Federal funding boosted amid challenging conditions
Published on 26 April 2023
The extension of the Federal Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Funding will allow Corangamite Shire Council to deliver vital community infrastructure in a challenging construction environment.
The Department of Infrastructure Transport, Regional Development, Communication and the Arts has extended the construction period for all approved projects under LRCI Program Phases 1, 2 and 3 with projects to be delivered by 30 June 2024.
It has committed an additional $250 million to Phase 4, which Councils can access from July 2023, with projects to be delivered by June 2025.
Corangamite has received $8.8 M through Phases 1, 2 and 3 towards 41 community facility or road infrastructure projects across the Shire.
Mayor Ruth Gstrein welcomed the funding which would help offset some of the challenges Council is facing with construction.
“The LRCI funding provides for important community infrastructure improvements which benefit community safety and quality of life for our residents,” Cr Gstrein said.
“Council has committed to delivery of these projects and appreciates the support from the Federal Government to deliver them within an extended time period.”
Director Works and Services Brooke Love said Council had experienced significant increases in prices along with a real shortage of contractors. “This is not just a problem for us here in Corangamite,” Mrs Love said.
“Construction, development and works activity is booming across the country. Coupled with the Victorian Big Build and the outcomes of both State and Federal election commitments, there has been a huge amount of activity and investment into the state.
“This has caused a shortage of contractors and skilled labour and driven up prices significantly.
“Some of our more complex projects including bridges and boardwalks on the Camperdown Timboon Rail Trail and Twelve Apostles Trail have been delayed by contractor availability.”
In addition, floods in October last year impacted on Council resources, the availability of local contractors and program delivery.
“Council's own construction program coupled with flood works is under pressure from wetter weather conditions and contractor labour shortages.
“Local contractors have been amazingly flexible, working in with various Council departments to deliver flood works, drainage works and road jobs.
“We really are grateful and wish to acknowledge these local businesses.”