Australia - government
Infrastructure Australia today released the latest edition of the Infrastructure Priority List, presenting 147 infrastructure proposals of national significance – the largest number since the list’s inception.
Infrastructure Australia Chief Executive, Romilly Madew said the Infrastructure Priority List reflects both the diversity and urgency of our nation’s future infrastructure needs.
“Resilience was a key theme of our 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit and this focus continues to be reflected in our latest edition of the Infrastructure Priority List,” Ms Madew said.
“Compounding issues of unprecedented infrastructure demand, severe drought and other environmental changes, require a focus on our resilience strategies and a consensus on where to invest now for our nation’s future prosperity.”
Headlining this year’s resilience focused planning and investment guidebook, are five new High Priority National initiatives covering water, the nation’s rapidly growing waste problem, coastal inundation and road maintenance.
“As an independent advisory body, it’s our role to bring these problems and opportunities into the national spotlight to spark investment and coordinated action from industry and government,” Ms Madew said.
Infrastructure Australia has specifically identified a new High Priority Initiative for a National water strategy well as a new Town and city water security High Priority Initiative.
“In response to this call to action, we’re expecting a range of solutions to be considered for capturing, managing and distributing water, along with improvements in reporting and use of data in the water sector,” Ms Madew said.
Regional Australia also emerged as a focus of this edition of the Infrastructure Priority List with a call to improve mobile telecommunications coverage in remote areas and improve regional road safety.
“Truly staying connected requires not only safe and efficient transport options, but also ensuring our towns and regional communities have the same access to telecommunications as the rest of Australia. This is to also provide people with reliable access to electronic payment systems, emergency alerts and other critical services,” Ms Madew said.
Ms Madew also reaffirmed the role the Priority List plays in business case assessment.
“The Priority List has a strong record of driving national investment and has become a key reference point for all levels of government,” Ms Madew said.
“This year alone we have seven infrastructure projects graduating off the list as they enter the delivery stage.”
The latest edition of the Priority List identifies a project pipeline worth more than $58 billion – including 6 New High Priority Projects and 17 New Priority Projects.
The Priority List is a collaborative document, developed using data from the 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit and submissions from all levels of governments, industry and the community.
‘Projects’ are advanced proposals that have a fully developed business case that has been positively assessed by the independent Infrastructure Australia Board. Projects remain on the Priority List until delivery or constructions begins.
‘Initiatives’ are proposals that Infrastructure Australia has determined have the potential to address a nationally significant problem or opportunity. Infrastructure Australia includes them on the Priority List to indicate that further development and rigorous assessment of these proposals is a national priority.
Infrastructure Australia’s role is to advise on national infrastructure priorities and assesses the economic merits of projects with fully-developed business cases. Funding decisions are made by governments or the private sector.
The Infrastructure Priority List is a collaborative document. It is developed using data from the 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit and submissions from state and territory governments, industry and the community. This included more than 200 submissions in the last 12 months alone.
Infrastructure Australia regularly conducts strategic audits of Australia’s infrastructure networks, most recently in the 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit. The Audit covers transport, energy, water, telecommunications and – for the first time – social infrastructure. It looks at the major challenges and opportunities facing Australia’s infrastructure over the next 15 years and beyond. The data and findings of the Audit provide an up-to-date evidence base for assessing the nation’s infrastructure priorities.
Proposals are assessed for inclusion on the Priority List using Infrastructure Australia’s detailed Assessment Framework. The Framework acts as a guide for understanding the problem or opportunity that a given project is trying to solve, whether it has strategic value, and whether it represents good value for taxpayers.
Through this process, Infrastructure Australia promotes long-term, integrated land use planning and helps guide governments towards public infrastructure investments that will deliver the necessary outcomes for the community at the best value.
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