The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), with support from the Institute of Public Works Engineers Australasia (IPWEA), is calling on the Federal Government to make the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure (LRCI) program permanent, with $500 million per year ongoing and funding indexed annually.
ALGA President and City of Sydney Councillor, Linda Scott said the LRCI program had supported councils across the nation to build and revitalise local playgrounds, community centres, libraries, sporting grounds and bike paths.
“The direct delivery of funding to councils, without the need for time-consuming grant applications, has ensured the quick and effective delivery of local projects,” President Scott said.
She said making the LRCI permanent was an investment in Australia’s future productivity.
“The recent upgrade of Gunnedah Aerodrome – funded in part through the LRCI program – is a fantastic example of how this program is supporting local economic growth, and making our cities, towns and regions more attractive places to live, invest and visit.”
ALGA’s 2021 National State of the Assets report, delivered by IPWEA, found $9.2 billion worth of local government buildings and community facilities are currently in poor condition.
“Our communities depend on a vast network of infrastructure assets, managed by local councils. We often take this infrastructure for granted until something fails,” said IPWEA President, Myles Lind.
“When infrastructure assets are nearing the end of life, councils must be able to renew and replace these assets, before they fail, whilst still planning for future improvements.
“IPWEA supports ALGA’s call to make the LRCI program permanent. This program offers councils the opportunity to plan for the renewal of infrastructure assets and act before assets fail, renewing and revitalising infrastructure, so they can continue to serve our communities.”