Federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese and Infrastructure Australia chair Sir Rod Eddington have urged the public to take part in shaping of Australia’s infrastructure spending.
The public and business can submit their project ideas to Infrastructure Australia by October 15 for evaluation and possible inclusion on the national infrastructure priority list.
“We want both industry and the community to be our partners in the long-term effort to fix and modernise the nation’s critical economic infrastructure: our roads, railways, ports, water, energy utilities and telecommunications,” Mr Albanese said.
“In making a submission, we are asking people to look beyond their own street or neighbourhood and put forward ideas and suggestions that will strengthen the national economy.
“We as a government do not believe that we have a monopoly on all the good ideas for Australia’s future,” he said.
Sir Eddington said the call for submissions was to facilitate public discussion of how the nation can better plan, finance and build major infrastructure.
“We have indications that members of the community, including people working in industry and government, have both ideas and information potentially of great value to our work,” he said.
“We know that for a long time we’ve had a major infrastructure deficit and that the Reserve Bank warned on 20 occasions that was leading to capacity constraints in the economy, leading to upward pressure on inflation and interest rates."
Mr Albanese said $400 billion plus infrastructure spending in the long term was critical in ensuring sustainable economic and social development.
“We know that urban congestion, if left unaddressed, will cost some $20 billion by the year 2020. That’s a good example of why this is not just an economic issue, but a social issue because many working parents are spending more time commuting to and from work in their cars, than they are at home with their kids,” he told the Nine Network.
“After all, when we talk about infrastructure, we’re talking about areas that have an immediate impact on people’s lives.
“Often, we only notice it when it doesn’t work, when you can’t get the train, or urban congestion is occurring, or we have water restrictions. So we want the community to have input, because this affects people’s everyday lives,” Mr Albanese said.
The discussion paper calls for evidence-based submissions, which should be no more than 15 pages and sent to email@example.com with "Submission" in the subject field.
A copy of the discussion paper, as well as information about how to prepare and lodge a submission, is available at www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au.