Focus on outer growth areas in new national plan

Australia’s first 15-year Infrastructure Plan highlights the particular needs in outer growth areas.

Infrastructure Australia (IA) quoted the National Growth Areas Alliance submission calling for a “dedicated approach to population hotspots”.

“The reality is that while Metropolitan Strategies have tried to shift the balance of growth to established areas with some success, the outer growth has continued. It is time for a dedicated approach to population hotspots,” the submission reads.

In line with the NGAA’s advocacy, the 15-year Plan called for governments to increase funding to address gaps in access to passenger transport on the outskirts of Australian cities.

“Investments should prioritise high-population areas and focus on the delivery of connecting transport infrastructure and services…,” the Plan reads.

IA also released a separate document, the Infrastructure Priority List, with several projects from Fund our Future being earmarked.

The Melton Rail Line upgrade in Melbourne and the Gawler Line rail upgrade in Adelaide’s north are amongst more than 90 “infrastructure solutions” put forward by IA – and both are part of the Fund our Future campaign.

“We are pleased with the projects highlighted and recommendations as far as they go,” says Ruth Spielman, the Executive Officer of the NGAA. “But a much more strategic long term response is needed. That is why we are calling for a national dedicated infrastructure fund for fast-growing suburbs.

“Such a fund would address the infrastructure backlog in these suburbs and future-proof them, as they continue to grow.”

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