Roads To Recovery bill to give councils absolute certainty
A PRIVATE member's bill introduced by the Federal opposition could allow the Abbott government a solution over roads funding for councils.
The opposition spokesperson for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, said will remove any doubt about continuing the Roads to Recovery program.
"Councils deserve certainty about the future of the scheme," Mr Albanese said.
"They are already reeling from Tony Abbott's Budget decision to freeze indexation of their financial assistance grants, which will cost them $925 million over the next three years."
Last week the government withdrew from parliament legislation that would have allowed it to extend the $1.75 billion from the Roads to Recovery program for local councils beyond its June 30 end date.
Labor and the Greens were poised to block the plan because it was part of a broader land transport bill which had a number of objectionable changes.
Transport Minister Warren Truss vowed to 'pick up the pieces' and try again when parliament sits in late August.
Mr Albanese said the bill he's lodged, which is on the Parliamentary notice paper, would simply extend the Roads to Recovery program date.
"Councils deserved certainty about the future of the scheme, which could have been guaranteed by a stand-alone bill months ago," he said.
The former deputy Prime Minister said if Mr Truss required a legislative basis to continue the scheme, as he claims, the opposition would have backed a stand-alone Bill months ago.
"Mr Truss should stop acting like he is still in opposition," he said.
"He put up his hand to be Minister for Infrastructure and should start doing the job."