Cessnock paves the way for local roads across the country
across Australia backed Cessnock City Council’s motion at the National General
Assembly of Local Government, urging the Federal Government to step in and
address growing local infrastructure backlogs, while as the same time
generating work creating national economic stimulus.
The motion put forward in Canberra attracted overwhelming support, with calls for the Federal Government to provide funding to assist Councils in removing their large infrastructure build ups. Cessnock City Mayor, Councillor Bob Pynsent was not surprised by the response from his fellow local government delegates.
“The dilemma of maintaining critical infrastructure is a shared battle we all face, in particular, our road networks are in need of serious attention,” Cr Pynsent said.
National State of the Assets Report released in 2014 highlighted this predicament,
indicating Australia’s total road network length is in the order of 911,500km.
Incredibly, councils are responsible for approximately 670,000 km’s, equating
to almost 74% of the nation’s roads. Further to this, it is estimated more than
10% of the sealed roads under management of councils are in a very poor state.
Mayor Pynsent said in the Cessnock Local Government Area alone there is approximately 1120km of road network, of which 697km is sealed.
“Local residents are calling for Council to repair these roads, however it is both an enormous and impossible task with current budget constraints.”
“Of the three tiers of government, local government has the feeblest ability to apply a tax or levy, yet it is required to prop up approximately 74% of the nation’s road network, placing enormous pressure on council budgets,” Cr Pynsent said.
Addressing infrastructure backlogs can often mean that other council services suffer as a consequence, so passing this motion at the National General Assembly of Local Government is a huge step in the right direction.
The Australian Local Government Association will now request the Federal Government provide this additional support on behalf of all councils.