ALGA is advocating for the Federal Government to establish a regional and community infrastructure funding program which would invest $300 million per annum over four years. This program is estimated to have an economic impact $1.41 billion in additional GDP, creating 3,700 new jobs by year three.
Local government is responsible for community infrastructure with an estimated written down value of $354 billion and an estimated replacement value of $438 billion. The 2015 State of the Assets report concluded that 11 per cent of this infrastructure is in poor or very poor condition despite the sector’s intensive focus in recent years on strategic asset management.
Well-located, well-designed and properly maintained community infrastructure helps produce better quality outcomes for Australian communities as well as facilitating greater social inclusion. It also helps achieve other important social and regional policy outcomes, including attraction and retention of skilled workers, community health and well-being, social cohesion and tolerance, building social capital and enabling broad-based education and learning.
Local government’s community infrastructure includes a large range of arts, cultural, educational, sporting and recreation facilities. There is a need for resources to ensure that local community infrastructure across a range of activities can be brought up to a standard which allows equitable access for all, including people with disability, women and older people.
Funding support for community infrastructure will enable all local councils to plan and deliver adequate and appropriate community infrastructure. ALGA is urging political parties to commit to specific local government community infrastructure funding at the level of $300 million per annum over the next four years.
The Case for a Local Government Community Infrastructure Program outlines the need for a community infrastructure investment with examples of the ageing community infrastructure in our communities across Australia which would benefit from such a program.