Statement on Infrastructure Australia’s Report to COAG

The BCA welcomes this comprehensive and robust analysis of Australia’s infrastructure and its role in ensuring economic productivity and growth.

The report lays out the need for ongoing development of infrastructure markets particularly energy and the need for major regulatory and governance reform.

These critical issues were identified by the BCA in its Infrastructure Action Plan of 2005. It is pleasing to see the federal government, through the establishment of Infrastructure Australia, tackling these challenges in a comprehensive way.

The announcement today of priority projects by Infrastructure Australia is an important step in helping Australia to invest for the future and boosting business confidence.

The focus on creating national, competitive markets and improving regulation and pricing arrangements will encourage private investment and will allow us to make the most efficient use of our infrastructure.

In deciding which infrastructure projects should go ahead, it will be important to demonstrate how those projects will boost national capacity and efficiency and contribute to improved national productivity.

Infrastructure Australia can also make a valuable contribution to more efficient infrastructure investment by recommending the most cost effective way to finance and build projects.

The recently approved public-private partnership guidelines will assist Infrastructure Australia with this contribution.

Better planning, identification and coordination of infrastructure requirements is an important way to maintain Australia’s competitiveness over the medium to longer term.