Victoria’s first cross-sector, statewide infrastructure plan for the next 30 years has been tabled in state parliament.
Infrastructure Victoria’s strategy has made 137 recommendations worth around $100 billion across nine sectors including transport, education, housing, health, energy, water and justice.
With the tabling of the final 30-year strategy, the Victorian Government now has 12 months to develop its response and a five-year plan for infrastructure priorities.
Infrastructure Victoria Chief Executive, Michel Masson, said the strategy had been developed for all Victorians, with 70 per cent of recommendations having relevance across the state.
“From upgrading our roads, rail and buses to providing better access to education and healthcare this strategy sets out a pipeline of initiatives to address the current and future needs of our state.
“The strategy tackles some big challenges facing Victoria including a growing and ageing population, a lack of affordable housing for vulnerable people and worsening congestion on our roads.
“It also highlights significant opportunities to harness technology and encourage innovation in order to get the most out of our existing infrastructure,” Mr Masson said.
Mr Masson said the strategy was both an aspirational vision and a practical plan.
“The strategy seeks to create a sustainable and prosperous Victoria and ensure that the great successes of the state are enjoyed by the many, not the few.
“It also takes a pragmatic approach to long term infrastructure planning, with a focus on maintenance, responsible funding and practical steps for implementation,” Mr Masson said.
Mr Masson acknowledged the significant role that stakeholders and the community have played in developing the strategy.
“The strategy is the result of a year-long conversation with Victorians about how we can create the best possible future for our state.
“We wanted this to be strategy for the community and by the community and we are proud of achieving this aim through strong collaboration with the people of Victoria.
“We are extremely grateful to everyone who has been with us on this journey and added their voice to this plan for Victoria’s future,” Mr Masson said.
Mr Masson said Infrastructure Victoria was proud that every recommendation in the strategy was backed by evidence.
“This was a commitment we made in the beginning and every piece of analysis, independent technical reports and the outcomes of our consultation program are publicly available,” Mr Masson said.
“We have finalised our first 30 year infrastructure strategy but this is just the beginning of an ongoing conversation with the community about how we plan for, deliver, fund and maintain our infrastructure.”
Victorian Special Minister of State, Gavin Jennings, said the Victorian Government would respond to the final Infrastructure Victoria strategy with a five-year plan in 2017, with Infrastructure Victoria to assess its progress against the plan in the coming years.
Mr Jennings said, “While governments come and go, Victoria’s infrastructure priorities remain. Through the development of this long-term strategy, Infrastructure Victoria has identified a steady pipeline of projects to grow our state.
“As we work on our response, we’re getting on with the projects that Victorians need, including the Metro Tunnel, the Western Distributor, and the removal of dangerous and congested level crossings.
“We thank Infrastructure Victoria for its work and looks forward to releasing our five-year infrastructure plan next year.”