The Australian Government delivered its official response to our 15-year Australian Infrastructure Plan on 24 November 2016.
The Government has endorsed the Plan and detailed how it will act on it. The Plan sets out the nation's long-term infrastructure reform and project investment agenda.
The Government's response to the 15 year Plan can be read here.
In its response the Government stated: “The Australian Infrastructure Plan, and its companion document the Infrastructure Priority List, provides a positive reform and investment roadmap for Australia and has already been an effective tool in informing decisions by the Australian Government about which further reforms to progress, and over time, investment decisions.”
Key recommendations from the Plan supported in the Government's statement include:
- Using government incentive payments to drive infrastructure reform at the state and territory level
- Examining opportunities to streamline the public funding streams for infrastructure, to deliver greater efficiency and reduce overlap
- Increased investment in planning and project development work to bring forward business cases for the projects now listed on the Infrastructure Priority List
- Working to protect transport corridors and precincts for the future
- Exposure of public transport services to contestable supply through franchising to drive better outcomes for users
- Making Australian government funding contingent on agreeing to post-completion reviews of major infrastructure projects
- A greater focus on metropolitan rail in our capital cities by working with state governments to develop urban rail plans for Australia's five major cities, and
- A commitment to work with State and Territory governments on policies to make better use of existing infrastructure.
We are particularly pleased to see the Government commit to progressing two key issues: road market reform; and developing a National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.
As we outlined in the Plan, it is clear that the current funding model to build and maintain Australian roads is broken—it is inefficient, unsustainable and unfair.
We advocated for fuel excise and registration fees to be abolished, and road users to only be charged for what they use. We are therefore pleased to see the Government commit to an independently led process on the potential reform options and models for road market reform.
We will certainly be making further contributions on the benefits of moving to a fairer, user-pays approach for roads.
The Australian Infrastructure Plan also highlighted the need for a National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy to define nationally significant freight corridors and precincts, identify the network constraints and gaps, and outline a reform and investment pipeline to address these challenges. We are pleased to see the Government commit to deliver a National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.
The Plan and Infrastructure Priority List can both be downloaded here.