Executive summary

The need for a national infrastructure plan has never been greater.

Australians currently enjoy access to many world-class infrastructure services, which have supported two decades of uninterrupted growth and underpin our world-renowned quality of life. But Australia is undergoing a period of profound change and in 15 years’ time will be a very different country from the one it is today.

Our population is expected to grow to over 30 million by 2031. A growing population is a source of economic dynamism. Growth provides a larger domestic market for businesses, increases the size of the labour force and facilitates the injection of new ideas. But it also places additional demands on cities and regions – and ultimately government budgets.

Growing demand for Australia’s resources and services from a vibrant Asia-Pacific will also trigger substantial shifts in our economy. Rising incomes in the region present immense economic and social opportunities.

Emerging technologies are stimulating innovation. The increasing automation of infrastructure services will fundamentally change our built environment. Data is providing us with real-time information on the movement of people and goods. These evolving technologies are rapidly changing how consumers interact with businesses and have the potential to profoundly change how we live and work.

We are facing new and emerging environmental challenges, with greater risks of extreme weather. The impacts of climate change are going to become more apparent and the need for emission reductions will persist.

Adapting to these changes means we have to rethink our economic infrastructure to deliver networks and services which strengthen our role in the global economy, enhance the liveability and productivity of our cities and regions, and supports a transition to a more sustainable and resilient economy.

The purpose of this Plan is to identify the infrastructure reforms and investments that will deliver these aspirations.

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