Initiative 4: Promote equitable access to community services

what is the issue?

A significant proportion of Australia’s local community infrastructure is at risk of disrepair with an estimated $28.6 billion of community facilities in need of significant renewal.

why is this important for communities?

The day-to-day experiences and well-being of communities are shaped by the infrastructure provided by councils such as public pools, libraries and children’s playgrounds to name a few. While some of these facilities are relatively new, many were built decades ago and require significant maintenance and upgrades to ensure they continue to meet the needs of the community.

What do we know?

  • Well-located, well-designed and properly-maintained community infrastructure is critical for strengthening the well-being of local communities.
  • Local government is responsible for local and regional community infrastructure. The 2015 State of the Assets report estimates that local government non-road assets have an approximate replacement value in the order of $260 billion.
  • The 2015 State of the Assets report shows that $27 billion of this infrastructure is in poor or very poor condition, despite the sector’s intensive focus in recent years on strategic asset management.
  • There is a need for resources to ensure that local community infrastructure across a range of activities can be appropriately maintained and brought up to a standard which allows equitable access for all, including people with disability, women, and older people (a growing issue as our population ages).
  • Councils have identified more than 900 community infrastructure projects with a value of more than $1.5 billion.
  • New investment in the maintenance of community infrastructure will create jobs, support the lifestyles and living standards of hundreds of communities, and enable towns to attract and retain population, particularly in regional and rural communities.

Local government proposes:

Promote equitable access to community services and stimulate local economies by investing in a Local Government Community Infrastructure Program of $300 million per annum over four years.

ECONOMIC BENEFIT: ALGA’s analysis indicates that this investment would have a cumulative Gross Domestic Product benefit $1.41 billion by the third year and create up to 3,600 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:

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