”.

Katanning Shire chief executive Julian Murphy said the funding cut was a direct response from the State Government after a disallowance motion went through the Upper House which stopped the State licensing and stamp duty concession in local governments.

“The discontinuation of licensing and stamp duty concession was going to hit us substantially — probably around $85,000”

“Now the Government have cut our direct road grant — which is a Main Roads grant that we often used for general road maintenance and road projects.”

Katanning Shire direct road grant has been cut from $114,000 to $65,000 a year.

However, different shires would receive different cuts — as the grant is decided according to road lengths and “assets preservation needs”.

“So if you have longer road lengths then you would have received more grants amounts,” Mr Murphy said. “We’re all losing around 45 per cent on our direct road grant — but different shires all have different grants.

“Those shires with bigger road lengths like Gnowangerup would certainly be badly affected.”

Nationals Member of Roe, Peter Rundle is disappointed with the decision as small regional local governments are affected the most.

“It’s a disappointing approach to take — we all know that road safety is paramount in regional area — so it’s a real concern that the shires have been penalised this way,” Mr Rundle said.

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