CEO Newsletter - August 2023

Publication Date
03 August 2023

Dear colleagues,

For the past 12 months, as the acting Chief Executive, I have been sharing updates on Infrastructure Australia and the work we have been doing.

I am pleased to say I can provide these updates as the new permanent Chief Executive Officer following Minister Catherine King announcing my appointment on Monday, 31 July.

I want to express my thanks and appreciation to the many stakeholders and peers who have provided such valued support over the past 12 months. I place immense value on these relationships and will continue to do so as Infrastructure Australia navigates its strengthened mandate as the Australian Government’s trusted independent advisor on nationally significant infrastructure.

I also want to thank the entire team at Infrastructure Australia. They are committed, passionate and talented and I am very proud to lead them. 

Stakeholder engagement

Currently, we are in the process of upping our engagement with state and territory stakeholders to deepen our understanding of how each interacts with the Australian Government and Infrastructure Australia on a raft of different aspects. We will be hosting workshops in each state and territory to identify opportunities to improve the way we work together, so in turn, we can improve the way we deliver nationally significant infrastructure projects.   

A more sustainable future

IA is progressing research on the measurement of embodied carbon at a portfolio level, which will estimate the baseline embodied carbon intensity of Australia’s five-year infrastructure and building pipelines using data from IA’s market capacity reporting. This work will provide an understanding of the scale of embodied carbon from these pipelines nationally. An additional part of this work will see a measurement of the emissions savings that can be made by incorporating low emissions building materials into these pipelines. At a time when the nation is invested in achieving Net Zero, I am pleased Infrastructure Australia can apply its rigorous research to this endeavour and help work towards a more sustainable and green future.

On the subject of sustainability, Infrastructure Australia recently hosted an inter-jurisdictional workshop on the use of sustainable materials. The workshop examined the maturity of supply chains in jurisdictions and shared feedback and discussion on the main barriers to increasing the usage of recycled materials in infrastructure projects.

You can read more about how the circular economy can be leveraged to address the massive demand for building materials and tightening supply in an article I wrote the June edition of Infrastructure Magazine.

Infrastructure and a reconciled Australia

As many of you know, I am passionate about the importance of Reconciliation. Since my last update to you, we have had Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week. Both of these events help us recognise, celebrate, and acknowledge the history, culture, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. At Infrastructure Australia, we believe infrastructure can play a significant role in this for generations. In fact, this is a key element to our vision within our Reconciliation Action Plan, which recognises that future infrastructure planning, decision-making and delivery can play an integral role in protecting, celebrating, and acknowledging Country and First Nations' Cultures. If you would like to read more about our vision for a reconciled Australia, I invite you to read our recently released Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan.

Speaking events

On a final note, I wanted to share some of the speaking events myself and our team have presented at over the past few months. Our acting Chair Gabrielle Trainor recently spoke at the Te Waihanga Symposium in New Zealand and shared our work on Delivering Outcomes, and our acting Chiel of Policy and Research, Steve Brogan spoke on a panel at CEDA’s State of the Nation conference covering the topic ‘Tackling the big infrastructure challenges’. For myself, I spoke at IPWEA’s International Asset Management Conference, where I spoke about the need for a holistic and whole-of-system approach to infrastructure planning and decision-making. These speeches are available on the IA website if you’d like to learn more on any of these topics.

Thank you for your continued interest in our work at Infrastructure Australia and I look forward to sharing more updates with you soon.

Kind regards,

Adam Copp
Chief Executive
Infrastructure Australia