Road funding falls short, say councils

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

The WA Local Government Association’s (WALGA) Metropolitan Region Local Road Crash Report 2012, a survey of Main Roads WA crash statistics between 2003 and 2012, found that 44 per cent of fatal or serious accidents in South Perth were on local roads.

Although that represented nearly half of the serious accidents, only 15 per cent of State Government road funding is provided for council-|controlled roads in WA

About 37 per cent of crash victims seriously injured or killed on South Perth 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,’ he 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.’

Transport Minister Dean Nalder said in addition to the 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. Other sources of funding include the $20 million Black Spot Program,’ he said.