National Congress explores safety, sustainability and productivity

More than 200 elected members and council staff attended ALGA’s 2022 National Local Roads and Transport Congress in Hobart from 2-3 November. 

With the theme of Collaborating to improve Safety, Sustainability and Productivity, the Congress focused on delivering safer roads, building more resilient infrastructure, reducing emissions and boosting national productivity. 

Political leaders and guest speakers presented on the latest developments in national heavy vehicle access reforms, using recycled materials to cut emissions and how councils are supporting Australia’s transition to electric vehicles. 

Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Senator Carol Brown outlined the federal Government’s latest roads and transport priorities, while Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Senator Bridget McKenzie highlighted the Opposition’s vision for working with local governments. 

Tasmania’s Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael Ferguson also spoke about the important role councils play improving and maintaining infrastructure to support their local communities. 

Another highlight was a unique presentation by Hyundai’s Senior Manager of Future Mobility & Government Relations Scott Nargar about the company’s innovative Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle project and future mobility programs. 

Other keynote speakers and presenters included Marcus Spiller from SGS Economics and Planning, Marion Terrill from the Grattan Institute, Steve Verity from the Institute of Public Works Engineers Australasia (IPWEA) and Gabby O’Neil from the National Office of Road Safety. 

ALGA President Cr Linda Scott said the Congress shone a spotlight on the shocking state of Australia’s local roads.   

“Councils are responsible for 77 per cent of Australia’s roads but collect less than four per cent of national taxation,” said Cr Scott. 

“We simply can’t afford to maintain our road network to an acceptable standard under these funding constraints.

 “ALGA is advocating for an increase in Roads to Recovery Funding from $500 to $800 million a year, that will support councils to invest in the roads Australians use every day.” 

We thank all major sponsors of the Congress including the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications and the Arts, Austroads, Regional Development Australia – Tasmania, ServiceStream and MetroCount.