How to spend it: Australia's infrastructure deficit

The business leaders at the G20 have focussed on infrastructure investment as critical to solving Australia's productivity problem. Here's where the needs are greatest.

The David Thodey-led B20 infrastructure and investment taskforce is advising the G20 on a $US57 trillion investment on global infrastructure by 2030. The projects, according to the taskforce, are needed to curb the $US3 trillion per year being lost in international economic growth each year due to a backlog in projects.

David Thodey, who is the coordinating chair of the taskforce as well as CEO of Telstra, says the focus is on reducing the infrastructure investment gap, which globally sits at $US1 trillion.

“The fundamental problem is not a shortage of capital or capability; it’s in aligning them appropriately,” he said.

Fine words but is Australia’s in danger of falling behind? Is enough being done to prepare major cities for the explosion in population that is already underway?


Graph for How to spend it: Australia's infrastructure deficit

Source: Infrastructure Australia

Australia’s infrastructure wish list (see bottom) is huge. Updates to Melbourne’s Monash Freeway, Brisbane’s Cross River Rail and an upgrade to New South Wales’ Pacific Highway are the only major projects ready to proceed at the moment. The Monash works will cost $156.6 million and the Brisbane rail project will cost just under $4.45 billion, but the Pacific Highway represents the largest outlay at $6.4 billion.

For the government the line to walk will be accommodating the increase in population in major cities while also improving regional freight services.

The next chart shows the increase in road freight pressure around Australia.


Graph for How to spend it: Australia's infrastructure deficit

Source: Infrastructure Australia

And here we see the increase in global food demand. If Australia is going to become Asia’s food bowl infrastructure will have to keep up.


Graph for How to spend it: Australia's infrastructure deficit

Source: Infrastructure Australia

Here's the list of projects on Infrastructure Australia's books.


Graph for How to spend it: Australia's infrastructure deficit

What do you think should be the priority?