Infrastructure Australia seeking feedback on Audit

The audit provides a top-down assessment of the Direct Economic Contribution (DEC) of large-scale infrastructure. It also considers the future demand for infrastructure over the next 15 years, and delivers an evidence base for further gap analysis, long-term planning and future investment priorities.

As noted in the summary, “The audit found the value-add (or economy-wide spending) attributable to infrastructure services made up 13.3 per cent of GDP in 2011. This is projected to double, from $A187 billion in 2011 to $A377 billion in 2031. More than 70 per cent of the value-add derived from infrastructure in 2011 was attributable to transport, while the remaining sectors accounted for 8-10 per cent each. Well over half of transport value-add was from urban transport.”

The audit made 81 findings including that:

  • Australia’s population is expected to grow from 22.3 million in 2011 to 30.5 million in 2031, with the majority of the growth occurring in capital cities;
  • Congestion threatens economic growth and living standards and could cost Australia $A53 billion by 2031;
  • Without action, road travel times in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra are expected to increase by at least 20 per cent in the most congested corridors by 2031;
    • On average, demand for public transport in capital cities is set to almost double over the next 20 years;

  • The national land freight task is expected to grow by 80 per cent between by 2031 with a large component expected to be handled by road freight vehicle;
  • Maintaining and maximising the efficiency of existing infrastructure will be critical, and in many cases will be of equal or greater importance as developing new infrastructure projects.

The audit also identified ten policy reform challenges including population growth, productivity, connectivity, funding, changes in competitive markets, and regional development.

Infrastructure Australia is currently seeking feedback and public comment on the issues raised in the audit. Submissions close on 14 August. All comments will be considered in the development of the Australian Infrastructure Plan, to be released later in 2015. The 15-year plan will outline a suite of recommended reforms as well as a comprehensive update of the list of priority large infrastructure projects.

The audit documents, media releases and subsequent briefing information are available on the Infrastructure Australia website.

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