Worth Feeding: Case study of rural road efficiency and pricing reform

Publication Date
01 October 2011

This paper, produced by Juturna Consulting for the Australian Rural Roads Group, presents a detailed case study analysis of rural road efficiency on four rural roads in the Gwydir area in Northern NSW.

The purpose of the case study is to bring attention to the state of rural roads and a shortfall in funding for their maintenance. It presents a summary of the features of Australia's current road pricing and funding system and offers alternatives that may lead to debate in the community and in turn reforms by government.

The paper sets out to examine the current basis of road pricing and whether it is the right one for rural roads; whether the current way that higher governments distribute road funds to local governments is an efficient one for rural Australia; and what inherited assumptions policy makers have about rural local roads and whether these are correct.

The paper is intended to assist in wider reform efforts on road pricing and investment and in deciding what sorts of practical structural reforms should occur to deliver better results for rural communities and their roads.