NSW needs to move from Blueprint to building site

From

Stephen Cartwright

The 2020 Infrastructure Priority List released by Infrastructure Australia contains very few new ideas, but does suggest plenty of room for progress, according to the State’s peak business organization, Business NSW.

Including new priorities and those already on the list from previous years, there are 63 priorities on the list that are entirely in NSW, or are national priorities that would partly occur within NSW.

“The list identifies dozens of NSW projects which are in development. However, it highlights the need for projects in NSW to move off the drawing board and into implementation,” said Business NSW Chief Executive Officer Stephen Cartwright.

“We aren’t lacking in ideas to improve NSW’s infrastructure. What we need are investment decisions from Government and its partners,” Mr Cartwright said

“Business NSW is concerned that, just because this State is ahead of other States and Territories and has already funded some of its projects, the Commonwealth should not view NSW as already fully catered for.

“With our growing population and increasing demands on infrastructure, NSW is in a position where we needs to run as fast as we can just to stand still. Without further funding for major projects in the years to come, NSW and the greater Sydney region will fall behind competitor regions in Australia and around the world.

“The Infrastructure Priority List added several nationwide strategies with relevance to NSW, including high priority initiatives for a National Water Strategy and a Town and City Water Strategy, as well as regional telecommunications coverage and regional road improvements.

“The broadening scope of the Priority List is welcome. It is important for officials to remember that infrastructure isn’t just about high-profile big city projects. Regional NSW has been suffering the impacts of drought for several years.

“Governments need to do more to support commercial activity in the regions. Improving water supply and efficiency will help protect vulnerable businesses from the worst effects the next time drought conditions set in.

“In a year that has seen drought, bushfires and flooding, the List’s emphasis on resilience in infrastructure is timely. It will be important for Governments to convert these plans from high-level strategy to concrete proposals in the months to come” Mr Cartwright said. 

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