The ALGA 2020-23 Strategic Plan identifies roads and infrastructure funding as a strategic priority.
Local government is responsible for an estimated $467 billion in infrastructure and $248 billion in land, which includes local roads and community assets such as sporting, arts and cultural facilities, parks and gardens, and public libraries. These public assets contribute to national productivity and are critical for ensuring that our cities and our regions great places to live, work and play.
Maintenance of infrastructure remains a fundamental challenge for the local government sector. Of the three levels of government, local government has the largest relative infrastructure task in terms of asset management and the smallest relative revenue base collecting just over 3% of Australia’s total taxation revenue.
Local Governments have responsibilities for funding, planning, constructing, operating, and maintaining the road network in their local areas. The local road network is critical for getting people and products door to door. Most journeys start and end on a local road.
Locally controlled roads account for 75% of total road length in Australia, or 660,597 kilometres and could circle the earth 16.5 times. The National Transport Commission estimates 36% of all kilometres travelled in Australia are on local roads.
Local Governments, through their provision of community infrastructure and services such as libraries, pools, arts and culture facilities, parks and sportsgrounds play a significant role in ensuring the livability, sustainability, wellbeing and quality of life of local communities. ALGA’s 2018 State of the Assets report concluded that 9% of this infrastructure is in poor/very poor condition, despite the sector’s intensive focus in recent years on strategic asset management.
ALGA strongly supports the national focus on improved productivity and safety through investment in infrastructure. There is a need to unlock local and regional productivity improvements through investment that improves access for freight vehicles and connectivity between local roads and preferred state and national freight routes.
Local governments are committed to working in partnership with the Australian and state and territory governments to improve road safety. Fifty two percent of all casualty crashes and 40% of all road deaths occur in local roads.
Local government needs access to a dedicated grant funding programs to provide improved community infrastructure and to effectively play its role in the delivery of a national transport network fit for purpose capable of supporting growth and national productivity.
ALGAs policy priorities are:
- Financial assistance to address the infrastructure backlog including an increase in Roads to Recovery funding to $800 million per annum, permanency of the Bridges Renewal Program and targeted funding for stormwater, water, and sewerage infrastructure.
- Significant expansion of the Road Safety Black Spot program.
- Establishment of a mass road safety treatment infrastructure program.
- A community infrastructure program for all councils.
- A continued and expanded telecommunications blackspots program and regional connectivity program
- Disaster resilient safe and reliable communications systems across the nation.