Australia’s infrastructure position mimics that across much of the world – rising labour costs and smaller budgets, yet increasing demand for services. Ensuring infrastructure provides for basic needs as well as optimising local, regional and national productivity has become increasingly difficult.
Infrastructure bottlenecks and inefficient infrastructure, whether it be large or small, limit the productive potential of our economy. Armed with a clearer understanding of how infrastructure works together we are now more than ever in a position to refine the principles of public infrastructure investment and resolve these important nuances.
Infrastructure in regional Australia is plagued by complexity and programmatic (bandaid) solutions. While local infrastructure is central to a productive economy, it is often overlooked in favour of larger (and sometimes more glamorous) projects. Continuation along this path is likely to lead to a critical infrastructure tipping point. A point which would ensue high remedial and productivity costs.
Australia has a vast amount of resources to develop a more effective and efficient system to identify, prioritise and invest in infrastructure. We should use this knowledge to develop an appreciation of where our efforts should be best spent, address those vital parts of the system that are too easily dismissed and transition to a more modern approach to infrastructure investment in Australia.