With a substantial existing asset base and $339bn of new investment in government budgets, how we manage, operate, and deliver Australia’s infrastructure matters. It requires many things to go right.
This paper sets out goals, markers of success and key components of Australia’s infrastructure system, to help discussions between public and private partners on how to jointly improve outcomes for Australians. A systems approach to infrastructure is necessary and overdue.
We identify five key policy shifts to a systems approach:
- Intergovernmental collaboration – a national approach to population growth and development on which all governments and their key agencies are aligned and working together.
- Place-based approach – focus on a vision for places that seizes economic and social opportunity, realised through detailed planning and sequenced infrastructure delivery.
- Long-term planning and more certain project pipeline – long-term and stable funding commitments that give greater certainty to the infrastructure pipeline and ensure that businesses are ready and equipped to deliver infrastructure.
- Private investment – more private ownership of infrastructure (with appropriate regulation) and greater use of private finance and innovation in new projects, with government’s principle role prioritising and de-risking projects.
- User pays – user pays and value capture as default funding models to take the pressure off government budgets, with government funding of infrastructure linked to clear social need.