New data is set to reveal a full picture of the billions of dollars worth of local government buildings, facilities and roads which are currently in poor – and worsening – condition across Australia.
The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has partnered with the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) to deliver an update to its National State of the Assets (NSoA) report.
The final report is expected to be released in 2024. Data from the report update will highlight the multi-billion-dollar impact of natural disasters on Australia’s roads, libraries, aerodromes, bridges and community and recreation centres over the past two years, said ALGA President, City of Sydney Councillor, Linda Scott.
President Scott said the 2021 NSoA report found $9.2 billion of local government buildings and facilities and around $18 billion of local government roads were in urgent need of maintenance and upgrades.
The report also declared 8% of sealed local government roads and 14% of unsealed local government roads were in poor condition, function and capacity.
“ALGA’s estimates show the flood damage to council roads in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia alone is expected to be at least $3.8 billion,” said President Scott.
ALGA and IPWEA are urging Australia’s 537 councils to provide updated data on the state of their local roads and community infrastructure so they can fully understand the scope of the issue, and the funding required to rectify the situation.
“Councils collect less than 4% of national taxation, and we want to see Financial
Assistance Grants restored to at least 1% of Commonwealth taxation revenue,” said President Scott.
“We are also advocating for an increase in Roads to Recovery funding from $500 million to
$800 million per year, which is crucial as road construction costs continue to rise.”
ALGA established the NSoA project in 2012 to improve the performance and management of the $500 billion worth of public infrastructure owned and managed by local governments, with the first report published in 2013.
“We are delighted to be working with ALGA again on the NSoA project and data from our assessments will drive discussion on infrastructure investment based on evidence, to deliver efficiencies and better infrastructure in the future,” said IPWEA President, Myles Lind.
“Local communities depend on this vital network of infrastructure assets, so we encourage
every local government across Australia to participate in this data collection by supplying financial and performance data.”
The NSoA survey will take councils around one hour to complete, using information found in annual reports, financial statements and asset management plans and systems up until 30 June 2023.