Roads are by far local government’s biggest asset. Local roads comprise more than 80% by length of Australia’s total road network, on which more than 25% of the transport task is undertaken, and have an estimated value of about $145bn. Its vital local government maintain and, where proper, upgrade the local road system to the best extent possible given its very scarce resources.
ALGA commissioned Jeff Roorda and Associates (JRA) to undertake a National State of the Assets project during 2013. This follows-on from the successful State of the Assets Proof of Concept Report released in 2012, which ALGA also commissioned JRA to undertake. The 2013 Report provides as complete a national data set from local councils (around 62% responded; i.e. 344 councils) as is reasonably possible at this stage of individual councils developing and implementing their road asset management plans. Note, response to this project was optional.
The National State of the Assets Report 2013 (49) was launched at ALGA’s National Local Roads and Transport Congress on 13 November 2013. The Report is based on data provided by 183 urban councils and 161 rural councils, covering $98.3bn in assets under management.
The Report found that while councils indicated that the majority of concrete bridges are in good condition, there are a large proportion of timer bridges in a poor or very poor state. In total, $1.4bn in concrete and timber bridges is in a poor/very poor condition. Of the $1.5bn of total timber bridges under council management, $0.98bn of those timber bridges (around 65%) was determined to be in a poor to very poor state. Further details are contained in the Report on the state of the sealed and unsealed roads, as well as more work to be done on asset management, amongst other things.