CEO's newsletter November 2015

Update on the Australian Infrastructure Plan

Thank you for your feedback and submissions in response to our Australian Infrastructure Audit (the Audit), released in May 2015.

Infrastructure Australia (IA) was pleased to receive around 100 formal submissions from all levels of government, business, industry, peak bodies and the wider community.

We are now using these submissions to help inform the nation's first 15 year Australian Infrastructure Plan (the Plan).

A common theme emerging from these submissions, and from our meetings with the public and private sector, is that in order to deal with the significant population growth we expect we must refocus our efforts on long term, integrated planning. This will be a key focus for our Plan.

The 15 year Plan will be a strategic response to the issues identified in the Audit. It will address the key challenges raised by the Audit, and identify a range of investment and reform priorities to be implemented in the coming 15 years and beyond—to increase productivity, support economic growth and protect and enhance Australia's quality of life.

The Plan will be completed by the end of this year, and after final consultation with State and Territory governments, presented to the Australian Government early in the New Year. It will then be updated at least every five years.

New Executive Director Appointments

IA also recently welcomed two new Executive Directors to our team.

Adrian Dwyer, Executive Director Policy and Research, joined IA in August from Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA), where he was Head of Policy for four years. Prior to his role at IPA, Adrian held senior policy roles in the public and private sectors.

Anna Chau, Executive Director Project Advisory, joined us in October from AECOM where, as Technical Director and Chief Economist for Australia and New Zealand, she led client engagements across several infrastructure sectors. Anna was formerly a Principal at Booz & Company in Sydney and an Executive Director at Ernst & Young in Sydney. 

We are delighted to have the wealth of experience that Adrian and Anna bring to our team in their new leadership roles.

Speech to Parliamentary Friends for Better Cities

I was pleased last week to address approximately 40 MPs, and a cross section of peak bodies and the private sector at the Parliamentary Friendship Group for Better Cities, on the future challenges for infrastructure in our cities.

Cities are a topic I have always been passionate about, and I have worked hard through a number of bodies to focus attention on the better planning, operation and management of our cities.

Our Audit found that the key driver of our future infrastructure demand will undoubtedly be population growth. In the next 15 years, Australia's population is projected to grow by almost 40 per cent—to be around 30.5 million people.

The vast majority of this growth will occur in Australia's four largest cities—Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. By 2061, these cities will be as big as London, New York and Hong Kong are today.

The scale of this population change will have a significant impact on Australian cities, and this change brings with it exciting challenges for our nation. But, as I outlined in my speech, we must plan for it.

My thanks to Ken Morrison and others at the Property Council, for inviting me to address the attendees at Parliament House in Canberra.

A copy of my speech is available here.

Philip Davies
Chief Executive Officer