Maintaining local roads: are councils achieving value for money in maintaining their local roads?

Road maintenance ensures roads are safe and functional. In Victoria, councils manage local roads, which comprise 87 per cent of the state's road network. Local roads represent 10 per cent of council expenditure, so councils need to maintain them in a cost efficient and financially sustainable way. We examined whether councils use asset data, budget information and community feedback to inform their planning for road maintenance. We also looked at whether councils are finding and implementing ways to achieve value for money and maintain roads in a timely manner. We audited five councils across a spread of types and sizes: City of Greater Bendigo, Gannawarra Shire Council, Maribyrnong City Council, Northern Grampians Shire Council, Yarra Ranges Shire Council. We also conducted a sector-wide questionnaire to collect road maintenance data. All 79 councils participated. Councils cannot determine whether they are achieving value for money when maintaining their road network. This is because councils lack the detailed cost data they need to analyse and benchmark their performance. In addition, some councils have gaps in their road condition data or are not effectively engaging their communities to understand road users' needs. We provided 10 recommendations to all Victorian councils including five about improving the information used for road maintenance planning, three relating to collecting and reporting accurate performance data and two about assessing council performance on road management plans. We also provided one recommendation to an audited council to record condition data for its unsealed road network and one recommendation to another audited council to document council decisions about road maintenance.

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01769116
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB Group Limited
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Apr 6 2021 10:00AM