Australians’ quality of life depends on the ongoing provision of quality infrastructure. It has a social purpose. It is an essential component of the delivery of public services.

Yet access to infrastructure is unequal and strongly reflects the regional and metropolitan divide, household incomes and historic disadvantage. While access to health services, education and jobs remains unequal, there is no equality of opportunity.

Key points:

  • Areas with high historic disadvantage correlate with lower infrastructure provision. This is most clear in the divide between metropolitan areas and regional and remote communities where regional job-market outcomes underperform metropolitan earnings across all Australian jurisdictions (by an average of 20 per cent over the past 20 years).
  • Public sector and ‘private for public’ investment has been rising, driven by record growth in NSW and Victoria. Since 2014-15, NSW has increased its infrastructure program by 87 per cent while Victoria has tripled its capital works budget in that time.
  • Environment, Social, and Governance investing (ESG) considerations are driving investment decisions by Australia’s $3.3 trillion superannuation sector, as 86 per cent of Australians expect their superannuation to be invested responsibly and ethically.
  • The value of PPPs has grown substantially from approximately $15 billion between 2000 and 2005, to more than $30 billion between 2015 and 2020. They represent the best opportunity to attract private capital while maintaining strong public outcomes.
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