ALGA releases national local roads database

After working with State Local Government Associations for a number of years, the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has developed a National Local Roads Data System (NLRDS) that provides relevant and timely, high level information about the nation’s local roads.

Councils are responsible for local roads that make up 85 per cent of the nation’s road network.

ALGA commissioned Jeff Roorda and Associates (JRA) to develop the system, using funding from the Department of Transport and Regional Services (DOTARS). JRA provide day to day operational services for NLRDS, including first point of call and help desk services.

The database is designed to aggregate
existing sources of local road information to provide one simple, consolidated system.

Rather than imposing yet another survey on Councils, data has been collected from existing sources through State Grants Commissions and transport authorities. This data is now accessible to ALGA, Local Government Associations, Councils and other approved groups.

The NLRDS will be a valuable tool for the development of cases for Federal involvement, assistance and financial support for local roads.  It is designed to demonstrate Local Government’s credibility, capacity and leadership at a national level. NLRDS will compliment many current asset management initiatives, such as the Municipal Association of Victoria/Local Government Association of Queensland’s (LGAQ) Shared Systems Project and the LGAQ/Queensland Main Roads Alliance.

The data collected uses seven road system performance measures, which were endorsed by ALGA’s Roads and Transport Advisory Committee (RTAC). The RTAC compirses representatives from each State and Territory Local Government Association.

Access to this data is available on a ‘low cost, high value’ basis.  Basic data is freely available on the web, while more complicated data, such as regional comparative data, will attract a fee to cover administrative and operating costs.

The seven road system performance measures are listed in the adjacent table.

Performance Measure
Data required to develop the
performance measure
Sealing of gravel roads Unsealed road lengths
State of the asset Current replacement cost and written down value for road and bridges
Expenditure on roads and bridges Maintenance, capital renewal, capital upgrade, and capital expansion expenditure
Expenditure on roads and bridges per km for unsealed roads Lengths of sealed roads, data used in performance measure 3
Road asset consumption Current replacement cost and depreciation expense for roads and bridges
Road asset suitability Maintenance, capital renewal expenditure and depreciation expense for roads and bridges
Road safety Road fatalities per Council area