Infrastructure Australia has released the 2019 Infrastructure Priority List, presenting 121 nationally-significant infrastructure proposals and a $58 billion project pipeline designed to guide investment towards projects that will deliver the best outcomes for Australia’s growing communities.
“The 2019 Infrastructure Priority List is the largest, most comprehensive and most diverse list of investments identified by Infrastructure Australia to meet the challenges of the future,” Infrastructure Australia Chair, Julieanne Alroe, said.
“The 2019 Priority List provides a credible pipeline of nationally significant proposals for governments at all levels to choose from.
“As an evidence-based list of opportunities to improve both our living standards and productivity, the Priority List reflects the diversity of Australia’s future infrastructure needs across transport, energy, water, communications, housing and education.”
The 2019 Priority List was developed using data from the Australian Infrastructure Audit and submissions from state and territory governments, industry and the community, including more than 100 submissions in the last year.
The 2019 Priority List identifies regional road safety improvements as a national priority. Between 2008 and 2016, more than half of Australia’s road fatalities occurred in our regions – meaning that, relative to population size, the fatality rate was more than four times greater than for major cities.
“Infrastructure deficiencies certainly have a role to play in causing accidents, and the expected increase in heavy freight vehicles on our roads could lead to further fatalities. Given the scale of the problem, governments should prioritise investment in high-risk sections of regional roads across Australia,” Ms Alroe said.
Many of this year’s new additions to the Priority List reflect the need for forward-thinking, ambitious solutions to support Australia’s future prosperity – such as the delivery of a national electric vehicle fast-charging network, which has been identified as a High Priority Initiative.
“Technological change is driving significant shifts in infrastructure demand. The advent of electric vehicles, along with automation, growth in the ‘sharing economy’ and technological connectivity, could bring the largest transformation the transport sector has seen since the shift from steam to diesel locomotives,” Ms Alroe said.
“The increase in electric vehicle uptake will forge links between the energy and transport network that did not previously exist, placing additional demands on the grid and pressure on consumer costs. The 2019 Priority List highlights the need for investment in the connectivity and reliability of our National Electricity Market in the medium to long term, and optimisation in the near term.”
The February 2019 Infrastructure Priority List is available at www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au