After more than a year in the making, today marks the release of Western Australia’s inaugural draft State Infrastructure Strategy, Foundations for a Stronger Tomorrow.
Infrastructure WA supports the need to deliver the right infrastructure, in the right place, at the right time, in order to grow the economy, create jobs, and ensure Western Australia is a great place to live.
The draft Strategy addresses Western Australia’s infrastructure trends, needs and priorities for the next two decades and guides investment decisions being taken right now and over the medium to long term – looking ahead of short-term political cycles.
It reaches beyond the metropolitan area, leverages Western Australia’s regional strengths and unlocks the strategic opportunities for the whole of the State.
Infrastructure WA Chairperson John Langoulant AO said he was proud of this milestone achievement for both Infrastructure WA and the Western Australian community.
“This Strategy sets the State on a long-term path for better outcomes through collaborative and holistic state-wide strategic infrastructure planning and delivery.”
“Previously, major projects and infrastructure decision-making in this State has, at times, been based on inadequate planning and information. This has in some cases resulted in poor outcomes, costly project delays or cancellations.”
“The Strategy does not present just a “long list” of infrastructure projects – but what has been made clear is that we must build the State’s infrastructure pipeline on a firm foundation of collaborative plans which incorporate a long-term view as to how service delivery will be enhanced”, he said.
“It largely deals with getting the basics right and focuses on improving investment decision making so that long-term planning is consistent, aligned and evidence-based.”
Mr Langoulant also paid tribute to the Infrastructure WA team, noting the Strategy and its extensive consultation program was developed by a relatively small group of specialists, guided under the direction of Infrastructure WA Chief Executive Officer Phil Helberg.
“On behalf of the Board I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Phil and the team for their enthusiasm, dedication and tireless effort – this draft Strategy is something they can be very proud of” he said.
As part of the Strategy’s development, Infrastructure WA was committed to capturing the expertise and perspectives of business, government and the community, and carried out a comprehensive engagement program to inform its recommendations.
Chief Executive Officer Phil Helberg echoed Mr Langoulant’s sentiments, and acknowledged delivery of the draft could not have been possible without this collaboration from many of Western Australia’s business leaders, industry professionals, community representatives, government agencies and trading enterprises.
“To develop a long term outlook for the Strategy, it has been necessary to review the current status of infrastructure planning and delivery in Western Australia as well as form a view on what the future needs and priorities of the state are likely to be.”
“We were lucky enough to be able to turn to many experts and professionals to test our analysis, and gain their valuable insight and feedback, and I would like to warmly thank them for their advice and support.” Mr Helberg said.
Mr Helberg also noted this consultation and advice helped shape many of the central themes for the Strategy.
“Themes that emerged during development of the Strategy such as: managing demand for infrastructure through early intervention; better coordinated planning through data collection and sharing, and; optimising the existing asset base before building new infrastructure underpin many of our recommendations.”
“There is also significant focus around helping to deliver improved health and housing outcomes, enterprise and opportunity for Aboriginal people, support for a renewable energy industry, diversifying our economic base, and addressing the impacts of climate change.” he said.
Mr Helberg detailed how the release of the draft also sets the wheels in motion for another consultation and engagement program where Infrastructure WA will visit each of Western Australia’s ten regions.
“The conversation continues as we embark on an eight-week consultation program around the State.”
“Infrastructure WA welcomes the community’s input on this next stage of the journey to complete the final Strategy by the end of the year.” Mr Helberg said.
Foundations for a Stronger Tomorrow, Infrastructure WA’s draft State Infrastructure Strategy is now available for public comment, with submissions closing 15 September 2021.
A finalised Strategy is anticipated to be provided to the Premier in late-2021 for the Government to consider and respond to before implementation can commence.
Visit <www.infrastructure.wa.gov.au/draftstrategy> for further information.