In 2019 the Federal Government announced a nine year, $150 million funding plan for Yarra Ranges Council to seal roads within the Dandenong Ranges and surrounding areas.
Following the October 2022 Federal Budget, Council was advised that the Federal funding for the Roads for the Community Initiative program was going to be cut.
In January 2023, Council received formal notification from the Commonwealth Government’s Minister for Infrastructure, Hon Catherine King MP, of funding cuts to the Roads for the Community Initiative program. The funding cuts will see $47.7 million honoured of the original $150 million commitment.
To find out if your road project will proceed as planned, see our Road Status List here(PDF, 911KB).
The funding for the Roads for the Community Initiative program has been cut from $150 million to $47.7 million.
With a funding cut of over $100 million, the construction of all roads included in the original priority list will not be possible, as the Federal funding was subsidising about 75% of the total works in the program.
With the level of funding available, Council can continue to progress works on all road projects that have commenced construction and the contract for works has been awarded.
All landowners that have been consulted previously regarding the Roads for the Community program will be provided with an update letter regarding the status of their project.
Council were three years into the nine year federally funded program when the funding cuts were announced by the Federal Government.
At the time, a number of road projects had either been completed, commenced construction or contracts for works had been awarded.
With the level of funding available (only $47.7 million of the original $150 million) Council can continue to progress works on all road projects that have commenced construction, and projects where the contract for works have been awarded.
No. Yarra Ranges Council has significant demands for infrastructure improvements, with over 700 kilometres of unmade roads, limited footpath networks and a high demand for drainage improvements throughout the municipality.
The Federal funding in this program was subsidising about 75% of the total cost of works in the program.
We do not have the capacity to meet the demand for all of these improvements or fully fund these works from rates that are collected.
Yarra Ranges Council Mayor Jim Child and Cardinia Shire Council Mayor Tammy Radford travelled to Canberra to meet with the Minister for Infrastructure and Transports Chief of Staff to advocate for the original funding commitment to be honoured.
Council will continue to advocate for the Roads for the Community Initiative funding to be reinstated as one of its priority initiatives.
Council Officers will work collaboratively with Cardinia Shire Council on a campaign and pre-budget submission to be prepared for the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments in 2023.
If you wish to be involved in advocating for the reinstatement of the Federal Government’s funding for the Roads for Community Initiative, you can:
Contact a Minister and/or Member of Parliament
The Hon. Catherine King MP
The Hon. Catherine King MP
Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government
PO Box 6022
House of Representatives
Canberra ACT 2600
Telephone: (02) 6277 7520
Office of Aaron Violi MP
Office of Aaron Violi MP
Federal Member for Casey
Suite 11, 1 East Ridge Drive Chirnside Park VIC 3116
PO Box 40
Chirnside Park VIC 3116
Telephone (03) 9727 0799
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or via an online form at aaronvioli.com.au/contact/
Council proposes to review its Special Charge Scheme policy as a result of the Federal government funding cuts. Part of the review may consider a new Landowner and Council funding mix for unfunded roads.
With the review of Council’s Special Charge Scheme policy, limited funding, contractor and resource availability, Council encourage residents to advocate for the original funding commitment to be honoured rather than presenting a petition to Council at this stage.
In 2019, Council endorsed a list of roads prioritised for construction under the Roads for the Community Initiative program. Councils approach in developing a priority list of roads was to initially focus on roads that abutted schools, preschools and key community facilities. These roads Council considered as the highest of importance for sealing as it provided the greatest benefit to more members of the community.
There were 24 roads, totalling 5.9km in length identified that met this first criteria. These roads were listed on the priority list to be constructed over years 1-3 of the program.
Following this first criteria, roads were then prioritised on the basis of abutting property density, while also considering roads that would provide connectivity and/or complete the sealed road network in a local area.
Unsealed roads within the Urban Growth Boundary or in townships are typically roads with high property density and offer Best Value for the number of properties to benefit per km of road constructed.
Roads on the priority list were grouped as clusters and prioritised based upon the overall average abutting property density for the overall length of unsealed road in the cluster. It was proposed that the construction of roads would occur as clusters to ensure that efficiencies are achieved by engaging with landowner groups for their involvement in the Special Charge Scheme process and through the delivery of road construction.
Roads that Council initially endorsed for construction utilising the original funding commitment are included in the link below:
View the priority list(PDF, 506KB)
Provided there has not been an application to VCAT, tenders for the works will be called, tenders evaluated and a contractor appointed to undertake the works.
Landowners will then be informed of the successful contractor and a works commencement date.
Landowners can pay their special charge contribution over a number of years. This is likely to be 10 years, but will be specified at the time of the declaration of a special charge scheme for a road.
The special charge is repaid in the same way you pay your annual rates. Payments generally commence the year after road construction works begin.
Financing costs, similar to home loan interest rates, are added to your charge. This is determined following advice from Council’s financial institution. The interest rate is fixed for the period of the special charge.
This is because the contractor is paid when the works are done. Council borrows the landowner’s share of the cost of works to pay the contractor at that time.
This financing cost is then passed on to landowners to repay over the period of the Special Charge Scheme.
Please be advised that we understand there are some in the community that are under financial pressure as a result of the current coronavirus pandemic.
For those that may be experiencing financial hardship, there will be special provision to allow them to pay their contribution towards the project over an extended period of time that meets their circumstances.
You can pay the special charge as a lump sum payment – in this case the total charge (which does not include financing costs) must be paid by a date set by Council when the special charge is decided.
Apply to pay in a lump sum.
You can elect to payout the special charge at anytime by requesting a payout figure for your special charge scheme.
As part of the property settlement with the purchaser, the remainder of the charge can be paid out in full, or the purchaser can take over the yearly repayments.
If you are unable to make your payments on time or at all, you may be eligible for consideration under Council’s Rate Recovery and Financial Hardship Policy.
You can find further details about our Financial Hardship Policy online or by contacting Council’s Rate Department on 1300 368 333.
Find more information about Council’s Special Charge Schemes.