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East Arnhem Regional Council manages a complex network of sealed, gravel, formed and flat bladed track roads across a local government area of 33.659km2.

With a road distance spanning 1,200km, in 2014/15 East Arnhem Regional Council will operated on a mere budget of $1.01 million to undertake the following to ensure that all roads within the Council are maintained to an appropriate standard:

  • all maintenance, upgrade and construction works for all sealed & unsealed roads;

  • footpaths, kerbing, road verges, drainage;

  • traffic managament plans; and

  • traffic advisory & calming.

From time to time, the Council is successful in attaining additional funding for Local Roads & Traffic Management through Natural Disaster Relief & Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) which funds vital repairs to roads that have been in Natural Disasters or through one-off Special Purpose Grants. 

Interesting statistic: The reconstruction of a road to National Highway Standard can cost up to $900,000 per kilometre and upgrading an unsealed arterial road to a sealed standard can cost up to $600,000 per kilometer. (Source: 4.9.6 Review of Councils' Financial Sustainability)

Emerging Issues

In 2012, Local Roads & the NDRRA were identified as an emerging issues across all Northern Territory Shire Councils in the Review of Councils' Financial Sustainability (4.9.6):

"The aging of the road network and the shift to a higher standard of rural roads has meant an increased demand on funding for maintenance. The cost of improving and maintaining road infrastructure is a major budgetary consideration. In the Territory, vast distances, a dispersed population, river and marine barriers, seasonal inundation and a low tax base substantially impact on the standard and high cost of this infrastructure. The need to transport road construction materials long distances and difficult access to materials due to land tenure and environmental concerns also contributes to the cost and complexity of these challenges."