Labor has secured more than $1.1 billion in additional funding for regional roads, which means councils in the Hunter electorate will have access to extra funds through the Roads to Recovery program.
In return, Labor will support the Abbott Government’s re-introduction of indexation for fuel excise.
“The additional $1.1 billion for regional roads will help local councils who have been reeling from Abbott Government cuts to local government financial assistance grants,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
“In its first Budget, the Abbott Government cut $925 million from grants to local governments.
“The additional funding will help stimulate growth and jobs and will see a much needed boost to local infrastructure.”
“The Roads to Recovery program funding is allocated to local government based on an independent process.”
Some estimates suggest there is a $15 billion local government infrastructure deficit, so this funding boost is critically needed.
The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has estimated that 11 per cent of roads managed by councils were in a poor or very poor condition.
“By playing dirty games in the Senate, the Abbott Government has threatened to return the additional fuel excise paid by motorists in Hunter over the last 8 months back to oil companies,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
“That would have been a major betrayal and is completely unacceptable to local motorists.
“This was a difficult decision to make, but I would much rather money is spent on regional roads than handed back to multinational oil companies.