Home' Future Building: The Australian Infrastructure Review : Volume 4 Number 1 Contents 16 futurebuilding Volume 4 Number 1
The Hon Warren Truss MP
will curb and restrain growth and see national
productivity stagnate. Our economy will simply
grind to a halt.
Spending on infrastructure has a higher return
on investment than spending in most sectors, and
demonstrates clear value for money. Construction
is the fourth-largest contributor to Gross Domestic
Product, and employs one million Australians.
In fact, the Australian Infrastructure Statistics
Yearbook for 2013, prepared by the Bureau of
Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics
(BITRE), makes interesting reading on the subject.
For instance, in 2011--12, infrastructure spending
by the private sector was 11 times higher than what it
was 20 years ago.
Current expenditure has declined slightly from that
peak, but investment remains at historically high levels.
The growth of expenditure in infrastructure has
been particularly strong in the transport sector, with
its share of investment growing from 45 per cent one
decade ago to 55 per cent today.
Once again, private expenditure has led the way,
having grown by over 400 per cent in the 10 years
What the Yearbook demonstrates is that our
spending on infrastructure is as critical today as it
ever has been to support the Australian economy, and
to help support growth in productivity.
As economic power shifts towards Asia, Australian
goods and services face increased competition from
rapidly developing low-wage economies -- a factor
that also creates new opportunities and new markets.
In addition, our tax base is declining as our
These and other structural changes, such as
increasing demands on the health and welfare
sectors and demographic shifts, are placing
additional pressure on the economy -- including the
infrastructure and transport sectors.
Given these shifts, getting the infrastructure and
transport planning, prioritisation and funding right
The Government is working with state and
territory governments to accelerate the delivery of
Knowing that this challenge
awaits us requires meticulous
planning and investment
now, including new ways of
attracting investment to make
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