Social infrastructure is comprised of the facilities, spaces, services and networks that support the quality of life and wellbeing of our communities.
The network of social infrastructure contributes to social identity, inclusion and cohesion and is used by all Australians at some point in their lives, often on a daily basis. Access to high-quality, affordable social services has a direct impact on the social and economic wellbeing of all Australians.
This chapter represents a broadening of the scope of Infrastructure Australia’s focus since the 2015 Audit. It responds to the growing recognition of the role effective social infrastructure assets and networks play in supporting our nation’s wellbeing.
It examines the challenges and opportunities Australians face in accessing affordable, high-quality infrastructure across six social sectors:
- Health and aged care
- Green space, blue space and recreation
- Arts and culture
- Social housing
- Justice and emergency services
In 2018, Australians spent twice as much on recreation as medical expenses