Australia has an infrastructure deficit. Infrastructure Australia estimates the economic cost of underinvestment will reach $53 billion a year by 2031 and become an increasing drag on growth.
Well-targeted investment in infrastructure - whether by the private or public sector - creates jobs now and increases our jobs capacity in the future.
Investment in transport, energy, communications and water infrastructure also expands the productive capacity of the economy, growing the base for future Budget revenue.
The current Liberal Government has presided over a collapse in infrastructure investment. ABS figures show public sector engineering work has fallen by 20 per cent compared with the last quarter of the Labor Government in 2013.
Labor will take the politics out of infrastructure and put the nation’s interest at the heart of nation building again. We will empower Infrastructure Australia to become an active participant in the infrastructure market, working with State Governments and brokering deals to bring nation building projects to fruition.
Infrastructure Australia will develop a long term pipeline for projects for the Commonwealth Government and ensure that projects move through the assessment, development and financing phases.
Just as the Reserve Bank of Australia is the independent authority at the centre of monetary policy, Infrastructure Australia will be at the centre of capital investment, driving results that are in the national interest.
It will operate in a similar way to the Reserve Bank of Australia and a Shorten Labor Government will properly consult the Opposition on all board appointments.
Under Labor, Infrastructure Australia will deliver:
Independent assessments and scrutiny
We will ensure that Infrastructure Australia independently assesses all major infrastructure projects on the basis of the benefits they provide to the economy and society as whole, their commercial viability, and their capacity to enhance national productivity.
We will strengthen the transparency in infrastructure decision making through publishing the business case for projects and proper engagement with the community. It is critical the public has confidence in infrastructure development.
Under Labor, Infrastructure Australia will be given new authority to structure deals, engage private sector partners, and work closely with the state governments to take projects from the drawing board to construction.
Infrastructure Australia will work with the States, long term investors, the private sector, financiers and constructors, to address the market failure in bringing new infrastructure projects to the market.
Our plan to empower Infrastructure Australia to make decisions in the national interest and pursue projects with major economic gains will kick-start a new phase of infrastructure investment and help unblock the bottlenecks that are holding productivity back across our cities and regions.