CEO Newsletter - 19 December 2022

Publication Date
19 December 2022

 In this edition:

  • Message from our Acting CEO, Adam Copp
  • Infrastructure Market Capacity 2022 report
  • Regional Strengths & Infrastructure Gaps report
  • Business case evaluations
  • Out and about

Message from our Acting CEO

Dear colleagues,

As we come to the end of another year I wanted to thank you all for your continued engagement with Infrastructure Australia and our work program. I've been acting as Infrastructure Australia's CEO for a few months now and I look forward to continuing to work together to deliver better infrastructure for all Australians.

Earlier this month the Government released its response to the Independent Review of Infrastructure Australia. The Government’s response is focused on positioning Infrastructure Australia as the expert advisor to the Commonwealth on nationally significant infrastructure – to build the nation’s future economic, environmental and social prosperity.

The Hon. Catherine King MP, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government also announced the appointment of an interim Board for Infrastructure Australia, to be chaired by Gabrielle Trainor AO. Clare Gardiner-Barnes has also been appointed to the Board and will serve alongside returning board members Mark Balnaves, John Fitzgerald and Marion Fulkner AM and our current Board members Dr Vanessa Guthrie AO, John McGee and Robert Moffat.

The interim Board will be in place until such time as legislative change for IA’s new governance structure is passed in 2023. The appointment of an interim Board is an important step towards implementing the Government’s response to the Independent Review of Infrastructure Australia.

With the Government’s response to the Independent Review announced and an interim Board in place to steward the reforms, we finish 2022 in a strong position, well-placed to progress the Government’s agenda in 2023. Along with my team, I look forward to working with the Government and our stakeholders  as we progress these important changes.

While the Review has been progressing, Infrastructure Australia has been hard at work implementing new and continuing responsibilities, including:

  • The release of the second phase of our Market Capacity research, which takes a more granular look at the constraints being experienced nationally and provides practical recommendations to overcome current challenges.
  • The Climate Change Act 2022 and Climate Change (Consequential Amendments) Act 2022 has now passed. IA is working to implement the changes to our legislation into our work program.
  • We have continued to assess nationally significant proposals and we welcome the addition of the Mitchell and Kwinana Freeways Upgrade (Transforming Perth Freeways Phases 2 and 3) to the Priority List as an Investment Ready (Stage 3) proposal. All recent business case evaluations are available below.
  • Our Regional Strengths and Infrastructure Gaps report has been finalised following consultation throughout the year, alongside our new Strengthening Communities paper.

If you have any questions about these or other matters, please don't hesitate to reach out to me or any of our team.

It has been a pleasure to work with you all this year. From all of us at Infrastructure Australia, I wish you a safe and happy Christmas break and look forward to continuing our work with you in the new year.

Kind regards,

Adam Copp
Acting Chief Executive


Market Capacity Report

Infrastructure Market Capacity 2022 Report

Infrastructure Australia is proud to publish its second Infrastructure Market Capacity Report on Australia’s infrastructure pipeline and the market’s ability to deliver on it, finding that improving risk management and proactively sequencing the major infrastructure pipeline is key to managing the impacts of an overheated construction market, escalating input costs, labour shortages and productivity challenges.

The report and accompanying Replacement Materials Report can be found on our website here.

This marks the 2nd annual report monitoring infrastructure market conditions and capacity, building on the 2021 Infrastructure Market Capacity report.

The 2022 report shows that risks to on-time and on-budget project delivery have increased in the last 12 months, with demand for major public infrastructure projects climbing by $15 billion in a year.

Key findings

  • The five-year pipeline of major public infrastructure projects (excluding defence) is valued at $237 billion - an increase of $15 billion in the last 12 months and equivalent to 6.7% growth.
  • Labour scarcity is the single biggest issue faced by construction companies.
  • The cost of construction materials has risen by an average 24% in the last 12 months.
  • As of October 2022, public infrastructure projects, including small capital projects, face a shortage of 214,000 skilled workers.
  • In 2023, labour demand is projected to increase 42,000 to a peak of 442,000. This is more than double the projected available supply.


Regional Strengths & Infrastructure Gaps Report

We're proud to publish the final Regional Strengths and Infrastructure Gaps report alongside our new Strengthening Communities paper. 

The Regional Strengths and Infrastructure Gaps report, accessible on our website since March 2022, provides a national view of the diverse strengths and infrastructure gaps facing Australia’s regions, in order to identify priority areas for future planning and analysis. We are pleased to have consulted with a range of Regional Development Australia (RDA) committees, state & territory governments and i-bodies on the draft report, with all changes between the draft and final versions addressing stakeholder feedback. 

The supporting Strengthening Communities paper provides a Rubric to guide a place-based analysis, including the identification of strengths, infrastructure gaps and enablers for successful communities (such as governance and social inclusion).

Find out more here or contact Steve Brogan, Chief of Policy and Research.


Business Case Evaluations

Infrastructure Australia has completed its independent evaluation of nine business cases for major infrastructure proposals. The following proposals have been assessed:


Out and About

Find out more about recent Infrastructure Australia speaking engagements:

  • Australian British Chamber of Commerce Infrastructure Catalyst
  • Australian Transport Research Forum (ATRF) 2022 conference

Australian British Chamber of Commerce Infrastructure Catalyst

Our Acting CEO, Adam Copp attended the Australian British Chamber of Commerce Infrastructure Catalyst, joining public and private sector leaders from the UK and Australia for a week of knowledge sharing across London and Birmingham. 

Adam's keynote address to the Catalyst considered how we planning our cities differently post pandemic and how we make our Infrastructure more resilient.


Australian Transport Research Forum (ATRF) 2022 conference

Chief of Project Advisory and Evaluation David Tucker spoke at the ATRF 2022 conference on Wednesday 28 September 2022 in Adelaide.

David shared insights on looking beyond the BCR and taking an outcomes focused approach to infrastructure assessment.


Sydney Water Supply Chain conference

Our Chief of Policy and Research Steve Brogan provided a keynote address to Sydney Water's Supply Chain and Recruitment Expo to share insights on post pandemic opportunities and challenges in infrastructure delivery. 

Steve's presentation, focused on Delivering Outcomes, was followed by a panel discussion with Paul Plowman (General Manager, Asset Lifecycle, Sydney Water), Jamie Hollamby (General Manager, Finance & Business Performance, Sydney Water), Dr David Hancock, Senior Commercial Advisor in the UK Cabinet Office and Monica Bennett (Director, Thought Leadership, Global Infrastructure Hub).


ISC FY22 Pathways to Impact Launch

Chief of Project Advisory and Evaluation David Tucker attended a panel discussion hosted by the Infrastructure Sustainability Council to support the launch of their 2022 Impact Report. David discussed how a growing focus on sustainability and the need to reduce carbon emissions is shaping infrastructure projects both within Australia and globally. David also discussed the ways that Infrastructure Australia is incorporating a sharper focus on sustainability and climate in its research and project assessments.


Climate Change Adaptation and Infrastructure - Roundtable Discussion

Our Chief of Policy and Research Steve Brogan attended a round table hosted by Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy Senator The Hon. Jenny McAllister. Steve discussed the infrastructure-specific challenges presented by climate change and the important role that infrastructure plays in climate adaptation and resilience.