Infrastructure Australia released the first Australian Infrastructure Plan yesterday, outlining the nation's infrastructure challenges for the next 15 years, and describing ways to improve productivity and support more liveable, resilient cities.
The Plan contains 78 recommendations for reform. Priority is given to targeting urban congestion and connectivity, but water security, sewerage infrastructure upgrades, flood mitigation, and investment in remote infrastructure are also on the table.
"Our cities are growing, and so are congestion and the associated costs and loss of productivity," said Romily Madew, CEO of Australia's authority on sustainable buildings and communities, the Green Building Council of Australia.
"Infrastructure Australia has previously estimated that the cost of congestion will rise to $53 billion a year by 2031 without significant investment. This plan provides the road-map we need to kick-start investment," she Madew.
"We are particularly pleased to see investment in active and public transport options being considered in our cities, which will reduce congestion, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and improve our health and well-being.
"As the plan points out, sustainability and resilience must be integrated into all infrastructure debates and decisions as good economic practice. Infrastructure that is sustainable and resilient can support growth and a higher standard of living.
"Transparency and long-term planning are critical if we are to get it right in our cities. Decisions on major projects must be made objectively with the best cost-benefit analysis possible to avoid uncertainty when governments change.
"This plan provides the clarity we need by identifying the 'mission critical' infrastructure projects that will deliver the best outcomes for our nation."
Published in The Real Estate Conversation; Thursday 18th February 2016