fbpx Department of Environment Land Water and Planning | Victorian Auditor-General's Office

Maintaining Local Roads

Road maintenance ensures roads are safe and functional. In Victoria, councils manage local roads, which comprise 87 per cent of the state's road network. Local roads represent 10 per cent of council expenditure, so councils need to maintain them in a cost efficient and financially sustainable way.

We examined whether councils use asset data, budget information and community feedback to inform their planning for road maintenance. We also looked at whether councils are finding and implementing ways to achieve value for money and maintain roads in a timely manner.

Reporting on Local Government Performance

Our dashboard is an interactive tool to compare council performance across the nine service areas that councils report on in the Local Government Performance Reporting Framework (LGPRF). The dashboard includes four years of available performance information between 2014–18, which lets you compare a council’s performance against any of the 79 councils in Victoria. You can view performance information by a service area, or focus on a performance category such as the cost of services.

Appendix E. Seal types by council

As part of our sector-wide questionnaire, we asked councils about the seal types they used on their local road network. We asked councils to identify the amount of their network, in square metres, they sealed with: 

  • single spray seal
  • double spray seal
  • geotextile/membrane seal
  • thin asphalt
  • thick asphalt.

Figures E1 to E5 shows the results for all participating councils. 

FIGURE E1: Seal types used on local road network—metropolitan councils 

Appendix A. Submissions and comments

We have consulted with Bendigo, Gannawarra, Maribyrnong, Northern Grampians, and Yarra Ranges, and we considered their views when reaching our audit conclusions. As required by the Audit Act 1994, we gave a draft copy of this report, or relevant extracts, to those agencies and asked for their submissions and comments. 

Responsibility for the accuracy, fairness and balance of those comments rests solely with the agency head.

3. Delivery of road maintenance


Councils do not know whether they are achieving value for money in maintaining their road network. This is because they lack the data that would allow them to analyse or benchmark their performance. Even where data is available, councils do not use it to understand their efficiency. 

The audited councils are not compliant with the timeliness standards in their RMPs for planned inspections and reactive maintenance. This exposes them to legal liability and risks reducing the quality of their roads over time.