Council has, over the past few years, worked through the establishment of a Road Hierarchy & Levels of Service Guideline which was adopted by Council in February 2019, and this approach has further evolved into the adopted Road & Stormwater Infrastructure Management Plan.
All Councils are required by legislation to develop and adopt Infrastructure & Asset Management Plans to assist Council in its decision making on maintenance and renewal of assets, and the financial implications for Council and our ratepayers.
This Plan outlines our holistic approach to our 1,679km of roads, & our stormwater assets, and includes:
- Road hierarchy & service levels
- Road dimension standards
- Useful lives (which largely translates into the amount of depreciation that needs to be raised and accounted for)
The Plan also provides a 10-year outlook on the expected costs of renewal of our roads.
Contained within the Plan is our Road Register, and through the process of developing this Plan, some roads were re-classified to reflect existing uses and type of road. Approximately 55 roads were re-classified to a lower classification of road - mainly from Access to Limited Access Track, with 4 roads re-classified to a higher classification, and 3 roads have been added. This classification relates more to the useful lives of the roads, and when we should be renewing each road, rather than maintenance programs. Council also has approximately 600km of unmade road reserves which are not included within the Plan, and have varying degrees of use by landowners and the general public.
By taking a measured and objective approach to our road assets - and through the changes within the classifications - this provided a significant reduction in depreciation costs of approximately $1 million in 2018/2019, and this can then be put back into other programs as decided by Council. This is an effective and economic use of Council resources.
Maintenance standards and our approach (ie patrol grading, general road maintenance, etc) has not changed as part of any change in road hierarchy classification. A road classified as a Limited Access Track will still be graded each year the same as an Access Road, as has been our practice for some time.
Like all Council plans, the Road & Stormwater Infrastructure Management Plan can be reviewed and amended by our Elected Council where required and as circumstances dictate.
The Road & Stormwater Infrastructure Management Plan can be accessed on Council's Website, and any comments or thoughts from members of the public are most welcome.