A Pathway to Infrastructure Resilience

Publication Date
20 August 2021

In this edition: 

  • A Pathway to Infrastructure Resilience
  • Register now for the Australian Infrastructure Plan launch
  • Submissions for 2022 Infrastructure Priority List close 3 September
  • Policy & Research update
  • Northern Australia infrastructure roundtable
  • Work with us

A Pathway to Infrastructure Resilience

Infrastructure Australia is proud to release A Pathway to Infrastructure Resilience, two advisory papers developed in partnership with Infrastructure NSW, outlining how to improve infrastructure resilience throughout planning, delivery and operation.

Advisory Paper 1: Opportunities for systemic change identifies 10 long-term directions for transformational and systemic change in infrastructure planning to achieve infrastructure for resilience.

Advisory Paper 2: Guidance for asset owners and operators outlines a series of short-term actions for asset owners and operators as the first steps towards this change.

Read Infrastructure Australia's media release.

A whole-of-system, all-hazards approach

The events of recent years have brought Australia's vulnerability to threats such as bushfires, droughts, floods, pandemic and cyber-attack into sharp relief. 

A Pathway to Infrastructure Resilience recommends 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 in. 

The papers provide directions and actions to support resilient communities that can resist, absorb, accommodate, recover, transform and thrive in response to the effects of shocks and stresses in a timely, efficient manner to enable economic, social, environmental and governance outcomes.

There is enormous value in driving systemic change in Australia's resilience planning. By 2050, the annual cost of natural disasters is expected to more than double - from $18 billion per year to more than $39 billion.

Ten opportunities for a systemic approach to managing risk

1. Improve strategic alignment of resilience governance: Governance that adopts a systemic view of risk and establishes the accountability and resourcing.

2. Manage uncertainty through scenario planning: A common set of future scenarios to streamline planning and support cross-sector coordination and shared responsibility.

3. Improve data collection and sharing for informed planning, action and decision-making: Coordinating, sharing and standardising critical disaster and climate data.

4. Adopt place-based approaches for resilience: Planning tools and data to consider multiple place-based issues and address resilience and community needs.

5. Embed resilience into land use planning and development decisions: Planning systems that value and set resilience as policy objectives, incorporate new and emerging data, capture local opportunities.

6. Improve infrastructure investment decision-making: Agreed mechanisms and guidance for quantifying the projected economic, social, environmental and governance implications of the impacts associated with managing uncertainty or resilience.

7. Collect and share information on asset and network vulnerability: A shared understanding of the impacts to interconnected systems.

8. Value blue and green infrastructure: Improving the understanding, valuation and governance of the green and blue infrastructure.

9. Build trust through more inclusive decision-making: Including communities and informing them about the risk, uncertainty and trade-offs related to infrastructure services and their livelihoods.

10. Embed traditional ecological knowledge in decision-making: Draw on traditional ecological knowledge to manage land and natural resources and mitigate-risk.

Collaborative thinking

These opportunities to improve resilience in response to all hazards and across sectors are informed by the latest thinking from over 600 experts from across government, industry, peak bodies and academia. 

The papers are also informed by The Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangement, The National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework, the independent NSW Bushfire Inquiry and a series of 16 stakeholder workshops. 

Australian Infrastructure Plan launch

Register to join us for the virtual launch of the 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan, a practical and actionable roadmap for infrastructure reform.

Date: Friday 3 September 2021

Time: 11:30am-1pm AEST

Register here

The 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan carries forward the unfinished reforms of the 2016 Plan and outlines a cohesive vision for reform. It is intended to deliver infrastructure for a stronger Australia, and support our national recovery from the still-unfolding COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the bushfires, drought, floods and cyber-attacks that have tested our resilience in recent years.

Call for submissions - 2022 Infrastructure Priority List

Submissions to the February 2022 publication of the Infrastructure Priority List close on 3 September. 

It is crucial that Australia has a comprehensive and robust infrastructure pipeline to guide our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Infrastructure Priority List provides evidence based advice to support an informed discussion about Australia’s investment priorities.

The Priority List is a living document and we update the List throughout the year as assessments are completed. Submissions received after 3 September will be considered for future updates of the List.

Find out more about submissions for the 2022 Infrastructure Priority List update.

Policy & Research update

Market Capacity Program

In parallel to the development of the Australian Infrastructure Plan, this week we presented our report on the capacity and capability of the market to deliver the forward infrastructure pipeline to the First Secretaries Group.

Our Market Capacity Program is seeking to improve pipeline transparency, and our understanding of the forward demand on skills and materials demand across Australia. A more complete picture of the pipeline, working with states and territories to share data, will over time, enable us to better predict and manage the peaks, and risk of overheating markets.

This is a multi-year program of work that will build an increasing evidence base to inform decision making over time, and across state and territory borders. 

Regional Strengths and Infrastructure Gaps

We are currently finalising our Regional Strengths and Infrastructure Gaps project, which is designed to bring a national perspective to the diverse infrastructure needs facing Australia’s regions. To ensure we have the best possible understanding of each local context, we have collaborated with the Regional Development Australia (RDA) network - through which we've consulted with close to 800 local representatives across 48 sessions.

Our review of will enable us to support the diverse strengths of our regions and identify priority areas for further planning and analysis.

The data and evidence developed during this project will help to inform future submissions to the Infrastructure Priority List, and other funding programs, as well as our own identification of regional needs. We are currently finalising our report, which we expect to release later this year.

Northern Australia infrastructure roundtable

This week we convened the Northern Australia Infrastructure Roundtable in collaboration with the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia. 

The government and industry roundtable was joined by Special Envoy for Northern Australia, Senator Susan McDonald, who shared her key priorities for infrastructure and investment in the Top End: Affordable and reliable electricity; Access to insurance and finance; Suitable infrastructure, namely road, rail and flight; and high-quality medical care, aged care and childcare.

Romilly Madew also gave a keynote address to the Developing Northern Australia conference, foreshadowing release of the 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan and articulating how the Plan addresses the needs of Australia's north for a prosperous future. Read the speech on our website

Work with us

We are seeking enthusiastic and forward-thinking professionals for a variety of roles. 

Join our team by applying directly for these positions:

Manager - Internal and Strategic Communications

Advisor / Manager - Infrastructure Assessment and Prioritisation

Executive Support Officer