Industry News

National infrastructure priorities released

IA released its fourth annual report of national infrastructure priorities and performance to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) recently. 
The projects on the priorities list greatly impact the quarrying industry, as in many cases the industry is the major supplier of materials.
An updated priority list of national projects was released with four of the 42 projects submitted to IA now on the recommended ready-to-proceed list.
They are the Brisbane cross-river rail project, two upgrades of the Monash Freeway in Melbourne, the Melbourne Metro stage one plan and 300km of corridor upgrades along the Pacific Highway in northern NSW.
Five projects are recommended for development funding: the Port Botany and Sydney Airport transport improvement plan, integrating Sydney’s motorway network for user charging, transforming the Pilbara in Western Australia, and the East West road link and the Western Interstate freight terminal, both in Melbourne.
IA said another pressing issue was the skills development of workers, both to boost the number of tradespeople and increase the small pool of professionals with the expertise to properly structure plans and projects.
The report says some capital projects will be the subject of user pay charges – likely to be unavoidable as state governments struggle to pay for capital projects when their budgets are under pressure.
IA chairman Rod Eddington said governments, industry and the community had to assess ways to build appropriate, well-functioning infrastructure for least cost to the nation, while providing the greatest public benefits.
“The results of not doing enough are traffic congestion, poor access to our export gateways, missed economic opportunities and lower quality of life,” he said.
Sources: Industry News, AAP, Infrastructure Australia

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