12/04/2012 12:03 EST | Updated 02/03/2013 05:12 EST

New Brunswick auditor general says plan needed for maintenance of infrastructure

FREDERICTON - New Brunswick's auditor general says the province needs a long-term plan to ensure the sustainability and safety of infrastructure such as highways, schools and hospitals.

Kim MacPherson says current funding levels do not allow for optimal maintenance of highways.

She says deferring maintenance will result in greater costs in the future.

In her annual report released today, MacPherson says there were higher funding levels in 2009, 2010 and 2011, but the fiscal state of the province declined through increased deficits and debt.

Last year, the auditor general raised concerns about deferred maintenance of schools and said unanticipated school closures like Moncton High will continue as a result.

MacPherson says the government needs a 20-year plan with a protected level of funding to ensure maintenance of assets.