Pay it forward: building infrastructure ahead of demand makes good sense

Oct 9, 2018 – Australia’s population growth challenge underlines the need for governments to get better at planning and delivering infrastructure ‘ahead of the curve’.

Commenting on today’s statement on population planning by Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population Minister, Alan Tudge, Roads Australia President, David Stuart-Watt, said playing ‘catch-up’ on transport infrastructure had made the challenge of managing population growth even harder.

“Minister Tudge is spot-on in acknowledging that some of the major intra-city road and rail networks need to be built in advance of demand, not behind it,” Mr Stuart-Watt said. 

“With the increased focus by state and Federal governments on integrated land and transport planning, we are in a better position to make informed decisions on our future infrastructure needs than at any time in our past.

“A forward-thinking approach also benefits industry by providing greater certainty around the pipeline of future work.

 “The Federal Government’s 10-Year Infrastructure Pipeline, announced in this year’s Budget, is a great initiative. This complements similar initiatives by many state governments and takes a longer-term view of infrastructure and planning.”

Mr Stuart-Watt said the challenges associated with population growth were a national problem, and it was in the interests of the community, governments and political parties to work towards national consensus on the solutions. 

“Land use and infrastructure planning and delivery is a long-term process and we have to end the politicising of it,” he said.

Mr Stuart-Watt said the Government’s position on leveraging regional growth through immigration policy also underlined the importance of rail and other mass transit solutions as part of the transport mix – both to provide connections to regional centres and to move people efficiently in and around major urban centres.

“Australia’s cities of the future will need a mix of rail and road options to meet the mobility needs of their residents and business,” he said.

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