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Infrastructure Accord needed to drive investment

An Infrastructure Accord is needed to drive the next wave of investment needed to keep pace with a growing list of national priority projects, according to the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA).

UDIA National – the nation’s peak organisation for the urban development industry – has welcomed release of Infrastructure Australia’s latest Infrastructure Priority List.

The expanded list of projects shows there is clear demand for investment in road, water, energy, educational and social infrastructure.

“What’s clear is that Australia is already investing heavily in infrastructure but will need to accelerate that as our cities and population continue to grow,” said UDIA National Executive Director Connie Kirk.

“There is a compelling case for bringing more discipline to the way we plan, fund and deliver the next generation of infrastructure projects across our cities and regions.

“We need to go further and lift infrastructure above the political fray and ensure the durability of decisions to give comfort to investors – both in infrastructure, but also the land use and housing supply that follows.

“A bi-partisan Infrastructure Accord would help insulate the identification, funding and delivery of major projects from politics and see the Priority List as the baseline for decisions on prioritisation.

“It could be extended to ensure all projects include analysis of the associated land use and housing opportunities to maximise the dividend from investments made by government and the private sector.

“If governments want to step outside the Priority List, they can do so – but they first need to submit the projects to Infrastructure Australia for full business case assessment.

“UDIA National also urges governments to properly scrutinise the trunk infrastructure needs of housing development opportunities that emerge from the list, particularly transport projects.

“This would ensure we can create a more robust pipeline of new and diversified housing stock to keep pace with population growth and demographic demands.”

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Infrastructure Priority List 2020: