Budget ignores IGR findings on infrastructure
The Budget proposed expenditure on infrastructure does not reflect the findings of the Government’s own Intergenerational Report in terms of the pressing need to fund the infrastructure backlog according to Deloitte head of Infrastructure, Roger Black.
“The second Intergenerational Report highlighted the need for the infrastructure backlog to be tackled immediately. If, as the Treasurer stated on the release of the Intergenerational Report, we are currently in the ‘demographic sweet spot’ with the imbalance between generations increasing from now on, then the Budget should have addressed the infrastructure gap more.
“With the single and noteworthy exception of education there is little in the Budget papers to suggest there is a comprehensive, integrated, coherent vision for dealing with Australia’s social and economic infrastructure needs and a related master plan.
“The allocation of $22.3 billion for Auslink II is welcome given one of the greatest challenges facing Australia is ensuring the nation’s transport infrastructure keeps pace with the requirements for national economic development.
“However the lack of coordinated planning across the three levels of government suggests progress against the infrastructure deficit will be piecemeal at best, and that the existing infrastructure gap will continue to widen.
It is also disappointing that the Treasurer didn’t consider and build into the Budget an allowance for private sector funding.
“Australian Government reluctance to embrace partnership models is a luxury which the community can no longer afford.
“PPPs have emerged as a crucial tool for governments around the world to tackle critical infrastructure needs, as identified in a recent global Deloitte study 'Closing the Infrastructure Gap'.
“Of the Treasurer’s three PPPs - population, participation and productivity – productivity is of course an area of great concern to companies currently face the capping of productivity by the inability to overcome structural or infrastructural shortfalls.”