“The audit released today by Infrastructure Australia lays bare our infrastructure challenges and should be used by governments to plan and invest for Australia’s future,” Business Council of Australia Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott said.
The audit forecasts our population to be over 30 million people by 2031, which will mean significant increases in demand for infrastructure services in key areas, particularly our major cities.
“Australia has a significant infrastructure challenge in front of us. We must take steps now to ensure the efficient provision and use of infrastructure, which will be critical to our future economic growth and quality of life.
“If we don’t fix congestion in our capital cities the cost to the economy will be $53 billion by 2031. The negative impact on people’s lives will be substantial.
“The audit has rightly identified that to meet this challenge policy settings need to better encourage market-based approaches to infrastructure provision, including cost-reflective road pricing and other user charges.
“The government’s asset recycling scheme will also help address funding shortfalls and deliver efficiencies, innovation and improved productivity.
“The release of ‘The Australian Infrastructure Plan’ later this year will be a critical step in deciding where the next wave of much-needed new infrastructure development takes place.
“This plan needs to reflect agreement from all governments on the infrastructure priorities for the country, based on a rigorous assessment of the economic and social benefits of each project.
“This kind of thorough, methodical approach will give the community confidence that future projects are in the national interest,” Ms Westacott said.
For further information contact:
Matt Newton, Communications Adviser
Business Council of Australia
Telephone (02) 8224 9207 • Mobile 0409 550 578