The latest incarnation of the infrastructure priority list was released this week by Infrastructure Australia. Infrastructure Australia is an independent advisory body that evaluates businesses cases and provides advice to governments, industry and the community on Australia's infrastructure priorities.
Two major new national high priority initiatives related to our region and industry have been added to the list.
The proposed initiative for a National water strategy is to develop a plan to consider the current and future demand for water over the next 30 years, that considers (amongst other things): the condition and performance of existing water infrastructure, the role of water sources and opportunities including dams, catchment transfer, stormwater harvesting, water recycling, groundwater and desalination, and potential regulatory and planning changes to the water sector. This priority has come about in response to a perceived lack of confidence in the governance and management of Australia's water resources, and in response to the drought and water restrictions in parts of Australia.
A second related initiative is Town and city water security, for which the proposed initiative is a mix of infrastructure and other initiatives to meet "agreed service standards for water security". According to the initiative the "Infrastructure interventions" could include new water sources, recycling and desalination. Since 2016, thirteen submissions have been received by Infrastructure Australia on this initiative, unsurprisingly all but one of these were from Queensland and NSW, which suffer particular challenges with respect to water security and investment.
Proponents for both of these initiatives are now needed to drive the projects forward.
The infrastructure priority list also includes the Lower Fitzroy River water infrastructure development initiative from 2016 that has been funded jointly by the Australian and Queensland Governments to commence in 2020. A second Queensland-based initiative the Haughton Pipeline Project Stage 2 has progressed to the construction phase.
For more information on the report and the initiatives, please visit https://www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au/publications/infrastructure-priority-list-2020Back to list