Jeff Roorda & Associates releases 2015 State of the Assets Report with ALGA, finding $47 billion worth of Australia’s infrastructure is in poor condition

Jeff Roorda & Associates (JRA) yesterday released its 2015 State of the Assets Report in partnership with the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), calling for a national strategy to improving the state of Australia’s infrastructure networks.

JRA, which was acquired by leading software provider TechnologyOne last month, has a long 15-year history of working with ALGA on national strategies to improve asset management in local government.

With 396 councils across Australia providing data on roads and bridges for the State of the Assets Report, 230 also provided data on all infrastructure, including buildings, drainage, parks water and sewer and airports. The Report found that 11 per cent of Australian local government infrastructure is in poor condition - representing more than $47 billion worth of assets.

“While our infrastructure is ageing, we also need to prepare for future infrastructure needs, which will be different from today’s requirements,” says Jeff Roorda, General Manager at JRA.

“The structure of Australia’s economy is likely to change as a result of internal and external factors and this means our current infrastructure assets will need to change to ensure we stay competitive. For example, ageing baby boomers will require different services. Changes in demand for natural resources and the changing role of coastal cities all impact infrastructure needs.

“To meet these requirements, we’ll need a whole of government approach to infrastructure. Councils can’t do this alone.

“This report is calling for a national infrastructure strategy across all three levels of government in Australia, to ensure we are making better investment decisions about our infrastructure.

“These decisions will require sophisticated data systems to manage asset information. We need to work together as a nation to ensure we are strengthening our infrastructure networks, so they deliver the services we need long into the future.”

The report was released at ALGA’s 2015 National Local Roads and Transport Congress in Ballarat, Victoria. The event is known as a critical platform for organisations and councils to engage with the Federal Government and Opposition on road and infrastructure policies and initiatives.

"Our National Local Roads and Transport Congress gives local government the opportunity to collectively identify the challenges and opportunities facing local councils in managing our local roads and the future transport challenges facing our communities, and indeed our nation,” said President of ALGA, Mayor Troy Pickard.

"The State of the Assets report, particularly this year's edition, is a cutting-edge report that puts the sector in a sound position to identify areas of improvement across all of our asset classes. While there’s always more to be done, this report provides a strong evidence-base of the need for more support for councils. It also demonstrates the good work councils are doing managing vital community assets on behalf of their communities, and the challenges they face to sustain these assets within existing resources."

The annual State of the Assets Report was conceived in 2007, following findings that the funding shortfall in local government was underpinned by a lack of research into the condition of road infrastructure.

The first report saw participation from around 400 councils, with information collected about road and bridge assets. Today’s report collects information on all types of infrastructure including roads, bridges, parks, wastewater, buildings and more.

Established in 1993 to specialise in asset management planning for government infrastructure, JRA is recognised nationally as a leader in local government reform. JRA provides asset management practice, training and implementation programmes for engineers, accountants and senior management in Australasia and North America.

Meanwhile The Australian Local Government Association is the national voice of local government, representing 560 councils across the country. In structure, ALGA is a federation of state and territory local government associations.

To download the full Report, click here.

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