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24 May, 2021

TRC has received $12 million for local roads - Clifton has seen none of it

In the 2021-22 Federal Budget delivered by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, a further funding of $1 billion to the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure (LCRI) Program was announced, a program from which Toowoomba Regional Council has received $12 million for over the first two phases yet none of the money has come to the streets, roads and parades of Clifton, some of which are in dire need of repairs.

Langsdorf Road at Nobby, proclaimed by resident Neville Brosnan as the worst road in the Toowoomba Region, is one of many in and around Clifton that could be repaired.

On 22 May 2020, the Australian Government announced a new $500 million Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program, which is known as Phase 1.

In the 2020-21 Federal Budget, a further $1 billion extension was added to the program, known as Phase 2.

For Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the program, TRC received $4,092,300 and $7,170,885 respectively.

TRC has confirmed that none of the money was used to repair or build roads in Clifton or surrounding areas.

The amounts were determined by a formula that takes into account road length and population.

The further $1 billion added to the LCRI Program last week brings the total funding nationwide to $2.5 billion.

The amount TRC will receive for Phase 3 of the LCRI Program is yet to be determined.

The LCRI Program supports local councils to deliver priority local road and community infrastructure projects across Australia.

The program is designed to  support jobs and the resilience of local economies to help communities bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Neville Brosnan, who lives on Langsdorf Road which runs between Felton Clifton Road and Mount Kent Boundary Road to the west of Nobby, is one of many local residents unhappy with the present condition of their road.

Mr Brosnan said he has contacted Council many times over the years about getting Langsdorf Road repaired yet no significant work has been done.

Mr Brosnan said he will put up $50 for anyone who can show him a road in worse condition than Langsdorf road. 

Roads that residents have said are in desperate need of resurfacing and repairs to fix potholes include Clifton - Leyburn Road to the west of Clifton and Old Elphinstone Road to the south.

Road surfaces are far from the only thing that can be repaired, replaced or built with money from the LCRI program.

Traffic signs, street lighting, bridges, tunnels and even  facilities off the road that support the visitor economy can be built. 

Community infrastructure, including council-owned assets, can also be funded if they are generally accessible to the public and deliver benefits to the community.

Examples include bicycle and walking paths, fencing, picnic shelters and playgrounds.

From 1 January 2022, councils will be able to access funding through LRCI Program Phase 3, with projects under the Program to be delivered by 30 June 2023.

The increased funding available under LRCI Program Phase 3, as well as a longer delivery window, will allow for local governments to pursue larger, more complex projects that may be a higher priority and have a bigger impact on the community.

As the funding by the Federal Government has only been recently announced, Council still has plenty of time to decide where and how the money is allocated.

Residents of Clifton and surrounds are not short on proposals of where the money should be spent.

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