New work to address Australia’s $30 billion infrastructure deficit has begun, with councils being asked to contribute to the next National State of the Assets (NSoA) report.
The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) is partnering with the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) to produce the report, which aims, among other things, to provide a sound rationale for targeted support to local government from other spheres of government.
All 537 councils will soon receive an email inviting them to provide financial and performance data on the following asset groups:
- Roads – Sealed and Unsealed;
- Bridges – Timber and Concrete;
- Building and Facilities;
- Parks and Recreation;
- Water and Wastewater; and
- Airports and Aerodromes.
The 2018 NSoA Report, based on the responses of more than 400 councils, found that 63 percent of infrastructure assets was rated as being in good condition, while 9 percent was rated as poor. The remaining 28 percent was rated as fair. The report put the cost of renewing or replacing substandard assets at $30 billion.
ALGA established its National State of the Assets project in 2012 to improve the performance and management of the $345 billion of infrastructure owned and operated by local government, with the first report published in 2013.
IPWEA is the peak association for the professionals who deliver public works and engineering services to communities across Australia and will handle the data collection task for the 2019-20 reporting period.
ALGA President David O’Loughlin said the partnership with IPWEA will help ensure local government’s asset investment plans and spending are guided by the very best facts and analysis – at a time when a significant amount of local government-owned infrastructure is nearing the end of its lifecycle and in need of adaptation to perform to 21st century requirements.
“We hope the ALGA-IPWEA partnership encourages more councils get involved in the next report,” he said. “The more data we have on the current state of our infrastructure, the more compelling our case is for renewal and adaptation.”
IPWEA President Rita Excell said: “We are delighted to be working with ALGA on the State of the Assets project. Information from the assessments will drive informed discussion on infrastructure investment based on evidence, that will not only deliver efficiencies but, ultimately, better infrastructure for communities around Australia.”
The data input process is likely to take about an hour of an officer’s time to complete, depending on availability of, and access to source data and systems that are typically required for reporting purposes as at 30 June 2020.