Road repair bill to hit $3.8 billion

The repair bill for thousands of kilometres of flood-damaged roads across southern and eastern states has prompted an urgent rethink of national road construction and maintenance funding.

The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) and the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) estimate the cost of repairing local roads severely damaged by flooding across NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland at $3.8 billion.

ALGA president Linda Scott said investment in new technologies to build more resilient roads was critical so that local communities were not burdened by long-term costs.

“Considering the ongoing impacts of climate change, we can’t simply rebuild our local infrastructure – including roads, footpaths and cycleways – to current standards, we need a fundamental shift in the way we fund, deliver and maintain these assets,” she said.

ARRB CEO Michael Caltabiano said standards and material used to construct Australia’s road systems needed to be reinvented to improve water resistance and aid quicker recovery after significant rainfall events.

“This year’s floods and torrential rains have caused large-scale catastrophic damage to the road systems that connect communities and deliver freight. Now is the time to reassess what innovations are possible and prevent a repeat of this infrastructure emergency,” Mr Caltabiano said.

“Australia houses some of the smartest road technology in the world and the latest ARRB research shows many recyclables – including tyre rubber – are not only eco-friendly but create a more durable and resilient road surfaces.”

Ms Scott said local councils needed an increase in federal Roads to Recovery funding from $500 million to $800 million for investment in new technologies and building more resilient roads.

Like our articles?

Become a Member and help fund our advocacy work.

Join Now