2021 in review, a message from Infrastructure Australia's CEO Romilly Madew

Publication Date
16 December 2021

In this edition:

  • A message from IA's CEO Romilly Madew
  • Regional strengths and infrastructure gaps update
  • IA data capabilities
  • Holiday office closure

A message from Infrastructure Australia's CEO, Romilly Madew

As the year draws to a close, around the country, communities are recovering from, and preparing for, new shocks and stresses, making their infrastructure needs more complex. 

Tomorrow's infrastructure is likely to look very different to today's, and the way infrastructure is planned needs to embrace this uncertainty. 

2021 was a big year for Infrastructure Australia, and I'm enormously proud of my team for their contributions to our sector:

  • In February, we updated the Infrastructure Priority List, identifying a project pipeline with 180 investment opportunities, with more than half benefiting regional communities.
  • In April 2021, we published our Sustainability Principles outlining our approach to sustainability and how sustainability informs our work program.
  • We started consultation on the Regional Strengths and Infrastructure Gaps project, which you can read more about below, consulting with community representatives from across 48 RDA’s across Australia.
  • In May 2021, we completed our first Reconciliation Action Plan (Reflect RAP) which was released in May 2020. Our Reflect RAP has helped us to build new relationships externally, build cultural awareness internally and develop a vision for Infrastructure Australia’s unique value add to the to the national reconciliation movement. This year we have also submitted our next Reconciliation Action Plan (Innovate).
  • In June 2021, we launched an update to our Assessment Framework, broadening the Assessment Criteria to allow for a more holistic review of a proposal’s potential benefits, in addition to those that can be monetised through traditional cost-benefit analysis.
  • In August, in partnership with Infrastructure NSW, we released A Pathway to Infrastructure Resilience, recommending a whole-of-system, all-hazards approach to resilience planning that focuses on strengthening an infrastructure asset, network and sector, as well as the place, precinct, city and region that the infrastructure operates within
  • In September 2021, we saw the release of the 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan. The Plan provides Australia’s infrastructure sector with a 15-year roadmap to drive economic growth, maintain and enhance our standard of living and improve the resilience and sustainability of our essential infrastructure.
  • In October 2021, we launched the Infrastructure Market Capacity report, Australian-first data on the infrastructure market’s capacity to deliver the major project pipeline, providing a level of visibility of the major project pipeline and resulting demand that governments haven’t had until new.
  • In November we announced that all parents at IA are eligible for 18 weeks of paid leave, irrespective of if they’re primary or secondary carers in what we believe is the most flexible and equal paid parental leave scheme in the Australian Government.
  • And in December, we welcomed our new Chair and Directors to the Board.

These monumental achievements are only possible because of our open collaboration with our stakeholders, which has fostered strong, trusting partnerships with our Federal, state and territory, and local government colleagues, as well as stakeholders from industry, academia and the community.

Thank you for your open engagement with us across the full spectrum of our work program.

Wishing you all the best for a safe and restful festive season (and if you are at the beach, don't forget to swim between the flags!). 


Romilly Madew AO FTSE
Chief Executive Officer

Regional Strengths and Gaps

The diversity and strength of regional Australia is immense, and as regional communities and the challenges they face evolve, so too do the opportunities to improve quality of life and economic outcomes.

The upcoming Regional Strengths and Infrastructure Gaps project brings a national perspective of both the diverse strengths and the infrastructure needs facing Australia’s regions. The infrastructure challenges and opportunities explored as part of this project reflects how infrastructure impacts every aspect of our lives, and provides the lived experience of the issues included in our Australian Infrastructure Plan.

Through extensive consultation this year with the assistance from the Regional Development Australia (RDA network), we have heard first-hand from key stakeholders in regions across the nation. The project spotlights key strengths and infrastructure gaps, as we seek to support the regions to make the case for infrastructure investment or reform.

Infrastructure Australia is currently in the process of finalising the report and accompanying interactive map, with a planned release in early 2022.

Data-led transformation

Without data, it's just another opinion so throughout 2021 we have been investing in data capabilities that are available to government and industry to inform their work. We've profiled a selection below, with our full data and dashboard suite available on our website

Data dashboards - risk and public infrastructure workforce supply

For the first time, Infrastructure Australia's Infrastructure Market Capacity report provides a new evidence base for a comprehensive understanding of the supply and demand of the skills and materials critical to deliver Australia's major infrastructure pipeline, and associated risks in planning and delivery.

This evidence base will also support decision making and help ensure value for money outcomes from our future infrastructure investments.

Infrastructure Risk Dashboard

The Infrastructure Risk Dashboard, established through our Market Capacity Program, is designed to help you focus on the right risks for your project.

It presents a library of common risks classified by project type and infrastructure sector, and maps these risks against climate information and four geographical community types as defined by Infrastructure Australia.

The accompanying National Study of Infrastructure Risk report includes an explanation of the methodology informing this analysis, and should be read in conjunction with this dashboard.

Public Infrastructure Workforce Supply Dashboard

Our Public Infrastructure Workforce Supply Dashboard provides you with an interactive way to understand and analyse supply and demand for the skills and occupations that constitute the public infrastructure workforce, as established through our Market Capacity Program.

The accompanying Infrastructure Workforce and Skills Supply report, including the detailed explanation of the modelling methodology employed, should be read in conjunction with this dashboard, as it provides a more detailed analysis and understanding of the occupational groups, occupations and roles that inform the data presented.

Interactive view of the 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan

Our website publishes an interactive view of the 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan, which allows you to search the 29 recommendations that make up the 2021 Plan's reform agenda.

You can click on the recommendation relevant to your search, and this will take you to a dedicated page that outlines the implementation pathway for that recommendation. These pages contain related information such as progress measures and summaries of the evidence-based impact assessment that informs reform prioritisation.

We will work closely with change agents to ensure this new and interactive capability is as useful as it can be to guide implementation of reform, and to monitor progress over time.

For an unfiltered view of the implementation approach of the 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan across all 29 recommendations, you can download the 2021 Implementation Pathway.

We have also recently published new supporting documents for the 2021 Australian Infrastructure PlanA guide to applying theory of change and a theory of change template.

Infrastructure Sector Compass

We have developed the Infrastructure Sector Compass to help infrastructure professionals, and the community, navigate the sectors.

How to use this tool:

With the Sector Compass, you can:

  • find out about other industry and government organisations that make up the Australian and New Zealand infrastructure sectors. You can find the organisations in a particular sector (such as water or transport), or those that do similar tasks (such as construction or finance).
  • update your own details to encourage other organisations to connect with you.

Add you details and give your feedback

Some organisation records currently contain data that are not substantiated or contemporary. We encourage you to use the webforms to send us your feedback to help us strengthen the tool.

We will continually improve the Sector Compass to make it more useful to you. With you help, we can make it easier to build partnerships in the sector.

For further information about any of our data capabilities, contact Steve Brogan, Director of Data and Analytics, steve.brogan@infrastructureaustralia.gov.au

Australians are living with COVID-19 but what are the long-term impacts on infrastructure?

COVID-19 has permanently changed Australia. The path of settlement and economic growth in our country has taken an unexpected turn. With an increasingly vaccinated population, we stand at a fork in the road. We must decide what changes brought on by the pandemic we entrench, and what can and should be reversed. 

In our December 2020 report, Infrastructure beyond COVID-19, Infrastructure Australia identified a number of major trends that are likely to shape infrastructure demand post-COVID. We also considered whether these trends would be short-lived or whether they would last.

A year on this week, it presents an opportunity to take stock. Read Peter Colacino's article on LinkedIn.

Office shutdown dates

Please note Infrastructure Australia's office will be closed from 24 December 2021 to 3 January 2022 (inclusive).

We look forward to collaborating with you in the new year.