Roads report tallies cost to communities and councils

Published: 13th November 2023

The peak body representing Queensland’s councils has welcomed calls for more funding for roads and cuts to the red tape holding back local government from providing the liveability their communities deserve.

The Grattan Institute’s Potholes and Pitfalls: How to fix local roads report found councils were being grossly underfunded.

It reported simply maintaining current roads needed an extra $1 billion a year nationally, and more to improve them.

Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) Chief Executive Officer Alison Smith said councils were battling massive cost increases – in excess of 60 per cent for some road materials – and more money was needed from the other two levels of government to maintain the roads that communities across the state relied on.

“All councils need more funding to provide the safe, reliable roads their communities deserve,” Ms Smith said.

“Missing road funding is one more cost-shift from the other levels of government that councils and their communities are having to pay for.

“LGAQ research has revealed that cost-shifting has soared 378 per cent in the past two decades, as reported by councils. 

“Just a few months ago, the Queensland Auditor-General released report that showed 46 councils are at moderate to high risk of not being financially sustainable, up from 45 councils the year before, and that costs were rising at twice the rate of revenue.

“At the same time, the Commonwealth’s Financial Assistance Grants dipped again, from 0.52 percent to 0.5 per cent when they should be restored to 1 per cent and indexed.

“And that comes on top of delays caused by the Infrastructure Investment Pipeline review that are only adding uncertainty and costs for councils on projects that were already approved.

“Queensland councils need a fairer funding deal to ensure all Queenslanders get the services and liveability they deserve – no matter where they live – because local government does not want local communities left behind.”

Media contact: Dan Knowles 0432 681 664