New analysis says $30 billion of community assets are in poor condition and require “significant renewal.”

The Australian Local Government Association’s latest State of the Assets report (PDF) finds under-investment in councils’ management of community assets is leading to increased risk and reduced safety.

The report questions the “currency and degree of maturity” of councils’ asset management and financial planning.

The lobby wants new regulators to increase oversight and support to the local government sector.

“The need for investment in infrastructure today exceeds $30 billion and is likely to continue to grow to meet productivity and safety requirements,” says the report authored by TechnologyOne Strategic Asset Management for ALGA.

Among the report’s many recommendations is a call for the Federal Bridges Renewal Program be made permanent. The scheme is needed help fix the roughly one in five local timber bridges that are in poor condition, ALGA says.

Along with the uncertainty of the Bridges Renewal Program, further pressure has been placed on council budgets with the core Commonwealth funding to local government, Financial Assistance Grants (FAGs), being in steady decline over the past 20 years, falling from 1 per cent of Commonwealth Taxation Revenue in 1996 to just 0.55 per cent today.