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Road Infrastructure and the Government

April 16, 2014 0 Comments

Government involvement within the Civil Construction Industry in Australia is huge. Road Infrastructure (construction and maintenance) is a typical example and it was hit home in an article in the Local Government News at:
South Australia Road Infrastructure Problems Need Sorting  This article is worth a read as it highlights the process of navigation for civil construction companies.

There is a basic structure of responsibility for road construction and maintenance and it is based on the road classification system. Local Councils, State Governments and Federal Governments commit vast resources to the road systems that they manage, and as a Civil Construction Manager or Organisation you need to be well aware of the ownership of these road systems.

Local Councils in particular often have their own internal civil works divisions for maintenance and construction. Alliances are often part and parcel of the process of getting the job done.

The Local Government News article covers a call to action by the SA Local Government Association to sit down with both the State and Federal Governments and work through a re-classification process for the road system in that state. This is something that is not just relevant to South Australia. Across Australia, populations shift, local roads come under stress from increased traffic and many roads that were classified as Local become, by evolvement, major arterial roads. Unfortunately, the funding does not follow suit to manage the civil works.

Local Governments will argue that major arterial roads cannot be sustainably maintained by local ratepayers to finance the flow of traffic through their precinct when once it was not required. It’s a reasonable argument, and there in lies the problem of assigning responsibility to a government organisation.

The SA LGA is calling on the next SA State Government to:

  • Actively support local government’s lobbying of the Federal Government to continue the “gap” funding for SA local roads through the Identified Local Roads Grants, while pursuing a permanent fix;
  • Agree with the LGA on the principles that should underpin the classification of roads to ensure they take into account the future nature of local roads. For example, in areas where population growth has seen a changed use;
  • Review the Local Roads Advisory Committee guidelines to assist in a fairer approach to the road classification assessment process for the exchange of responsibilities between State and Local Government;
  • Review the approach to the setting of speed limits, especially on rural roads, to ensure that when decisions are taken all available data is appropriately analysed;
  • Continue the current funding to the Bus Shelter refurbishment programme.

This is likely to be a common theme around the country as state and local governments get behind what the Federal Government is touting as an Infrastructure Government. If you are involved in the Road Constcution and Maintenance Industry then it will pay to know when and how road systems are classified and re-classified for funding. That is where the tenders will come from for the future projects that you will want to be involved in.

Filed in: Featured, Industry News

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