Thursday, 24 August 2017 13:03

NRMA report reveals failure to fund growth

Poorly maintained local road. Poorly maintained local road.

Media release, 24 August, 2017

 

Local infrastructure backlogs will continue to grow unless urgent action is taken to reform funding arrangements for high growth areas says the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC).

WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali said “Today’s NRMA Funding Local Roads report highlights what local government has known for a long time – the current system for funding local infrastructure is failing.”

“This is particularly true of rapidly growing Western Sydney, where ambitious state housing targets leave councils playing catch-up – providing billions of dollars of new infrastructure on top of their existing maintenance responsibilities,” he said.

“Greater Western Sydney councils’ collective maintenance shortfall of $210.4[1] million is not a sign of inefficiency – it is a symptom of unprecedented growth and a restricted revenue base imposed by the state government.

“The federal and state governments are busy raising revenue through fuel excise taxes, tolls and asset recycling and still fail to keep up with population growth. At the same time, they are denying councils additional funding to deal with exactly the same issue.

“We are in a squeeze. Councils are consistently asked to do more with less. Rates have been capped at 1.5 percent – well below inflation – yet councils are blamed for not meeting the needs of communities,” said Cr Bali.

“Those councils that are trying to reduce the roads maintenance backlog often need to divert funding from other infrastructure such as sporting facilities, community centres and swimming pools – in the end it is the community that loses,” he said.

“We support a number of the recommendations made by the NRMA, but call on the NSW Government to consult with councils on systematic funding reform,” he said.

 [ENDS]

[1] Collective road infrastructure backlog is $210.4 million (2015-16), increasing by $10.12 million each year.

 

Media contact: Kelly-Anne Gee, 02 9671 4333 (ext. 118), 0425 871 868 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

Last modified on Thursday, 24 August 2017 13:09

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