New ALGA boss calls for Roads to Recovery times two

Transport infrastructure remains central local councils’ concern as O’Loughlin takes reins

New ALGA boss calls for Roads to Recovery times two
David O’Loughlin is the new ALGA president


Safety and equity demand more Commonwealth resources to help councils improve local roads and related infrastructure.

That was the message the incoming Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) president, mayor David O’Loughlin, delivered to today’s opening of the National Local Roads and Transport Congress in Toowoomba.

O’Loughlin called for Roads to Recovery program funding to be doubled and for that funding to be made permanent.

"Council roads are our communities’ most valuable assets that connect people and provide access to properties, shops, and health and education services; upgrading these roads ensures our communities are safe and promotes social equity through improved local connectedness and quality of life," O’Loughlin says.

"Councils already use a significant portion of the Roads to Recovery funding from the Federal Government – an estimated 25 per cent – to directly address road safety issues, with every cent of the balance spent on maintaining or renewing our road networks.

"Our councils are working under immense financial constraints to manage this important infrastructure but they need more help to maintain these assets and also bring them up to standard for a more productive economic future."

ALGA’s latest State of the Assets report shows that an estimated $19 billion of these local roads are in poor or very poor state and in need of significant renewal.

It also found that 11 per cent of sealed roads, 19 per cent of unsealed roads and 22 per cent of timber bridges are either physically unsound or in need of significant rehabilitation.

He succeeds Troy Pickard, who noted last week that "securing an extra $1.105 billion in Roads to Recovery funding in June last year" was "the biggest single funding injection local government has ever received from the Federal Government".

Looking forward, he expects ALGA to consider seeking a fixed share of Commonwealth taxation following a review of the existing mechanisms for Commonwealth funding of local government. 

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