Call for greater asset
A recent study into infrastructure asset conditions has called for Councils to implement asset management strategies and plans for asset renewal.
Initiated by the South Australian Local Government Metropolitan Chief Executive Officer’s Association, the study is a joint project involving all South Australian Councils. A steering committee representing the range of stakeholders involved in Local Government in South Australia, drove the project.
The main problem identified by the study was that SA Councils were spending far more on new assets as opposed to renewing their current assets. It established that Council spending on asset renewal was less than half than what was needed to maintain their current stock.
Community pressures, as well as rapid ageing of Council assets, are among the factors that have led to the deficiency in asset renewal.
The study confirmed that understanding community needs was just as important as understanding assets. Training in developing and using Asset Management Plans is vital. Plans need to cover the following issues.
- Decisions need to be made about rationalising, selling, demolishing or not renewing low priority assets
- Redirecting funds to renewal of assets from other services and/or increasing Council rates
- Community education on the full cost of infrastructure decisions.
For further information on the study, contact the Local Government Association of South Australia on (08) 8224 2000.