Road funding falls short, say councils

A Manning Road intersection in South Perth.
A Manning Road intersection in South Perth.

This is one finding of the WA Local Government Association’s (WALGA) Metropolitan Region Local Road Crash Report 2012, which is a survey of Main Roads WA crash statistics between 2003 and 2012.

About 42 per cent of crash victims seriously injured or killed on Victoria Park local roads were vulnerable road users such as motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians.

WALGA president Troy Pickard said the association had long campaigned for sufficient funding for local governments to maintain local roads.

‘This report further highlights the extreme and frankly dangerous discrepancy that exists between State and local road funding,’ Mr Pickard said.

‘In the current State Budget, $988 million has been allocated for State roads, compared with just $176 million for local roads. This is despite the fact that local governments are responsible for 88 per cent of the road network.’

He said WALGA’s first impression of the State Government’s Browne Road Safety Governance Review was that the recommendations were logical and addressed key concerns.

‘The Association is concerned the Road Trauma Trust Fund will remain dedicated to funding only projects that reduce fatal and serious crashes on State roads, ignoring the fact that 63 per cent of these accidents occur on local roads,’ Mr Pickard said.

Town of Victoria Park acting chief executive Anthony Vuleta said the Town was seeking information and guidance from WALGA on both reports and the Association’s advice on how best to seek State and/or Federal funding.

He said the Town had approached the State Government for funding in the 2015/2016 State Black Spot Program for:

– Shepperton Road (State road)/Gresham Street (local road);

– Welshpool Road (local)/Albany Highway (local, City of Canning);

– Roberts Road (local)/Orrong Road (State); and

– Goddard Street (local)/Streatley Road (local).

Transport Minister Dean Nalder said in addition to funds provided through the five-year State Road Funds to Local Government Agreement, local government also received significant funding from the Federal Government and its own rates collections.

‘Local governments have consistently underspent their allocations from State Government for the past five years,’ Mr Nalder said.

‘Other sources of funding include the $20 million Black Spot Program.’

– 11 per cent of crashes occurred at intersections with both local and state roads
– 45 per cent of crashes occurred at State road locations, including all state road intersections
– 41 crashes involving speed were on local roads compared to 30 on state roads