It’s time to change the way we talk about the “Infrastructure Gap”

Widespread recognition of a crisis in local infrastructure has shifted the debate in Australian local government to the question of financial sustainability.

The attempts to address the crisis have focused on raising additional capital. This way of thinking, is an uphill battle, as the larger our population, the greater the impact upon our infrastructures (roads in particular) and the greater the maintenance requirements.

The crisis is more on maintaining our existing roads, (to prevent them from falling into a state of disrepair that endangers public safety) and less on building new ones. There are loads of reasons to invest money into preventative maintenance and improving work practices. The sooner repairs are made, the cheaper they are: every $1 in preventive maintenance saves between $4 and $10 in future repairs, according to Levinson and Kahn.

Improved work practices can reduce costs and the risk fo cost overruns. Instead of continually wasting money maintenance, with no future benfit, we need ot implement sustainable technology and work practices, and the money usually spent on maintenace can be spent on further improvements.

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