The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has called on the two major political parties to provide Local Government with a fair share of national taxation revenue, and to develop stronger relationships and partnerships with Local Government.
ALGA has stated that councils maintain almost 85% of Australian roads valued at approximately $75 billion, but for years have been under-funded, under-resourced and under-valued.
According to ALGA's figures, Councils' spending on health, welfare and public safety has increased from 4% to 12% of total expenditure during the past 30 years. However road funding has declined from around 50% of total expenditure to little more than 25% in recent years.
Dorset Council's General Manager John Martin said the financial implications were significant on issues such as financial assistance and grants, roads, bridges, community services, health and education, and aged care.
In this financial year, the Dorset Council has budgeted $894,000 to replace and maintain bridges, but it receives only $480,000 from the Federal Government to support the essential bridgeworks and maintenance.
Mr Martin said that over the next ten years, Council is programmed to budget $7.5 million to replacing a number of ageing bridges.