Smarter planning and investment the key to keeping up with growth

19 Sep 2019

, News

UDIA Victoria Media Release

This morning Infrastructure Australia (IA) published 2019 Infrastructure Australia Audit, a health-check on the nation’s existing and incoming infrastructure. The results of the audit show much of Australia is under pressure due to unprecedented population growth and demand. However, none are feeling the pressure more than Victoria.

“Victoria’s existing infrastructure is under extreme strain. While there has been significant recent investment from the Victorian Government, the benefits of these projects will not be realised for some time. In the meantime, we need a long-term pipeline of state and local infrastructure projects that extend the infrastructure boom into a new normal for Victoria,” said UDIA Victoria CEO Danni Hunter.

“Forecasting and planning accurately for Victoria’s population growth is the only way we can be confident that the investment and policy decisions made by government are directed toward the projects we really need, where we need them most,” said Ms. Hunter.

“The Andrews Government is spending an unprecedented amount on state infrastructure in Victoria. This is applauded but it must also be enhanced by additional local infrastructure investment. Victoria’s fastest growing communities need roads, schools, community centers and sporting facilities as well as the big ticket items like Metro Rail and the North East Link,” said Ms. Hunter.

“The government needs to get real about addressing the extended time and cost of the planning and development approval system if it is to leverage the massive investment in state infrastructure through much needed investment in local infrastructure,” said Ms. Hunter.

The IA Audit echoes UDIA Victoria’s strong opinion that population forecasting is crucial to ensuring our communities can grow in a sustainable manner. Infrastructure Australia recommends that using forecasting methods, as opposed to projection from current data, would provide a more accurate picture of the future.

“We need the Victorian government to make accurate population forecasting a non-negotiable. We have to know how, when and where Melbourne is expected to grow if we are to have any hope of properly planning and delivering the investment required to manage the demands of population growth,” she said.

Infrastructure Australia predicts that 77% of the population growth in the next 15 years will occur in Australia’s fastest growing cities, and none are growing faster than Melbourne. The pressure this will create in road congestion could double the cost of road congestion to $38.3 billion by 2031.

“It’s no secret that Victoria is still a very attractive investment destination. This has helped our economy enormously, and it is imperative we remain liveable and a viable investment destination,” said Ms. Hunter.

“Liveability’ is not a destination, it’s a continually evolving journey – and it’s up to all of us to do the best for our growing and existing communities. Ensuring we have adequate infrastructure, both existing and planned, is the foundation of a liveable city. Victorians deserve the best, and the urban development industry is determined to work with the government to deliver this,” said Ms Hunter.

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Hyatt Nidam

Engagement and Communications Manager, UDIA Victoria


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