Seize the Moment of Infrastructure Opportunity

Australia has a unique opportunity to confront its infrastructure challenges ahead of the next wave of Australian growth, says BCA Sustainable Growth Task Force Chair Rod Pearse.

Mr Pearse today launched the BCA report, Groundwork for Growth: Building the Infrastructure that Australia Needs.

“The report highlights that now is the time to take a long-term view of Australia’s growth,” Mr Pearse said.

“We have an opportunity to lay the groundwork for sustainable growth over the next decade by setting a clear national ambition for Australia’s growth and by planning for the infrastructure to support it.

“Both the federal and state governments understand the significance of infrastructure supporting future growth.

“Now we must put in place the infrastructure reforms required to improve both our economy and the quality of life in our cities and communities.”

“We all want to make sure that our communities have the services they need, and that they are sustainable, healthy and efficient.

The report warns that as economic growth returns and the population continues to expand, infrastructure bottlenecks that appeared towards the end of the last boom are certain to reappear.

Infrastructure efficiency and capacity is particularly important to Australia because of our small and dispersed population and distance from markets.

The BCA report sets out the three additional priorities to address Australia’s infrastructure challenges:

  • Make better use of our existing infrastructure and improve investment signals.
  • Improve our infrastructure and project planning, so that investments achieve clearly defined objectives.
  • Transparent measurement of progress in improving infrastructure delivery.

Mr Pearse said: “Infrastructure is the crucial underpinning for sustainable growth in Australia’s economy and population.”

To measure our progress, the report says, the capacity of Australia’s infrastructure to support growth should receive a regular independent audit by the Productivity Commission.

The report incorporates research by Rod Sims, a director of Port Jackson Partners Limited. This includes detailed reforms covering freight, urban transport, urban and rural water, electricity and broadband communications.

Groundwork for Growth: Building the Infrastructure that Australia Needs (PDF, 3.5MB)