Infrastructure WA welcomes major milestone as 20-year Strategy is realized

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 28, 2022

More than 2 years’ rigorous visioning, consultation and analysis has culminated today in the tabling of WA’s first State Infrastructure Strategy in Parliament.

The tabling of Foundations for a stronger tomorrow marks a major milestone for Infrastructure WA (IWA) and the beginning of a new chapter for infrastructure planning and delivery in the state.

The Strategy contains 93 recommendations covering 9 specific infrastructure sectors and 7 cross-cutting themes – all divided into short, medium and longer-term timeframes that reach out to 2042.

While the Strategy is not a long wish-list of build solutions, it does include significant scale projects or programs recommended for further investigation, planning, business case development and investment.

These include a digital connectivity program, essential infrastructure in remote Aboriginal communities, sustained social and affordable housing investment to meet demand, health and mental health infrastructure, and exploring initiatives such as bus rapid transit to support urban growth and consolidation.

It also places an emphasis on non-build solutions, focussing on improving fundamental elements of the infrastructure system, such as governance settings, policies and regulatory reforms.

IWA Chairperson, Nicole Lockwood, said the Strategy was a first for Western Australia – and that it would underpin government infrastructure investment over the next 20 years.

“It looks ahead of political cycles and will help maximise the value of every dollar spent – making Western Australia an even more attractive and fulfilling place to live, work, invest, study and visit,” said Ms Lockwood.

“Over more than two years, IWA has imagined what the future could look like, consulted more broadly than ever before, incorporated extensive input from a range of stakeholders, and established a long-term vision for the state.

“The Strategy addresses and responds to both future challenges and opportunities, like population growth, climate change, social inequality and economic fluctuations.

“The recommendations tackle major challenges and aim to deliver improved health and housing outcomes, provide infrastructure opportunities that will improve the empowerment and self-determination of Aboriginal people, support a renewable energy industry, diversify WA’s economic base and much more.”

As the name suggests, the Strategy is about providing the foundations for a stronger future – the right infrastructure, in the right place at the right time, to support a brighter, more prosperous future for metropolitan and regional WA.

IWA Chief Executive Officer, Phil Helberg, paid tribute to his team and the hundreds of individuals and organisations across the state who have made a contribution to WA’s first 20-year infrastructure strategy.

“This was an ambitious undertaking by an agency which takes its responsibility to advise and assist the WA Government with its infrastructure planning and investment seriously,” said Mr Helberg.

“I also commend the commitment of around 800 individuals and organisations who took the time to meet with IWA or respond to the discussion paper released in 2020. And more than 700 people who, last year, participated in workshops, roundtables and briefing sessions in all regions across the state to explore and provide feedback on the draft Strategy. 

“We were encouraged by the 193 submissions received in response to the draft Strategy and survey results that showed 87% overall support for it,” he said.

Foundations for a stronger tomorrow will provide the long-term infrastructure outlook from which government and the private sector can plan and work for decades to come. It will help build a stronger, more diverse and resilient WA.

The focus will now turn to the WA Government’s formal response to the Strategy’s recommendations where it is required to indicate which it supports and, if applicable, the reasons for not supporting any recommendations in part or full.

The response is due within 6-months of the Strategy’s tabling.

 

Source: Infrastructure WA