State of the Nation: Infrastructure and investment key to economic growth

Leaders must encourage investment and confidence as mining investment returns from unprecedented highs in Australia, Federal Opposition Leader, the Hon. Bill Shorten has told CEDA’s State of the Nation conference in Canberra.

“Overwhelmingly, the number one economic priority for Australia has to be identifying and developing the next engine for economic growth,” he said.  
“Encouraging investment and enhancing confidence now, that is the job of our economic leaders.” 
Mr Shorten said reforms are needed to deal with inequality, infrastructure and innovation. 
“We need to think about new investment in infrastructure, innovation and education,” he said.  
“Infrastructure means new roads and public transport, new ports and bridges, better social housing, smart energy grids, efficient irrigation projects and, of course the best digital infrastructure.” 
Mr Shorten said new infrastructure projects create jobs and generate momentum in the economy. 
“If we are to be nationally and globally competitive into the future Australian infrastructure needs to be benchmarked against world’s best practice in our Asian Pacific region,” he said. 
On the topic of where opportunities exist, Mr Shorten said ports, airports and interaction with road and rail networks is important. 
New technology will be the number one factor in economic performance and Australia must be developing the skills needed to succeed in the digital age.  
Mr Shorten said Australia must look at the long-term and plan for the jobs of the future. 
“We have to secure the next wave of prosperity and jobs depends upon investing in our best natural resources, the skills and smarts of the Australian people,” he said. 
“We believe in new investment in education, a new model for infrastructure, new support for innovation and a new focus on growth industries – that is how we win the future.”