Property Australia

Why Australia must pick from the infrastructure priorities list

PROPERTY AUSTRALIA February 18, 2019

Infrastructure Australia’s $58 billion project pipeline of 121 “evidence-based, no-nonsense” priorities is the nation’s best insurance against white elephants, boondoggles and pork barrelling, says the Property Council.

The priority list, launched at Parliament House in Canberra last week, covers 121 projects – the highest number since the list’s inception – spanning the transport, energy, water, communications, housing and education sectors. 

According to Infrastructure Australia chair, Julieanne Alroe, this year’s priority list comes at pivotal time for infrastructure decision-making in Australia. 

“Our infrastructure needs are changing rapidly. Population growth is putting additional pressure on our infrastructure networks. New technology is transforming our transport and energy markets, and the structure of our economy is changing,” Alroe says. 

“Crucially, preparing for these changes requires more than just keeping pace with demand. 

“To deliver high-quality, world-class infrastructure for all Australians, we need to be smarter in our decision-making.” 

25 new initiatives have been added this year, with 8 high priority projects, 10 priority projects, 29  high priority initiatives and 74 priority initiatives. High priority projects are those that have undergone a full business case assessment by Infrastructure Australia.

In New South Wales, the high priority projects includes the M4 Motorway upgrade from Parramatta to Lapstone; Sydney Metro: City and Southwest; and Western Sydney Airport. In Victoria, M80 Ring Road Upgrade; the Monash Freeway Upgrade; and North East Link. 

The Brisbane Metro is a high priority project for Queensland, while WA’s METRONET Yanchep rail extension also makes the list. 

An interactive map of IA’s priority list projects is available online.

Property Council chief executive Morrison, who was present at the launch, emphasises the importance of the list in guiding infrastructure investment decisions. 

“The strength of IA’s Priority List is its evidence-based, no-nonsense assessment of the projects that really matter in boosting productivity and the liveability of our cities and regions,” Morrison says. 

“The IA Priority List is Australia’s best insurance against white elephants, boondoggles and pork barrel projects that might deliver a few votes, but which don’t do anything for efficiency, productivity or liveability. 

“These are the projects that must be the priority for an incoming federal government after the next election – and the ones on which their infrastructure pledges are assessed by the electorate. 

“Our independent adviser to government on our infrastructure priorities has done the hard thinking about which projects need support. 

“Now it’s up to government to make the smart decisions and get on with the task of building for a growing nation,” he said. 

Download the Infrastructure Australia Priority List 2019.