Australia’s first infrastructure audit heralds construction bonanza

Australia’s first national audit on infrastructure has highlighted the need to spend billions more dollars on improving road and transport networks.

Last year, the Commonwealth government embarked upon the biggest infrastructure programme in the nation’s history, investing AU$50bn (£24.5bn) in an infrastructure package. But the audit indicates that far more is needed.

Later this year, Infrastructure Australia will release a 15-year plan that will outline priorities.

Prime minister Tony Abbott said that the Commonwealth government welcomed the release of the audit, undertaken by Infrastructure Australia, saying that it showed the economic imperative of fixing the road and transport networks in major cities. “This audit is a first for Australia and will drive action on infrastructure investment by revealing the costs of inaction,” he said. “For example, road congestion in Australia is currently costing some $13.7 billion per year. If we don’t take action, the cost will be $53 billion a year by 2031.

Abbott said that all levels of government need to work with the private sector to build more and plan to deliver innovative congestion-busting projects that eliminate traffic gridlock and transform our cities.