WA country infrastructure backlog to increase

The $1.75 billion price tag for a backlog of country infrastructure renewal projects in Western Australian is primed to increase substantially, after the state’s Regional Development Trust recommended that new estimates be calculated.

The recommendations follow a review of the WA Country Local Government Fund that last week found that the projected price of infrastructure renewal was too low.

Western Australia Local Government Association president, Troy Pickard said local governments needed to have “clear picture” of what was required to bring the infrastructure up to expected standards. The new figures would allow councils to better plan for renewal or replacement.

“The provision and maintenance of infrastructure plays a huge part in the operations of local governments across WA,” Mr Pickard said.

WALGA and the state government will continue to work together on implementing the review recommendations, Mr Pickard said.

“We anticipate the infrastructure backlog review will reveal many more opportunities at the local level,” Mr Pickard said.

WALGA has also backed the decision to continue an “even split” between regional and local projects for the coming year over a previous proposal “that all funds be allocated to projects put forward by regional groups.”

“Local Governments across the state are working on their Integrated Strategic Planning processes, including asset management plans – a process which for many will reveal opportunities for local projects suited to the Country Local Government Fund (CLGF),” Mr Pickard said.

According to Mr Pickard, retaining an even split will allow councils to make the most of these opportunities “for the benefit of their local communities”.

“We will be calling on the state to continue this 50/50 split in the out-years of the program,” Mr Pickard said.

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