An updated edition of Infrastructure Australia’s 2020 Infrastructure Priority List has been released, showcasing 155 infrastructure proposals and an extended investment pipeline worth over $64 billion. The updated Priority List includes five new projects, two new High Priority Initiatives and five new Priority Initiatives, all added since February 2020. 

Infrastructure Australia CEO, Romilly Madew, said the Priority List had been updated in order to cast a spotlight on a number of new proposals and to also highlight the extended investments.

“Australia is planning its recovery from a rolling series of crises: drought, flood, the bushfires and now COVID-19,” Ms Madew said.

“As we look forward, the focus is on delivery and as the nation’s infrastructure advisory body, we are continuing to improve our ability to move quickly to identify investments that will improve productivity – this is about expanding the pipeline, keeping the economy growing, helping to create jobs and attract investment.

“The Priority List is a critical tool in recovery, as it directs investment to the infrastructure projects that will kick-start economic growth and have the greatest returns for all Australians. 

“This is the first time we have formally released the Priority List mid-year, by doing so, we want to highlight the most recent priority proposals at a time when our infrastructure investment needs to progress quickly, without jeopardising the quality of those investments.”

When compiling the February 2020 Priority List, Infrastructure Australia received a record number of submissions, and continued to assess a number of the submissions that had merit but still required further information. 

New Initiatives 

Located in Queensland  Status
Queensland regional road network safety improvements High Priority Initiative
Brisbane northern suburbs corridor capacity High Priority Initiative
Browns Plains to South East Busway public transport connectivity  Priority Initiative
Queensland inland freight route capacity and safety  Priority Initiative
Browns Plains to Beaudesert road capacity and safety  Priority Initiative
Mooloolah River Interchange capacity and safety  Priority Initiative 
Located in the ACT
Australian Institute of Sport modernisation (AIS submission)  Priority Initiative

New Projects

Located in NSW Status
M12 Motorway  High Priority Project 
More Trains, More Services Stage 2  Priority Project 
Port Botany Rail Line Duplication & Cabramatta Passing Loop (ARTC submission)  Priority Project 
Located in WA
METRONET: Morley–Ellenbrook Line Project  Priority Project 
METRONET: High Capacity Signalling Project  Priority Project 

The mid-year update includes newly announced initiatives – such as the Priority Initiative for Queensland regional road network safety improvements. This offers a state-level response to Infrastructure Australia’s national initiative to improve regional road safety across the country. 

Between 2008 and 2016, 55 per cent of road fatalities in Australia occurred in regional areas. 

Infrastructure Australia said urgently addressing these issues would improve road safety as well as boosting regional economies and enabling a growing national freight task to strengthen the economy. 

Infrastructure Australia is also calling for submissions for the next formal edition of the Infrastructure Priority List, which will be released in February 2021. 

“We are continuing to assess a record number of projects and we’re encouraging jurisdictions to identify the infrastructure that will best lead a COVID recovery,” Ms Madew said. 

In addition to Infrastructure Australia actively supporting harmonisation and streamlining of infrastructure approval processes, Ms Madew reaffirmed the critical role the Priority List plays in business case assessment. 

“The Priority List has a strong record of driving national investment and has become a key reference point for all levels of government.” 

“As more projects are accelerated, the Priority List will help support decision-making about Australia’s spending priorities by ensuring business cases for large projects include rigorous planning, evidenced based problem definition, options analysis and independent assessment.” 

Since the beginning of the dual health and economic crisis, Infrastructure Australia’s advice has been to focus on a staged infrastructure recovery response, first by protecting and maintaining the existing pipeline of projects, then moving to mobilise new projects small and large, with industry reform also to be considered as part of long term recovery. 

To read the update to the 2020 Infrastructure Priority List, click here.

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