Property Council (Victoria) has delivered the Securing Victoria’s Future: a Program to Plan Fund and Deliver Infrastructure report, calling for a long-term infrastructure pipeline, innovative funding models and framework for delivery.
Victorians have benefited from decades of smart investment in core infrastructure and as the population has grown, this growth has been well accommodated, the report says, but now cracks are beginning to appear.
It argues Victoria’s transport system is not coping with increased capacity issues, infrastructure is not delivered fast enough in Melbourne’s growth areas, and there is no plan for the future.
The Property Council (Victoria) says there is an urgent and vital need to develop a program to plan, fund and deliver infrastructure for Victoria’s future.
Investment in infrastructure delivers productivity values that will stimulate and invigorate Victoria’s economy, the report says. It says implications of minimal infrastructure investment will cripple Victoria’s competitiveness.
It says Victoria’s next productivity leap will be achieved by building efficient urban areas, optimising land use and minimising travel and congestion costs.
The Property Council (Victoria) says the Victorian Government needs to overhaul public finance methodologies in order to better meet the goals of current and future infrastructure needs;
As well as direct allocations from governments, infrastructure strategies will need to draw on innovative funding solutions to ensure adequate resources are available;
Government policies will need to focus on urban renewal, infill development, and the delivery of essential infrastructure to ensure the population is properly accommodated;
Without the timely, cost effective delivery of infrastructure – transport, utilities, health and education facilities – cities and communities won’t work.
Victoria needs an infrastructure pipeline that is solid, transparent and that transcends the short term, immediate nature of the political cycle, the report says.
If Victoria is going to remain competitive in the national and global context, an infrastructure pipeline must be established that:
outlines government priorities;
provides investor and market certainty;
instills confidence in the private sector to invest in Victoria; and
is updated and reviewed regularly by government and is well integrated within government processes so as to deliver short, medium and long term outcomes.
Infrastructure cannot be funded solely out of budget surpluses, the report says; if Victoria is to retain any competitive advantage, alternative funding methods must be considered.
Innovative funding models such as PPS, Growth Area Bonds, Business Improvement Districts, government borrowings, and the use of superannuation funds must be explored by the public and private sectors so that a mix of funding mechanisms can be applied in order to deliver infrastructure.
It says infrastructure delivery must be better coordinated within government so as to achieve:
a cohesive approach between government departments and agencies working toward delivering shared outcomes;
a framework for delivery that transcends the electoral cycle; and
greater confidence in the ability of the public sector to operate in an efficient and transparent manner.