A record-breaking 147 infrastructure proposals on the 2020 Infrastructure Priority List, released by Infrastructure Australia today, reveals the scale of the challenge and the complexity ahead.
The latest edition of the Infrastructure Priority List identifies a project pipeline worth more than $58 billion – including 12 new ‘high priority’ projects and 17 new ‘priority’ projects.
The 2020 list – developed from data in the 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit and more than 200 submissions from government, industry and the community – broadens the focus beyond traditional roads, rail and ports.
“Compounding issues of unprecedented infrastructure demand, severe drought and other environmental changes require a focus on our resilience strategies and a consensus on where to invest now for our nation’s future prosperity,” says Infrastructure Australia chief executive, Romilly Madew.
As a result, high priority projects include strategies for water security, coastal inundation, waste and recycling management and road maintenance. There are also projects to enhance resilience and respond to the new challenges of a changing climate.
The Property Council’s chief executive Ken Morrison calls the list a “huge call to action for our governments to support city-shaping and nation-building projects” that meet the needs of a growing population, boost productivity and sustain living standards.
“This is the ‘new normal’ for Australia’s infrastructure challenge, not just a short-term boom,” Morrison says.
“We need to plan for, fund and deliver new infrastructure on a much bigger scale and over a longer period of time than we have experienced previously. This will require a new mindset from our governments and the community – one which is always focused on planning and building for the future.”
The 2020 list has continued to grow, Morrison points out, with only seven projects ‘graduating’ from the list to project delivery stage.
“We need to see more projects moving into delivery stage if we are to keep with the demands of a growing nation. While it is pleasing to see new projects added to the list, there remain a lot of urban rail projects still in project definition stages.
“These projects are absolutely critical to our fast-growing larger cities and governments around the country should accelerate this work.”
Download the 2020 Infrastructure Priority List.