NSW Infrastructure Backlog– Increased Funding and Skilled Workforce Needed
Annual funding for Local Government needs to increase with $351Million to maintain local transport infrastructure to a satisfactory standard according to the most recent Benchmarking reports.
IPWEA NSW President Warren Sharpe highlights the importance of understanding the condition of public assets. “Since the publication of the first reports in 2006, there have been consistent increases in state and federal funding for local government infrastructure that has enabled councils to manage a major risk of infrastructure failure.”
“Yet as a result of the inadequate funding, 9% of road assets with a value of $7.1Billion are now reported to be in a poor or very poor condition. This is an increase from 7.5% from 2017.” he said.
The Roads and Transport Directorate (a joint initiative between IPWEA NSW and LGNSW) 2019 Benchmarking reports have identified the need for ongoing focus on funding for asset management capacity building through formal training and opportunities for graduate rotation programs and cadetships.
The evidence collected (from 128 NSW Councils) drives more informed discussions on infrastructure investments, delivering efficiencies and ultimately, delivering better infrastructure for communities around NSW.
The benchmarking reports have also been instrumental in assisting NSW Councils to secure in excess of $500M for Fixing Local Roads and $500M for Fixing Country Bridges.
Current funding arrangements are inadequate to deliver safe, efficient and resilient road and bridge infrastructure to the community on an on-going basis into the future and are not sufficient to boost heavy vehicle access and thus economic productivity. The deteriorating condition of timber bridges on local roads poses a significant risk with the potential to isolate local communities.
The increasing severity of natural disasters and condition of the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) require a higher level of asset management reporting on road condition and function. Councils will need additional engineering expertise and financial support to achieve this.
Mr Sharpe added, “It is recommended that Local Government continue to improve asset management performance, and that the NSW Government develop a sustainable funding model for Local Government in NSW.”
The full Road Management Report and Timber Bridge Management Report are available on https://www.roadsdirectorate.org.au/road-asset-benchmarking-project.
For further comments, please contact: