In this edition:
- Message from our Acting CEO, Adam Copp
- Infrastructure Australia Amendment (Independent Review) Bill 2023
- Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan
- Guide to Assessing Greenhouse Gas Emissions (interim)
- 2023 Infrastructure Market Capacity Report
- Out and about
Message from our Acting CEO, Adam Copp
It’s been a huge start to 2023 for Infrastructure Australia, as the process of implementation begins of the Australian Government’s Response to the Infrastructure Australia Independent Review released in December.
Since then, we’ve been working closely with the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts as well as the Hon Catherine King MP, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government to implement the Government’s vision for IA.
The Government’s Response sets out an ambitious and exciting program of evolution for IA – one that we will be working closely with our stakeholders across the nation to implement.
These changes clearly articulate Infrastructure Australia’s role as the Australian Government’s expert adviser on nationally significant infrastructure, providing rigorous, expert and independent advice.
Last week, a major milestone was reached in the implementation with the Government introducing the Infrastructure Australia Amendment (Independent Review) Bill 2023.
A number of changes will be implemented through the legislation, including to IA’s governance structure.
As well as the work being undertaken on the Review, we have continued to progress several important workstreams:
- Development of our third Infrastructure Market Capacity report has commenced with early-stage research underway
- We recently published our interim Guide to Assessing Greenhouse Gas Emissions, outlining how we will take into account Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions targets in our assessment of infrastructure proposals going forward
- The independent evaluation of Muswellbrook Bypass has been completed and published
- We’ve taken the next step on our reconciliation journey with the launch of our Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan.
I am looking forward to continuing to work with you all this year on this exciting program of work.
Acting Chief Executive
Infrastructure Australia Amendment (Independent Review) Bill 2023
The Infrastructure Australia Amendment (Independent Review) Bill 2023 was introduced on 22 March and proposes to:
- Clearly articulate Infrastructure Australia’s role
- Redefine Infrastructure Australia’s functions and products
- Establish a new governance structure.
The Bill defines IA’s mandate, refines the product suite to better support government investment objectives and improves evaluation functions.
Infrastructure Australia’s role
The object of the Bill is to clearly articulate Infrastructure Australia’s role as the Australian Government’s expert independent advisor on nationally significant infrastructure, advising the Government on infrastructure that supports the economy, builds the nation, and addresses the challenges and opportunities of the future.
As noted by Minister Catherine King in her address to Parliament, we have already begun enacting this positive change, providing advice into the current budget process.
Functions and Products
The Bill would amend the current Act to redefine our functions and products, guided by the Australian Government’s infrastructure investment objectives and strategic priorities.
- Infrastructure audits will consider the work of state and territory infrastructure bodies, to identify nationally significant needs and identify any gaps.
- The Infrastructure Priority List would be shorter, more targeted and linked to our audits and Australian Government priorities, with a focus on nationally-significant infrastructure investment proposals put forward by the Commonwealth, states and territories.
- We would have the ability to inquire into matters relating to nationally-significant infrastructure.
The Bill also articulates changes to our governance structure providing for the appointment of three Commissioners supported by an advisory council.
Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)
Infrastructure Australia is proudly committed to advancing the reconciliation movement with the launch of our second Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) this week, developed in partnership with Reconciliation Australia.
We were humbled to have a Welcome to Country by Uncle Michael West from the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council and speeches by our partners Emily Johnson from Reconciliation Australia and Kevin Wilson from Nani Creative, who designed our incredible RAP artwork.
As the nation’s expert infrastructure advisor, we have a unique opportunity to drive change and a responsibility to work toward delivering better infrastructure for all Australians.
Our Innovate RAP commits us over the next two years to continuing to develop partnerships with First Nations people and piloting innovative strategies to empower them.
To read our Innovate RAP, visit our website.
Guide to Assessing Greenhouse Gas Emissions (interim)
Last month Infrastructure Australia published our new Guide to Assessing Greenhouse Gas Emissions (interim).
The Guide provides information to proponents on how to treat greenhouse gases in their submissions to Infrastructure Australia, including new information to be submitted and guidance on some key considerations related to greenhouse gas emissions.
The guide was developed in response to the enactment of the Climate Change Act 2022 (Cth) and the Climate Change (Consequential Amendments) Act 2022 (Cth). With the passing of the legislation, Infrastructure Australia now takes into account Australia's greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets in:
- our advice to government
- infrastructure plans and audits
- infrastructure evaluations.
This guide forms the first step towards a more holistic consideration of the social and environmental impacts of infrastructure delivery and will enhance and broaden the assessment of net social impact of infrastructure proposals.
We are engaging with stakeholders on an approach to valuing carbon and a methodology for assessing embodied emissions.
For more information about the guide visit our website or contact David Tucker, Chief of Project Advisory & Evaluation.
2023 Infrastructure Market Capacity Report
Infrastructure Australia has commenced work on the third Infrastructure Market Capacity Report. This annual report, originally requested through the then Council of Australian Governments, provides a snapshot of the capacity of the market to deliver on the current record investment pipeline.
The 2023 Infrastructure Market Capacity Report will include:
- Updated demand profiling of resources required to deliver the infrastructure pipeline;
- Capacity challenges within and across states and territories;
- Workforce planning and skills supply analysis, including new insights on career pathway trends across the sector;
- Embodied emissions profiling, abatement levers and cost impacts for the infrastructure pipeline;
i. Quantifying the baseline embodied carbon intensity of Australia’s infrastructure pipeline at the portfolio-level
ii. Forecasting the potential emission savings from substituting low-emission materials
iii. Quantifying cost impacts of potential substitution approaches.
We look forward to collaborating with many of you throughout the year as this important research progresses.
Out and about
Infrastructure Association of Queensland Inc (IAQ) Industry Event 2023
Our A/CEO Adam Copp joined the IAQ industry event to unpack the current capacity constraints facing the construction industry.
Adam highlighted our market capacity research and how it’s no longer a question of if a project will slip – but when, by how long and at what cost.
To read Adam’s speech from the event, visit our website.
IPWEA NSW & ACT State Conference - Building Better Communities Data & Technology
Adam shared insights about how the construction sector can embrace data and technology to address stagnant productivity in a keynote address to the IPWEA NSW & ACT State Conference this month.
To read Adam's keynote address, visit our website.
Digital Twins Partnership
Our Chief of Policy & Research Steve Brogan recently delivered a keynote address at the Digital Twin Partnership launch event.
Steve shared insights about the importance of digital twins in improving the infrastructure sector's productivity and how without them, diagnosing and resolving issues when things go wrong is more difficult.
Creating digital twins for all infrastructure projects is a recommendation highlighted in both our Australian Infrastructure Plan and Delivering Outcomes reports.