While many Australians benefit from infrastructure in metropolitan areas, there are up to a million Australians without the luxury of accessible, reliable and safe essential services. These are often the most disadvantaged of Australia’s population, especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Infrastructure Partnerships Australia strives to achieve the best policy outcome for remote communities across the country.
For the purposes of this report, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia’s definition of what constitutes a ‘remote community’ includes those which are not connected to trunk infrastructure and national or regional networks and systems, instead relying on smaller and standalone services where they exist.
Australia already has access to the tools, technology, resources and expertise to improve remote community outcomes. Many solutions have been put in place with great success across all Australian jurisdictions and in other parts of the world. But these often have limited scopes and are not being routinely or consistently applied in all remote communities.
The first step must be to address gaps in the service standards governments set for remote infrastructure across the country. These can and should be aligned to the SDGs, which Australia has committed to deliver. By tightening existing gaps, improving clarity and addressing inconsistencies, these standards can act as a minimum expectation for service delivery across the country, for all Australians. These can be agreed by all governments through National Cabinet, with outcomes reported on publicly and transparently.