Infrastructure projects struggling to save Sydney from congestion

13 Août, 2019, 18:07 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • $600bn of spending needed over next 15 years, Infrastructure Australia says

The Reserve Bank of Australia has called on Morrison to significantly increase infrastructure spending to boost the struggling economy, but the government has so far been resistant to the idea.

"On the infrastructure priority list there are already 103 initiatives sitting there that have been identified by the states and territories, and that means there is a pipeline of infrastructure that has been identified that could go", Madew said.

Australia's new Infrastructure Audit is a clarion call for the need to keep investing in infrastructure to support the economic and social transformation of our major cities.

Less visible, but just as frustrating, are hospitals and schools that are ageing or reaching capacity, overcrowded parks and city green spaces, ageing water pipes, and the quality of services like the NBN.

"Our population is forecast to grow by 24 per cent to over 31 million by 2034, and more than three quarters of this will be focused in our big four cities".

Findings in the report outlined the urgency for increased spending across road and public transport as congestion costs were estimated to double to almost $40 billion by 2031.

Public transport crowding is also on track to increase fivefold over the same period, costing more than $800m a year.

"Population growth offers enormous economic opportunities but the risk is that our infrastructure fails to keep pace with demand, and this impacts productivity, quality of life and the liveability of our cities and regional centres", Madew said.

"This infrastructure boom that we are in is the new normal", she said.

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As well as the new investment needed, Infrastructure Australia warns of a mounting maintenance backlog, much of which is unquantified.

Infrastructure costs households $314 a week on average.

While most people report concern about energy costs - which have risen 50% over the past decade - most of the expense is related to auto purchase and running costs.

Remote and regional Australians were also feeling the pinch, with two-thirds of the continent not having mobile phone coverage, compared to 99.4% of premises.

IA also says that "businesses and households across the country rightly want to know that governments are investing limited public funds in infrastructure that will bring strong productivity benefits to the economy, support our quality of life, and help to deliver a collective vision of a strong, fair and prosperous Australia for many years to come".

The Audit underscores the need for a change to how we approach planning to deliver our infrastructure needs in a rapidly changing environment. "But when you look at the detail, the investment simply isn't there".

"After six years of cuts and inaction, the audit is another stark reminder of the real pressures in the system now", Labor's infrastructure spokeswoman Catherine King said.

"Establishing genuine community buy-in for need to reform must be a priority for government and industry alike as we embark on a new era of investment and reform to meet Australia's changing and growing infrastructure needs", Ms Alroe said.

The government has committed $100 billion to infrastructure over the next 10 years.

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