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Why getting home safely matters to your council

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Asset management is a fundamentally important issue for local government and local communities. Ensuring the road your drive to get to and from home is well maintained or your local park is ready for a summer picnic are key council responsibilities.

Victorian councils control more than $115 billion in assets and infrastructure, including $26b in roads and bridges and almost $9b in drains. Councils are also responsible for 87% of the state’s road network.

The 2021 National State of the Assets report, released today, highlights the challenges facing local government in managing essential assets on behalf of their communities.

The report, by Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) and Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) outlines the local government asset management status and key issues. The key findings from this year’s report are:

  • Around $45bn - $50bn or 9% to 10% of national local government assets are in poor condition, have poor function requiring upgrade or poor capacity and utilization
  • Asset life expectancy is increasing with rural councils likely to hold older assets
  • Asset management plans need to be better integrated with strategic objectives and corporate budgets.

The Municipal Association of Victoria’s (MAV) recent survey found priorities for improved asset management are consistent across all councils, namely:

  • Better integration with other council plans and systems,
  • Improved data quality to support decision making, and
  • Enhanced training and capability for staff and councillors.

MAV President Cr David Clark said councils have the dual responsibility to deliver roads that enhance productivity and commerce as well as being safe to all road users.

Particularly in rural and regional areas, constraints on rate revenue and limited opportunities for non-rate revenue are creating significant challenges properly fund road renewal and improvement.

“As rates only represent 3% of National taxation, grant funding from the State and Commonwealth governments is critical to resourcing both the renewal and productivity tasks ahead,” Cr Clark explained.

“The MAV is currently engaging with councils to develop an Action Plan to underpin current funding programs and identify new opportunities to continue improving the capability and safety of the State’s local Road Network.”

For further information, contact the MAV Strategic Communications team on (03) 9667 5590.