Infrastructure Australia released today its National Infrastructure Plan, the organisation's latest report to the Council of Australian Governments.
In launching the Plan, Chairman, Sir Rod Eddington AO, observed, “Our aim in preparing this Plan has been to provide governments and the community with a clear set of actions to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the growth of the Asian economies over the next half century.”
The actions include:
- Establishing a single national infrastructure fund;
- Moving from grant funding of infrastructure to a system that encourages private investment;
- Selling or long-term leasing of government infrastructure assets and re-investing the proceeds in new infrastructure;
- Wider application of user pays funding arrangements, especially but not only in the freight sector, but on the proviso that users get a say in scoping new projects; and
- Improvements to project governance and procurement to reduce the cost of developing new infrastructure.
“If adopted and pursued with vigour, these reforms will ensure that Australia secures the infrastructure it needs.”
Sir Rod added, “There are challenges in pursuing these reforms. The community is wary of change. Too often, governments have been reluctant to make the case for such change.”
“Failure to pursue these reforms will leave a poor legacy for our children and grandchildren.”
The Plan includes the latest update of Infrastructure Australia's Infrastructure Priority List.
Sir Rod concluded, “Although the projects are important and they capture the attention of the media and other players, it is our ability to implement much needed infrastructure reforms that will determine whether we succeed in capitalising on the opportunities before us.”
The report can be downloaded from www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au.
Contact: Stephen Alchin—0408 668 614