Infrastructure Australia has simplified and streamlined the Infrastructure Priority List to provide clearer investment advice to governments, industry and the community. The changes form part of the mid-year update to the 2021 Infrastructure Priority List released today.
Infrastructure Australia Chief Executive Romilly Madew said: “As COVID-19 again challenges our communities and the global economic shocks associated with the pandemic continue to unfold, it is vital that the Australian Government and other potential investors have access to clear, independent advice on the infrastructure investments that will help our country build back stronger.
“The Infrastructure Priority List provides evidence-based advice to support an informed discussion about Australia’s investment priorities. It is a resource for governments as they look to respond to shocks and stresses such as the pandemic, natural disasters and security threats, but it also takes a forward-looking view to ensure we prioritise the right infrastructure investments, at the right time.
“Although the Infrastructure Priority List is published in February each year, since 2020 Infrastructure Australia has published a mid-year update to ensure the investment opportunities highlighted are current and able to be considered for funding by governments within existing budgetary processes.
“We recently published the 2021 Assessment Framework, which provides clear and best-practice instructions on how to develop strong business cases for major infrastructure proposals. With a new, user-friendly Assessment Framework in place, we are now simplifying the Infrastructure Priority List to improve its value, structure and readability and support better infrastructure decision-making in Australia,” Ms Madew said.
The following changes have been made in the Infrastructure Priority List from July 2021:
We have simplified the terminology used in the Infrastructure Priority List – rather than the terms ‘projects’ and ‘initiatives’, the Priority List includes ‘proposals’ at four different stages of the project lifecycle.
We have simplified the prioritisation status by removing the High Priority classification. This will enable decisions based on factors such timeframe, location, sector and category of the problem or opportunity.
We have removed funded proposals, to provide a focused list of potential investment opportunities.
Stage 1 proposal to address congestion on Sydney’s Northern Beaches
The mid-year 2021 Infrastructure Priority List includes a new Stage 1 – Early-Stage Proposal for Northern Beaches (A8) corridor capacity: Seaforth to Mona Vale.
Submitted to Infrastructure Australia by Northern Beaches Council, this new Stage 1 – Early-Stage Proposal highlights the need to address traffic congestion problems on one of the busiest road corridors in Sydney, between Seaforth and Mona Vale.
The 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit found the A8 corridor between the Northern Beaches and North Sydney to be one of the five most congested roads in Sydney in 2016. Without action, it is forecast to remain one of the 10 most congested roads in Sydney in 2031.
Following its inclusion in the mid-year update to the 2021 Infrastructure Priority List, the next step is for Northern Beaches Council to identify and develop potential options before developing an investment ready proposal for submission to Infrastructure Australia.