Roads funding green light for state councils

TASMANIAN councils will be able to go ahead with major road works after the Senate passed legislation to continue funding for the Roads to Recovery program yesterday.

Councils had been waiting five months to hear whether the program would get the green light and would continue until 2018-19, with a total national pool of $2.1 billion over that time.

Tasmania is set to receive $11.4 million a year, however this amount will double for one year in 2015-16.

Local Government Association of Tasmania president Barry Easther said it was very good news for state councils as it gave them some certainty.

"Everyone in local government is just absolutely over the moon that the bill has finally passed the Senate as it ensures ongoing Roads to Recovery funding through to 2019," Cr Easther said.

Australian Local Government Association president Felicity-ann Lewis welcomed the news but called on the federal government to make it a permanent measure.

"Councils and their communities across Australia have been left in a state of uncertainty for months as the major political parties failed to resolve their differences on matters unrelated to R2R," Alderman Lewis said.

"The only way to avoid a repeat of this situation is to make the program permanent and give local government a guaranteed Roads to Recovery program."

Cr Easther supported the call and said it would be particularly beneficial for rural and remote councils around the country and give them certainty into the future.

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