Peak bodies join forces to call for commitment to long-term infrastructure spending
Eight concerned peak bodies have joined together to call on all political parties to make a commitment to maintaining long-term infrastructure spending to address the growing infrastructure shortfall and improve national productivity in a joint statement issued today ahead of the July 2 Federal election.
The eight peak bodies include the Australian Local Government Association, Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia, Planning Institute of Australia, Australian Logistics Council, Urban Development Institute of Australia, Property Council of Australia, National Farmer's Federation and Green Building Council of Australia.
The statement applauds the Government for its steps towards accelerating major infrastructure projects, but it also highlights concerns about the risk to Australia's economic growth posed by years of under-investment in public infrastructure, which has led to much of the nation's public infrastructure failing to meet the needs of Australian businesses and communities.
The national peak organisations agree that now is the time to take a long-term, strategic view of infrastructure investment to ensure Australia's cities and regions remain competitive, liveable and sustainable.
The joint statement presents a 9-point Infrastructure Plan, which calls for a commitment to:
- Ensure ongoing investment, of no less than 5% of GDP, into productive infrastructure projects that support continued economic growth and boost national productivity.
- Address the funding shortfall for maintenance of government-owned infrastructure.
- Invest in public infrastructure that is linked to strategic plans, meets cost-benefit principles, and linked to the priorities identified by Infrastructure Australia.
- Provide payments to infrastructure providers for community service obligations where it is uneconomic to meet the cost of service provision.
- Adopt an integrated multi-modal approach to transport planning and funding which recognises the requirements of supply chains and passengers.
- Enhance connectivity with strategic investment in roads and rail, including their linkages with aviation and ports.
- Take a long-term strategic, planned and transparent approach to infrastructure investment.
- Fund an evidence-based exploration of road user charges in partnership with all governments and stakeholders.
- Address congestion and transport challenges facing our major cities, better linking housing to employment, enhancing liveability and reducing barriers to economic growth.
Sharon Akinyi, Director Public Affairs, Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) 0418 415 649, email@example.com