New funding agreement for WA roads

A new road funding agreement between Western Australia’s state and local governments will give councils access to a greater share of the money targeted for road building and maintenance.

The State Road Funds to Local Government Agreement was signed on Tuesday, 16 October, marking the end of a long negotiation in difficult budget circumstances.

Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) President, Councillor Lynne Craigie, said the Agreement will see councils receive 20 percent of total State vehicle licence fee collections for maintaining and building the road network.

"Licence fees that all vehicle owners pay contribute to the cost of building and maintaining roads and the Agreement recognises this needs to include the nearly 87 percent of roads that are the responsibility of local governments.

"Importantly, the agreement includes provisions to review the share of licence fee revenue that is allocated to local government roads in two years, acknowledging the ever increasing demand for efficient freight movement that underpins the State’s economy and the risks from deteriorating roads.”

Cr Craigie said the new agreement included a particular focus on road safety management systems and bridge asset management.

"Almost every journey and freight movement starts and finishes on a road that is managed and maintained by a Local Government.

“This includes a vast range of roads from multi-lane carriageways that provide connections to major goods distribution centres, to those that enable access to remote communities."