Infrastructure Western Australia (IWA) has released the inaugural draft State Infrastructure Strategy, which addresses the state’s infrastructure needs and priorities for the next two decades.
The ‘Foundations for a Stronger Tomorrow’ draft strategy culminates more than a year of research and analysis to identify future challenges and opportunities in the state’s infrastructure sector over the medium to long term.
IWA has made 88 recommendations addressing key infrastructure sectors and a range of cross-cutting themes. Many of the recommendations are non-build initiatives, focussing on improving fundamental elements of the infrastructure system, such as policy, planning and legislative frameworks.
Addressing impact from climate change, some key recommendations in the Strategy include embedding the net zero emissions by 2050 aspiration as a de facto target for all state agencies; and developing net zero transition plans and sectoral emissions reduction strategies.
IWA also recommends the development of sectoral adaptation plans to identify climate change risks and measures to adapt to current and future climate change impacts.
The strategy was developed in collaboration with some of the state’s leading industry professionals, community representatives and government agencies.
IWA Chief Executive Officer Phil Helberg said issues across multiple industries were the focus of 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,” he said.
“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.”
Infrastructure Western Australia Chairperson John Langoulant said the strategy will inform the actions of the state government currently and into the medium-to long term future.
“This Strategy sets the state on a long-term path for better outcomes through collaborative and holistic state-wide strategic infrastructure planning and delivery,” he said.
“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.
The final Strategy recommendations, which are expected to be completed by the end of 2021, will form the basis of IWA’s advice to Government, and inform other functions such as IWA’s role to assess major infrastructure proposals, and the Government’s preparation of the annual ten-year State Infrastructure Program.
These recommendations will share a vision of what Westerns Australia’s economy, development and society could look like in 2042.
The strategy is now available for public comment, with submissions closing 15 September 2021.