Victorian local governments are invited to seek funding from a new Transport Accident Commission (TAC) grants program designed to reduce deaths and injuries on local roads.
The Victorian Coalition Government today announced the new LGA Small Infrastructure Grants Program, encouraging councils to apply for money for local projects to improve safety for their community’s riders and pedestrians.
Local MP’s Kim Wells and Nick Wakeling said the program was aimed at preventing residents from being injured on local streets.
“This program is about encouraging local solutions to the local safety concerns of cyclists and pedestrians,” Mr Wells said.
“Cyclists and pedestrians account for more than 1,600 injuries across the state each year. The Napthine Government recognises the value of addressing this at a local level.
“Local government authorities are well-placed to understand local issues and are connected with local community groups who understand where safety improvements are required,” Mr Wells said.
Nick Wakeling MP said local governments could apply for grants of up to $25,000 for planning and researching innovative safety treatments. Councils with plans already in place are eligible to apply for matched-funding grants of up to $100,000 to cover the cost of developing the new infrastructure.
“We’re looking for area-wide or route-based solutions. An example might be a gateway project that indicates to motorists that they are entering a high-pedestrian zone, or it could be new crossings or bike paths to separate cyclists from cars,” Nick Wakeling MP, said.
TAC claims data shows that children and middle aged men are most at risk of being injured while cycling. Injuries resulting in a trip to hospital are most likely to occur at intersections (30 per cent), followed by riders being struck from behind by a car or other motorised vehicle moving in the same direction (25 per cent).
Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips said the new program was a commitment in the Napthine Government’s Road Safety Strategy 2013-2022.
“The public told us that more bike lanes and paths and more pedestrian crossings were needed. I’m pleased to be launching this program to meet the community’s desire for safer infrastructure,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.
Victorian local governments have until August 30 to submit an application for a share of the $1 million in TAC funding available in the first round of the annual grants program.
The LGA Small Infrastructure Grants Program was developed in consultation with local councils, the Municipal Association of Victoria, VicRoads and other stakeholders, including Victoria Walks, Bicycle Network Victoria and the RACV.
Local government authorities and community groups wanting more information can visit www.tac.vic.gov.au/lgagrants
For more information about the Victorian Government’s Road Safety Strategy 2013-2022, visit: www.roadsafety.vic.gov.au
Shan Blethyn, Office of Kim Wells MP phone: 9764 8988
Jo Fiscalini, Office of Nick Wakeling MP phone: 9758 6011