Priority for long-term planning

The SMART Infrastructure Facility at the University of Wollongong is attracting national attention for a green paper it has prepared called Infrastructure Imperatives for Australia.

The paper aims to set out a way forward for planning, provision and investment in the future infrastructure needs of Australia and addresses several key principles that successive governments have overlooked.

The paper was launched at the start of this year and featured in the Australian Financial Review.

Chief executive officer Garry Bowditch said the reason it was attracting attention was because of the leadership SMART was displaying in long-term planning and infrastructure issues for Australia.

Mr Bowditch said the development of the paper also drew on points made by international and national experts at the International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure late last year.

"This green paper and the associated recommendations endeavour to capture the challenges and opportunities identified to ensure a better infrastructure future for our country," Mr Bowditch said.

"By the end of this century Australia will be home to approximately 70 million residents and long-term planning and strategic thinking is needed now to meet this future demand."

SMART has invited feedback on the three infrastructure imperatives identified in the paper and the associated recommendations that are made.

They are to establish an Australian infrastructure market, enhancing the attractiveness of infrastructure private funding and overhauling infrastructure for innovation and productivity growth.

"It is hoped that this paper will contribute to the public discussion on infrastructure and ensure that we are well placed to meet the opportunities that the Asian century presents," Mr Bowditch said.

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