Business today welcomed moves by the federal government to make reform of Australia’s vital infrastructure a central part of a reinvigorated national competition policy.
The BCA agreed with Treasurer Peter Costello’s assessment that solving Australia’s infrastructure shortfalls would be imperative if economic growth was to continue in the long term.
“The Treasurer correctly highlights that meeting the demands of a 21st-century economy requires an overhaul of the way infrastructure is planned, coordinated and regulated,” BCA Chief Executive, Ms Katie Lahey said.
“The quality of Australia’s infrastructure will either speed future growth or act as a roadblock.
“What is clear is that Australia can no longer afford the ad hoc and patchwork structures that currently determine the development of water, transport and energy infrastructure.”
The BCA’s Infrastructure Action Plan released earlier this year found major problems and shortfalls in the coordination and delivery of important infrastructure, notably water, energy, transport and urban infrastructure.
The Infrastructure Action Plan concluded that Australia’s economy would benefit by at least $16 billion a year if blockages in the economy created by these infrastructure shortfalls were addressed.
Using a national competition policy approach to reform Australia’s infrastructure development was the only sensible way of getting outcomes focused on national economic requirements.
“For too long, infrastructure planning has been determined by issues and considerations other than the broad national interest,” Ms Lahey said.
“We are a national economy operating in a global world and we urgently need a system that promotes a national infrastructure framework.”