Commitment needed for nation-building priority projects

14 Feb 2019

14 February 2019

The Green Building Council of Australia has welcomed nation-building projects identified in the 2019 Infrastructure Australia Priorities List and called for governments to commit to their development.

The GBCA said the independently produced list of 121 nationally significant projects across the country – from the Western Sydney Airport to Melbourne’s North East Link, and Brisbane’s Metro – were notable for their long-term transformative potential.

GBCA Head of Public Affairs and Membership, Jonathan Cartledge, pointed to the ability of many listed projects to support more productive, sustainable and liveable communities.

“With the right policy settings these projects can create new economic opportunities while supporting a growing population, increasing our standard of living, and responding to the challenges of climate change and emissions reduction,” he said.

“The prioritisation of a national electric vehicle fast charging network, in particular, reflects broader shifts across the economy towards the reality of a net zero-carbon future. This aligns with the GBCA recommendations in our Carbon Positive Roadmap. As we build new communities, electric fast charging infrastructure will be essential to plan and fully leverage existing technologies to support the transition to a low emissions economy.

Mr Cartledge said the focus on integrated infrastructure, land use projects and urban renewal was a positive step.

“Looking ahead to Sydney Metro West, Cross River Rail, Central Station Redevelopment in Sydney, and the continued delivery of Level Crossing Removal across Melbourne, there are huge opportunities for continuing the world leadership that is increasingly characteristic of Australia’s best urban renewal projects,” he said.

“Priority projects like the Hobart Science and Technology precinct presents an extraordinary opportunity for growth, that creates new centres of excellence, fosters innovation, knowledge and employment.

“Now it’s time for all governments to deliver these growth-generating projects. Especially in a federal election year, Infrastructure Australia’s independent and apolitical advice should be heeded to ensure the best outcome for Australians and their cities.”

“We know how to build great cities in Australia. From Barangaroo in NSW to Queen’s Wharf in Queensland, Tonsley in South Australia to Fishermans Bend in Victoria, the evidence of this is clear to see. The GBCA looks forward to working across governments to maximise the value of these projects as they are delivered for healthier more positive places for all of us.”

Infrastructure Australia’s Priority List provides evidence-based advice to governments and industry on the projects that will provide the greatest benefit to communities. The GBCA also commends the work of Infrastructure Australia in building business cases for investment-ready projects, which increases the capability of states and territories.

Eight high priority projects are listed: Sydney’s M4 Motorway upgrade, the Sydney Metro, Western Sydney Airport, Melbourne’s M80 Ring Road upgrade, the Monash Freeway Upgrade Stage 2, and North East Link, the Brisbane Metro, and the METRONET Extension in Perth.