Infrastructure Australia releases 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan
Infrastructure Australia today released the 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan, which provides Australia’s green, grey and blue infrastructure sector with a 15 year roadmap to drive economic growth, maintain and enhance our standard of living and improve the resilience and sustainability of Australia’s essential infrastructure.
The 2021 Plan provides Infrastructure Australia’s reform pathway to respond to the 180 infrastructure challenges and opportunities identified in the 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit. There are a number of key themes in the plan. We highlight and discuss several of these below.
The need for place-based decision-making, including the need to holistically plan blue, green and grey infrastructure.
- The report recognises that the analysis Frontier Economics did alongside Infrastructure NSW is an example of how early incorporation of water management into land-use planning can enhance liveability and deliver over $6.5 billion in benefits to the community. This opportunity for integrated water cycle management in South Creek is a priority initiative on the 2021 Infrastructure Priority List (see page 443 of the plan).
Recognition of the need for a consistent approach to valuing the economic, social and environmental benefits of blue, green and grey infrastructure (which has also been recognised by NSW’s Department of Planning Industry and Environment). Frontier Economics has discussed this in two recent bulletins: Greening our cities: from vision to value and Greening our cities: from vision to reality.
The need to embed sustainability and resilience into infrastructure decision-making, including the importance of a consistent all-hazards, systems approach to resilience planning and quantification of the costs, impacts and benefits of resilience investment.
Recognition of the need for clear management and governance of the water cycle, including stormwater and waterways.
- For the next stage of planning for the South Creek area, via the South Creek Sector Review, Frontier Economics is assisting the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to consider stormwater and waterway governance.
The need to remove targets, mandates and subsidies for certain types of water, including recycled water. (For a look at how to encourage uptake of recycled water initiatives, and barriers, Frontier Economics undertook a review for Infrastructure NSW.)
It is a comprehensive plan addressing all aspects of infrastructure. It puts forth a compelling vision of Australia in 2036, that includes liveable, attractive and resilient communities with social infrastructure supporting a strong, healthy and prosperous nation.
The urban economics team at Frontier Economics advises across these areas. For more information or to discuss a project, please contact us.