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Infrastructures 2017, 2(1), 2;

Quantifying the Financial Impact of Climate Change on Australian Local Government Roads

School of Natural and Built Environments, University South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia
Graduate School of Business and Law, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia
School of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia
Consultant, Robe, Adelaide, SA 5276, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Boulent Imam
Received: 7 November 2016 / Revised: 12 December 2016 / Accepted: 21 December 2016 / Published: 11 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Effects on Infrastructure)
PDF [1670 KB, uploaded 11 January 2017]


Australia’s 560 Councils are responsible for assets worth approximately $270 billion, many of which have a life span >50 years and so will be affected by climate change. Maintenance and replacement of Council infrastructure is guided by principles, models and tools in the International Infrastructure Management Manual that currently do not allow for climate change impacts or the likely flow-on effects to asset and financial management. This paper describes a financial simulation model developed to calculate the financial impacts of climate change on three major asset classes of importance to Australian Councils: hotmix sealed, spray sealed and unsealed roads. The research goes beyond previous studies of climate change impacts on roads in that it provides a location specific toolkit that is designed to assist councils in their asset management and planned maintenance programmes. Two categories of inputs are required for the model: climate inputs, relating specifically to baseline temperature and rainfall distributions and climate change parameters for temperature and rainfall; and engineering inputs, relating specifically to the three road types and the key parameters of their performance and useful lives over the scenario period. The baseline distributions are then shifted mathematically within the model by the mean change as projected by a selected Global Climate Model (GCM) scenario. Outputs of the model are the historical baseline climate variable distributions and the climate change (CC) impacts on road performance are in the form of changes to the useful life of the asset and associated changes in asset resurfacing and rehabilitation costs. Ten case study local councils in southern Australia are examined. Using IPCC AR4 scenarios, the results suggest that the incremental impact of climate change on all three types of road infrastructure modelled will be generally low. There are small cost reductions over the period for all road types as a result of the expected drying and warming trends in the climate. View Full-Text
Keywords: local government; asset management; climate change impacts; financial modeling local government; asset management; climate change impacts; financial modeling

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Balston, J.; Li, S.; Iankov, I.; Kellett, J.; Wells, G. Quantifying the Financial Impact of Climate Change on Australian Local Government Roads. Infrastructures 2017, 2, 2.

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