Initiative 3: Boost safety on local roads

what is the issue?

Inadequately-maintained roads and bridges can have serious road safety outcomes.

why is this important for communities?

Continued construction, repair and upgrade of local roads and bridges plays a key role in improving the safety on local roads, benefitting all families and communities.

What do we know?

  • Local government owns and manages around 76% of the national road network (by length).
  • The cost of road crashes in Australia is estimated at $27 billion annually.
  • 50% of road crashes are on local roads, and deaths on rural and regional roads far outnumber deaths on metropolitan roads.
  • Maintaining the local road system is one of local government’s major tasks. In most councils, it is the single largest item of expenditure. Total annual expenditure on local roads by councils is estimated to be in excess of $7 billion.
  • Successive studies commissioned by ALGA consistently show an infrastructure backlog and an underspend within the local government sector of at least $1.2 billion per annum.
  • The 2015 State of the Assets report, commissioned by ALGA, estimates that around 11% of local government transport assets, with a replacement value of around $20 billion, are in poor or very poor condition and in need of urgent maintenance and/or renewal.
  • The 2015 State of the Assets report shows councils own timber bridges with a replacement value of $3.9 billion. Of these bridges, 22% are in poor or very poor condition, with many owned by councils that have little capacity to make the necessary improvements.

Local government proposes:

Boost safety on local roads by:

  • increasing the Roads to Recovery Program funding (R2R) to $800 million per annum to more sustainably manage local government’s component of the national road network, and
  • making the Bridges Renewal Program permanent to more sustainably manage council bridges.

ECONOMIC BENEFIT: $1.71 billion cumulative Gross Domestic Product benefit by year 3 and 4,000 new jobs.

Councils across Australia have banded together to support ALGA’s call for ‘1% + Partnership Programs’. This calls for the next Federal Government to restore core local government funding of Financial Assistance Grants to at least 1% of Commonwealth taxation revenue and add funding for partnership programs where agreed.

Here's how councils would spend the additional funding to help their communities:

contact alga