Property Australia

Infrastructure Priority List a wake-up call for governments

Karen Jamal Karen Jamal March 2, 2021

The Property Council has labelled Infrastructure Australia’s 2021 Priority List a “wake-up call” for governments, after 44 new proposals were added to the $59 billion project pipeline.


  Three key takeaways:

  • A record 44 new proposals has made it onto Infrastructure Australia’s 2021 Priority List, a $59 billion investment roadmap across transport, energy, water, waste, telecommunications and social infrastructure
  • 67% of the 180 projects listed are needed within the next five years, says the Property Council
  • Infrastructure Australia chief executive Romilly Madew says the Priority List includes new projects that respond to COVID-19’s influence on changing work patterns, immigration and a 200% increase in people moving from capital cities to regional areas.


The Property Council says the 2021 Priority List presents an opportunity for governments to stimulate economic recovery while making progress on Australia’s long-standing infrastructure backlog.

“Infrastructure Australia has thrown down the gauntlet to federal and state governments to finally tackle Australia’s significant infrastructure deficit,” says Property Council chief executive Ken Morrison.

“Going big on infrastructure investment will not only fast track Australia’s economic recovery from COVID-19, but also set up our communities for high productivity and future success.”041919 - People on the Move - Romilly Madew

Projects included on the Priority List are advanced proposals with fully-developed business cases that have been assessed by Infrastructure Australia’s independent board. Projects remain on the Priority List until delivery or constructions begins.

“The importance of a robust, evidence-based investment pipeline has only increased as we look to recover from the dual health and economic crises of COVID-19, and grapple with further shocks and stresses including floods and bushfires, long-lasting drought, and a changing climate,” says Madew.

Ten projects have moved off the Priority List and are now in the construction phase. These projects include the M4 Motorway Upgrade in New South Wales, METRONET Morley-Ellenbrook Line in West Australia and sections of the Bruce Highway and M1 Pacific Motorway in Queensland

“While it is promising to see 10 projects roll off the list and begin construction, this rate of delivery will see supply continue to fall behind demand,” Morrison warns.

Nine of the 10 projects are pursuing third party verification of their social, environmental, cultural and economic benefits using the IS Rating Scheme developed by the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia.

“With seventy per cent of Australia’s emissions enabled by infrastructure, a holistic approach to infrastructure investment is fundamental to our resilient, inclusive and low-emissions future,” says ISCA’s chief executive officer says Ainsley Simpson.

As federal election appears on the horizon, the Property Council is calling on all political parties to use the annual Priority List to depoliticise infrastructure provision.

“Election commitments that do not make progress on these evidence-based priorities are counterproductive. Industry confidence will be buoyed by any bipartisan and cross-jurisdictional efforts to realise these game changing projects as 2021 progresses,” Morrison concludes.