Front and centre, though, has been the release by Infrastructure Australia (IA) of the Australian Infrastructure Plan, which has placed the management of water and transport assets onto the Federal, State and Local Government agendas.
IA Chairman Mark Birrell has commented that “The 15 Year Australian Infrastructure Plan will spark vigorous debate about our national policy settings – including how we get the best from our existing infrastructure, and how to make wise decisions about potential new infrastructure”. Through my secretariat role within the Regional Technical Committees of Water, Transport and Asset Management I am aware that debate began some time ago within the Region. As a result, the Technical Committees are well placed to assist their Councils in utilising the IA Plan’s recommendations for the benefit of the region.
The Plan recommends reforming the funding and operation of transport infrastructure, completing the national electricity market, improving the quality and competitiveness of the water sector and delivering a telecommunications market that responds to user demand.
Alongside the Plan is IA’s Reinvigorated Infrastructure Priority List which identifies 93 projects and initiatives.The Plan also sets out 78 recommendations for reform and is designed to address today's infrastructure gaps.
Of interest are the fact sheets. They include topics such as Productive Cities, Competitive Markets, Better Decisions & Better Delivery, Funding, Putting the Plan into Action, Productive Regions, Remote and Indigenous Communities, Sustainability and Resilience.
IA will update the Plan at least every five years.
The Infrastructure Priority List is “Designed to give structured guidance to decision makers, visibility to industry and transparency for the community. It is a ‘rolling’ list which will be updated periodically as proposals move through stages of development and delivery and to respond to emerging challenges and opportunities.”
The Plan was developed following consultation on the Australian Infrastructure Audit report.