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The Australian Government has asked the Productivity Commission (the Commission) to undertake a broad-ranging inquiry into public infrastructure, comprising two broad streams of work:

  • the provision, funding, and financing of major public infrastructure
  • the scope for reducing the costs associated with such infrastructure.

As spelt out in more detail in the terms of reference, the Commission has been asked to analyse:

  • how infrastructure is currently funded and financed in Australia, including by the Commonwealth, the States and the private sector
  • the rationale, role and objectives of alternative funding and financing mechanisms
  • the financial risks to the Commonwealth posed by alternative funding and financing mechanisms, as well as their possible impact on the budget and fiscal consolidation goals
  • the cost structure of major projects in Australia, including where infrastructure project costs have increased considerably compared with other countries
  • the ways to improve decision-making and implementation processes to facilitate a reduction in the costs of public infrastructure projects
  • other relevant policy measures, including any non-legislative approaches, which would help ensure effective delivery of infrastructure services over both the short and long term.

This inquiry will draw on Australian and overseas evidence in examining these issues.

These analyses will provide the basis for the Commission to make recommendations to improve outcomes in infrastructure provision for the benefit of the community as a whole.


This issues paper is intended to assist the public in preparing submissions to the Commission.

It covers a range of issues on which the Commission seeks information and feedback.

Find out more about making a submission here

Publication Details