Seven industry peak bodies, and three federal agencies, have joined forces to launch the Infrastructure Net Zero initiative, which aims to collaborate to reach Australia’s net-zero target. 

The collaboration helps to recognise the joint responsibility of decarbonisation and the opportunity for agencies and government bodies to engage in an aligned and effective use of resources, time and expertise. 

The collaboration is expected to accelerate the highest-priority initiatives to drive lasting policy change and industry innovation. 

The launch was marked by a speech from the Federal Minister for Industry, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Catherine King, who said that the collaboration is another step the Federal Government is taking to reach the country’s renewable energy target. 

“Today’s announcement is yet another demonstration of the Albanese Government’s commitment to work with industry and across governments to ensure Australia’s

transport and transport infrastructure sectors play their part on the path to net zero emissions – in a sustainable way that supports communities.

“This builds on the recent decision by Infrastructure and Transport Ministers to establish the new Infrastructure Decarbonisation Working Group, which will explore ways to reduce embodied emissions in transport infrastructure, while strengthening the global competitiveness of Australia’s infrastructure and transport sectors,” Ms King said. 

The initiative is being led by a Steering Committee (SteerCo) comprising the ten founders:

  • Australian Constructors Association 
  • Green Building Council Australia
  • Australasian Railways Association 
  • Infrastructure Australia
  • Clean Energy Finance Corporation
  • Infrastructure Partnerships Australia
  • Consult Australia 
  • Infrastructure Sustainability Council
  • Dept of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional
  • Development, Communications and the Arts
  • Roads Australia

The SteerCo is expected to provide strategic direction over the work plan that initially comprised of four work streams, which addresses priority issues that are common to all major infrastructure sub sectors:

  • Defining net-zero for infrastructure – outlining the guiding principles for decarbonising the sector
  • Public/private sector alignment – cross-sectoral engagement for practical policy and regulation
  • Uplifting capability in the supply chain – upskilling the private sector to continuously improve and innovate
  • Procurement for net-zero – aligning procurement processes to effectively cascade across the supply chain

Independent Chair of Infrastructure Net Zero, Nicole Lockwood, said that infrastructure is one of the leading sectors in the country’s carbon footprint. 

“Infrastructure embodies, consumes and enables 70% of Australia’s carbon footprint. The tightened targets for 2030 and 2050, the huge pipeline of new projects and the need to adapt to increasing climate shocks have brewed the perfect storm. 

“The time for decisive action is now. Infrastructure Net Zero will help the whole sector go further and faster – together,” Ms Lockwood said. 

Australian Constructors Association CEO, Jon Davies, said that Infrastructure Net Zero initiative underscores the close collaboration between government and industry, helping to establish a clear path for the sector to reach its emissions target. 

“We are entering a time where we need everything all at once – net zero, decarbonisation, sustainability – and navigating the policy landscape is challenging. 

“This initiative will help to join the dots. “If we are to reach our goal, we need to start doing things differently now,” Mr Davis said. 

“The immediate priority areas will include defining net-zero for infrastructure, reaching alignment between public and private sectors, uplifting capability in the supply chain and procuring for net-zero.

“The path to net-zero is a collaborative one and we are already on our way.”

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