The Australian Government has released the Infrastructure Policy Statement to guide the Commonwealth’s funding of properly planned and targeted infrastructure.
The Albanese Government has released the Infrastructure Policy Statement to guide the Commonwealth’s funding of properly planned and targeted infrastructure to help unlock a range of significant economic, social and environmental objectives.
For too long under the Coalition, Commonwealth infrastructure spending focused on electoral rather than national benefit and in doing this it expanded the Infrastructure Investment Program from roughly 150 projects in 2012-13 to nearly 800 in 2022.
That needs to change.
The Policy Statement commits the Government to delivering nationally significant infrastructure.
This means projects will need to have at least two of the following characteristics:
- Australian Government contribution of at least $250 million; and/or
- alignment with Government priorities as articulated in the Infrastructure Policy Statement; and/or
- situated on or connected to the National Land Transport Network and/or other key freight routes; and/or
- supporting other emerging or broader national priorities – such as housing or critical minerals.
There are three priorities for our investment: productivity, liveability and sustainability.
It means cutting congestion, ensuring supply chains are resilient, building equity into the heart of where we live, improving prosperity, reducing our emissions and encouraging more sustainable ways to travel.
We are committed to working in partnership with the states and territories who are our primary infrastructure delivery partners.
We are reshaping how the Commonwealth funds projects, returning to a preference of 50:50 funding with the states and territories for future investments, so both levels of government carry an equal share of both the benefits and the risks.
This will mean the Commonwealth’s infrastructure spend – which is being maintained at $120 billion – can go further, maximising the benefits of the Commonwealth’s investment and ensuring shared accountability. It will help end the perverse incentives that saw the Federal Coalition throw money at projects that states did not want to build.
The Government may consider funding a greater share of projects in jurisdictions with less capacity to raise revenue on a case-by-case basis.
We also want to share the benefits of construction. We will seek to encourage local employment and procurement, as well as increase the participation of women, First Nations communities and other marginalised groups in the delivery of these projects.
The Albanese Government will invest in the projects that only the Commonwealth can – those which shape our cities, our regions and our nation.
Together with the states and territories – and with clear priorities and proper planning – we will build a better future for all Australians.
Click here to read the Infrastructure Policy Statement.
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