AUSTRALIA'S independent infrastructure advisor, Infrastructure Australia, has identified over $55 billion worth of nation-shaping projects in its latest Infrastructure Priority List, with an additional $25 billion of projects now off the list and under delivery across the country.
Based on the Australian Infrastructure Audit and more than 500 submissions from governments, stakeholder groups and the community, the Infrastructure Priority List is the authoritative list of nationally-significant infrastructure investments Australia needs over the next 15 years.
For the first time, the Priority List has been published alongside an interactive map that provides an up-to-date view of the nationally-significant investments Australia needs to meet its future infrastructure challenges.
"In the 10 years since Infrastructure Australia was formed, the Priority List has helped establish a longer-term view of our collective needs as a nation — one that enables our leaders to look beyond elections and budgetary cycles and make evidence-based investment decisions," said Infrastructure Australia Chair, Julieanne Alroe.
"In this latest update to the Priority List, we have identified more than $55 billion worth of potential nation-shaping infrastructure investments in our cities and regions, including six High Priority Projects and six Priority Projects. In addition, there are a further 24 High Priority Initiatives and 60 Priority Initiatives.
"These are the strategic investments recommended by the independent Infrastructure Australia board to best meet the connectivity needs of Australia's growing cities, strengthen our global role as an exporter of goods and services and make our infrastructure more resilient," Ms Alroe said.
Reflecting the demands of a growing population, Australia's cities and public transport needs are a major focus of the revised Priority List.
"New investment-ready projects like the $1 billion Brisbane Metro and the $800 million Beerburrum to Nambour rail upgrade in South East Queensland have been prioritised because of their potential to deliver national productivity gains," Ms Alroe said.
"We have also added new initiatives to improve rail network capacity in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth to meet unprecedented demand in major capital cities.
"The Priority List identifies a number of additional opportunities to improve connectivity between capitals and neighbouring cities. This includes improvements to rail capacity on the Melbourne–Geelong and Brisbane–Gold Coast rail lines, as well as rail upgrades on lines from Sydney to the regional centres of Newcastle and Wollongong.
"Upgrading this infrastructure will be key to enable our satellite cities to develop stronger economic and employment foundations and links to our bigger cities.
"As we identify new investment priorities, Infrastructure Australia is also pleased to see $25 billion worth of projects now off the list and entering the delivery phase. This is a testament to the effectiveness of the Priority List in providing clear advice to governments on the projects that represent the best use of our infrastructure funding.
"With this updated evidence base, governments at all levels can embrace the opportunities in the short, medium and long term to deliver better infrastructure services for all Australians," Ms Alroe said.