Good growth needs good planning

The call from outgoing Infrastructure Australia chief executive Philip Davies for more discipline on infrastructure planning needs to be heeded by all levels of government if Australia is to grow successfully.

“At a time of rapid growth in our major cities, it’s essential we have the right plans, supported by evidence-based decision-making processes, to have the right infrastructure in the right place at the right time,” said Ken Morrison, Chief Executive of the Property Council of Australia.

“Growth will deliver great economic and social benefits for Australia if it is supported by good planning and decision-making,” Mr Morrison said.

“The concerns of Australians about the liveability of our growing cities are understandable, and they’re rightly sceptical about the big project announcements by government that are not delivered or don’t produce the benefits they promised.

“That is why the independent and expert role of Infrastructure Australia in assessing and advising on our infrastructure priorities is so important.

“We should always be asking the question of government: how does this project stack up against the IA priority list, and what is the business case for supporting it?

“Without that level of scrutiny, we run the risk of our infrastructure falling further behind the growth curve and Australians becoming even more disillusioned about the capacity of governments to manage growth.”

Mr Morrison said the publication today of IA’s ‘Infrastructure Decision-making Principles’ was a welcome step in promoting a better informed, evidence-based decision-making approach on infrastructure funding.

“All Australians have a role to play in making decisions on the best infrastructure projects to support our growing country, boosting productivity and improving our quality of life.

“IA plays an incredibly important role in promoting better informed, more transparent on infrastructure investment, and Australians shouldn’t hold back in bringing their governments to account on how they spend taxpayer money on major projects,” Mr Morrison said.

Mr Morrison paid tribute to Mr Davies contribution as the head of Infrastructure Australia over the past three years.

“Phil is leaving this role as he began it, giving Australians a roadmap to a well-planned future and putting the national interest above political considerations. He has been a tireless and effective advocate for the role of IA in helping Australians get the best results from our infrastructure spending, and we wish him well in his future endeavours,” Mr Morrison said.

Media contact:  Matt Francis | M 0467 777 220 |  E mfrancis@propertycouncil.com.au