Home' ALGY : ALGY Edition 23 2016 Contents 194 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT YEARBOOK EDITION 23
INFRASTRUCTURE + ENGINEERING
people want, the outcomes it should deliver, and the best ways
to plan and pay for it.'
'The public policy changes and major projects in the
15-year Plan, once delivered, will drive our nation's prosperity
and maintain our quality of life,' Mr Birrell said.
What others are saying
Engineers Australia welcomes the Plan, saying that it represents
a big step forward.
'The Plan is based on an aspiration of better decisions
and better delivery. We now call on governments to use
the Infrastructure Australia plan to provide community with
assurance that they are getting value for money from their
taxpayer dollar,' says Stephen Durkin, CEO of Engineers Australia.
'This week, the country's population reached 24 million
and the bulk of our future growth will be in cities. Infrastructure
should be managed to advance socio-economic goals, to create
places that we want to live in, and to connect communities.'
Roads Australia is also positive about the Australian
Infrastructure Plan. Its President, David Stuart-Watt, says 'The
15-year Infrastructure Plan provides an excellent framework to
meet the growth challenges of our cities and regional urban
centres over the coming decades. The Priority List rightfully
acknowledges that roads and rail are critical not just to our
economic future, but also to our quality of living now and into
'IA has built a strong, evidence-based case for genuine
reform, including a greater role for the private sector in funding
and financing infrastructure, and a more equitable approach to
how we as users pay for infrastructure like roads.
'Roads Australia has been arguing for the last five years for
an informed debate on road usage charging as part of a broader
transport funding reform agenda.
'In our submission to Infrastructure Australia, we called
for timetables for the introduction of heavy and light vehicle
charging, and it's pleasing that the plan recommends a five- and
10-year time frame respectively.'
Backing up Roads Australia's position is Mayor Troy Pickard,
President of the Australian Local Government Association.
'Local roads are an essential component of the national road
network and, in aggregate, they make a significant contribution
to state and national productivity. They are the building blocks
providing access to and from our front gates to local, regional, state,
national and international services and markets,' says Cr Pickard.
'There is a need for greater federal support and investment
in local roads through local government. In the absence of this
support, the effects of local road pinch points and bottlenecks
continue to hinder local and regional economic development,
ultimately affecting the development of the nation as a whole.
'Programs like Roads to Recovery help with the basic
maintenance of our local roads, but with freight traffic only
getting bigger and their loads heavier, more needs to be done
to upgrade the local road network to handle the significantly
higher volumes of freight traffic and provide safe access for all
major classes of heavy vehicles.
'ALGA strongly supports the report's focus on improvements
in productivity through investment in infrastructure, and we
have argued that, in its May budget, the government should
commit to a program directed at regional road projects, funded
at $200 million per annum for five years, to ensure that freight
connectivity issues and first and last mile issues are addressed to
improve national productivity.
'We must unlock local and regional productivity
improvements through investment that improves access for
freight vehicles, and connectivity between local roads and
preferred state and national freight routes.'
The Australian infrastructure Plan was developed following
consultation on the Australian Infrastructure Audit report.
Infrastructure Australia will update the Plan at least every five
years, and the Priority List regularly throughout each year. For
more information, and to download the Plan and the Priority
List, go to www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au.
IA has built a strong,
for genuine reform,
including a greater role
for the private sector in
funding and financing
infrastructure, and a more
equitable approach to
how we as users pay for
infrastructure like roads
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