2017 State Election: Policy Priority 2 - Road Funding Agreement Thursday, October 27, 2016
Local Government is seeking a commitment to provide 27 percent of revenue from motor
vehicle licence fees in WA for Local Government roads under a new State Road Funds to Local
Government Agreement to apply from July 2018.

Local Government is responsible for almost 128,000 km of roads which represent 88 percent of the
State road network (excluding roads on forestry and Department of Parks and Wildlife managed lands).
In 2014-15, expenditure on Local Government roads was over $753 million and the share of funding
provided by the State Government has fallen over the past few years. In 2014-15 there was an estimated
shortfall of $116 million between expenditure on road preservation and that required to maintain the
network in its current condition.

Providing transport infrastructure such as roads, paths and cycleways accounts for the largest
single expenditure item across most Local Governments. Historically Local Governments, or Roads
Boards, collected motor vehicle registration fees and used this money to fund road maintenance
and improvement. More recently, motor vehicle licence fees have been collected by the State
Government, with funding for roads under the care and control of Local Government provided from
the revenue collected.

Recent State Road Funds to Local Government Agreements provided for 27 percent of motor vehicle
licence fee revenue to be used to maintain and improve the local road network. As a result of changes
in the past three years, and recent decisions regarding funding for 2016-17 and 2017-18 this has now
fallen below 20 percent of motor vehicle licence fee revenue. The impact is most acutely seen when the
funding split between metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas is revealed. In non-metropolitan areas
where, even after the funding reduction, the State Government contributed 28 percent of expenditure on
local roads in 2014/15. In comparison the State Government contributed just 12 percent of expenditure
on local roads in the Metropolitan area. The demands on the local road network continues to grow
strongly as a result of rapid growth in mobility and freight.

Funding:
$1.1 billion in total (additional $228 million) over four years to June 2022.

Benefit to the State:
Timely, efficient maintenance of roads and bridges delivers the most cost effective, safe and sustainable road network for WA. Costs and risk of failure increase exponentially when maintenance is delayed beyond the optimal time. Almost 75% of expenditure on Local Government roads is for maintenance and renewal, as many roads constructed during periods of rapid growth in WA approach the end of their design life. The freight task is growing significantly more quickly than population, and an increasing proportion of freight is being carried by road, including local roads. Providing certainty of funding for the Local Government sector would allow Local Governments to efficiently and effectively plan their
road maintenance programs, minimising the impact on road users and the State’s freight task.

Responses WALGA has received from political parties:

WA Labor:
WALGA has yet to receive a response.

The Greens WA:
The Greens WA are very supportive of all of the ten priority areas with the focus on improving the quality of life of citizens. This is akin to our principle that Local Government has a valuable role as the third tier of government and in local governance and the representation of local issues and delivery of essential community services.

Liberal Party of WA:
WALGA has yet to receive a response.

The National Party of WA:
Safe, efficient and effective road networks are integral to well-functioning regional communities. These
allow communities to remain connected to major town centres and are integral for distributing key
commodities.

The Nationals WA support any mechanism that will strengthen the road network throughout WA. The
road funding agreement would serve to improve important road networks. The key issue is how this
funding will be distributed, and ensuring regional local governments aren’t excluded from this funding
process.

The Nationals have recently committed to a $40 million ‘Safer Roads’ fund to improve road safety in
regional WA, a $48 million local government commodity route fund and $15 million for the improvement of agricultural lime routes.

The Nationals WA commit to striking a new road funding agreement with local government over the
allocation of road funding.