The 2020 Priority List was compiled after Infrastructure Australia (IA) reviewed 249 submissions to settle on a total of 147 projects of national significance, valued at $58 billion. The Federal Government is already supporting 14 of the identified projects.
A number of environmental initiatives have been identified as top tier priorities, with climate change creating significant challenges through severe drought and alterations to the water cycle. Appearing on the list for the first time as high priority projects were waste management, rising sea levels and water security.
“Resilience” in the face of natural disasters was a key theme of the 2019 Priority List and the 2020 update referenced this remained a focus.
“Compounding issues of unprecedented infrastructure demand, severe drought and other environmental changes, require a focus on our resilience strategies and a consensus on where to invest now for our nation’s future prosperity,” said IA Chief Executive, Romilly Madew.
The List also highlighted the importance of supporting Regional Australia, with the need for improved road safety and mobile telecommunications in remote areas being specifically referenced.
“Truly staying connected requires not only safe and efficient transport options, but also ensuring our towns and regional communities have the same access to telecommunications as the rest of Australia. This is to also provide people with reliable access to electronic payment systems, emergency alerts and other critical services,” Ms. Madew said.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said: “This year’s list provides a new snapshot to guide infrastructure investment across the nation over the next 15 years.
The list focuses on delivering regional and urban projects to support a growing population, to meet the national freight challenge and get Australians home to their loved ones sooner and safer”.
New national projects listed in the 2020 update are as follows:
High Priority Initiatives:
- Town and city water security
- National water strategy
- Coastal inundation protection strategy
- National waste and recycling management
- National road maintenance strategy
- Indigenous art and cultural facilities program
- Mobile telecommunications coverage in regional and remote areas
- Sydney-Canberra rail connectivity and capacity
- East coast deep water container port facility
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