Infrastructure Australia 15 year plan pulls no punches

The release of Infrastructure Australia Plan is a wake-up call to policy makers that must not be ignored, according to the Property Council of Australia.

“This report pulls no punches on the logjam of infrastructure projects that Australia needs,” said Ken Morrison, Chief Executive of the Property Council.

“The report is a wake-up call to policy makers in federal, state and local governments that we need a pipeline of planned infrastructure projects and we need to better align planning and infrastructure.

“All too often we see a gap between planning and action.

“The end result is that the infrastructure that our nation needs is not built, nor is it ready to go.

“The fact that we only have two ‘high priority’ infrastructure projects ready to go needs to be a catalyst for change.  Notwithstanding the recent work of many state governments, this report is a damning indictment on the adequacy of our infrastructure planning.

“We fully support the work of Infrastructure Australia in seeking to turn this around. To that end, Infrastructure Australia is providing policy makers with the independent, informed and frank advice that is needed.

“Our cities face a significant challenge, with three quarters of Australia's population growth in the next 20 years set to occur in just our four largest cities. 

“As the infrastructure Australia report highlights, getting our infrastructure right is vital if we are to improve living standards and productivity.

Mr Morrison said the Property Council was supportive of the UK style ‘City Deals’ which seek to unlock economic growth in our cities through partnerships between all three levels of government.

“We have no pipeline of projects that are ready to go. All too often governments won’t start planning for a project until they get funding, not realising that planning for a project opens the door to funding.

“We need infrastructure and urban plans which reinforce each other, and that will work best if we hardwire this into our governance arrangements.

"The governance proposals in this report should be closely considered as a start, but more can be done in this space.

“This is a strong report, but we add a word of caution. We are concerned that the ‘value capture’ concepts currently being floated will become another impediment to growth and investment.

“Introducing new infrastructure taxes have the potential to stifle the very growth that any new infrastructure is set to create.

Mr Morrison commended Infrastructure Australia on its report and will be encouraging state and territory governments to accelerate their work in implementing these findings.

Media contact:  Paul Ritchie  |E pritchie@propertycouncil.com.au