The ALGA has released the 2024 National State of the Assets (RSoA) Report – Future proofing our communities, providing insight into the condition of local government infrastructure assets. 

The 2024 NSoA Report is the sixth in a series of reports based on data collected from 458 local governments (approximately 85 per cent of Australia’s councils) across eight different categories of infrastructure assets.  

The latest report indicates that within existing resources and capacity constraints the condition, function and capacity of local government assets has improved slightly since the 2021 report.  

While overall 65 to 71 per cent of local government infrastructure assets are in good condition, function and capacity, around 20 to 30 per cent are rated as in fair condition, and less than ten per cent are reported poor to very poor.  

It is estimated the replacement cost of all poor to very poor assets is between $50 billion to $55 billion.  

The replacement cost of assets in fair condition is estimated to be in the order of $143 billion to $179 billion.  

Analysis of each infrastructure category show that while there is variation between categories, each require attention and additional investment beyond current levels if the condition of these assets is to improve.  

While not all poor and fair rated infrastructure needs immediate replacement, it is important that each infrastructure asset is assessed to fully understand the implications, including the risks associated with each asset when it exceeds its design life.  

The report notes that there is a need to monitor and communicate the trade-offs on performance, cost and risk associated with balancing needs and expectations with the financial realities of what can be afforded in the short, medium and long term.  

This is particularly important in growing and declining population centres.  

The task of monitoring the performance of local government assets in all categories is resource intensive, requiring skilled professionals to make careful judgements on the remaining life of a vast array of materials.  

The report highlights the importance of reliable and credible data to support decision-making and the critical role of asset management planning and long-term financial plans in every council.  

When surveyed for the 2024 report, many councils expressed higher confidence in their condition assessment data compared to function and capacity data.  

This highlights the need for continued capacity building within the sector to develop, strengthen and implement credible, reliable and up to date asset management and long-term financial plans. 

Image: Nuttapong punna/shutterstock.com 

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