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2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan brings new reforms

2 min read
2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan brings new reforms

Infrastructure Australia has published the 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan, bringing new reforms that will fully leverage Australia’s $110 billion infrastructure spend while helping the country recover from the pandemic.

“The 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan is being delivered at a critical moment in our history,” Infrastructure Australia Chief Executive Romilly Madew said.  

“The pandemic, bushfires, drought, floods, and cyber-attacks have tested our collective resilience during recent years, while the most recent outbreaks have devastated our CBDs and put us at risk of a recession.” 

In the 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan, the following key themes were mentioned: 

  • Change and uncertainty — Re-thinking Australia’s infrastructure to deal with the current environment of change, uncertainty and risk  
  • Moment in digitalisation — Harnessing technology and innovation in infrastructure to drive new industries  
  • Unlocking the potential of every place — Embracing the unique challenges and opportunities afforded by Australia’s diverse geography  
  • Minimum service levels — Responding to the vastness of Australia while supporting quality of life for all Australians  
  • Delivering public value — Ensuring our infrastructure industry is delivering value for money  
  • Customer empowerment through data — Using data to change the way infrastructure is delivered in Australia 

The 2021 Plan’s 15-year roadmap is expected to drive economic growth, maintain and enhance the standard of living. It will also help improve the resilience and sustainability of essential infrastructure. 

Waste and Social Infrastructure was included in the 2021 Plan for the first time, alongside Energy, Transport, Telecommunications, and Water. It also focuses on three cross-cutting key themes: Place, Sustainability and Resilience, and the Infrastructure Industry. 

The roadmap is a reflection of an industry consensus that was developed in close collaboration with governments, industry and communities.   

“This collaboration has helped ensure our reform recommendations have broad support, are practical and actionable and provides the strong foundation needed to deliver lasting reform,” Chief Executive Madew said. 

Each reform identified in the 2021 Plan incorporates a recommendation, which is supported by interim outcomes and a series of enabling activities, to support the adoption and implementation of reforms across government and industry. 

The 2021 Plan also identifies parties to sponsor, lead and support the recommended reforms. Importantly, each recommendation prioritises community and user outcomes, balancing them with implementation costs and risks for the Government.

“The challenge of progressing the reforms outlined in the 2021 Plan is a shared one – that is why we stand ready to partner with the Commonwealth, states and territories, local government and industry to support the implementation of the reform,”  Chief Executive Madew said. 

“While the Australian Government will respond to the 2021 Plan, many of the actions across water, transport, energy, waste and social infrastructure require action from state and territory or local government. Lasting reform will require increased collaboration.”

The 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan lays out a reform pathway as a response to the infrastructure challenges and opportunities identified in the 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit. It also serves as a response to the infrastructure impacts caused by the pandemic. 



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