Population growth driving infrastructure boom
Posted on 15 August 2019
Infrastructure Australia’s 2019 Infrastructure Audit has revealed that the level of spending in the sector needs to continue increase to accommodate for rapid population growth. Findings from the audit indicate that $600 billion of new spending in infrastructure will be required over the next 15 years to keep up with demand, particularly in the urban fringes of the largest capital cities where a large portion of the boom is occurring.
“Changing and growing demand, and a mounting maintenance backlog is putting unprecedented pressure on the infrastructure services each and every Australian relies on. The current infrastructure program must do more than plug the immediate funding gap, but instead deliver long-term changes to the way we plan, fund and deliver infrastructure,” Infrastructure Australia Chair, Julieanne Alroe said.
Failure to address the need for infrastructure improvements is already resulting in rising road congestion, the crowding of public transport and an increasing strain on the public schools, hospitals and parks, as addressed by the head of Infrastructure Australia, Romilly Madew.
“Population growth offers enormous economic opportunities but the risk is that our infrastructure fails to keep pace with demand, and this impacts productivity, quality of life and the liveability of our cities and regional centres,” Madew said.
Improvements will include upgrades to high capacity public transport (including rail and light rail), public spaces and health and education services. Energy and water infrastructure will also be optimised to accommodate for the increased demand.