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The backlog of needed infrastructure projects in Australia is estimated at $25 billion worth of projects. With this much-needed investment in place, Australia's GDP would be 0.8 per cent higher each year. That translates to $6 billion a year - or an average $300 per Australian.
While there are adequate funds available to fix the backlog, the missing element is commitment from federal and state governments to cooperate on fixing the problem.
Many infrastructure issues cross state borders, and national leadership can produce large benefits. However, most of the burden of implementing infrastructure reforms lies with the states, meaning cooperation between the two levels of government is vital.
The federal and state governments need to find ways to bring the money and the projects together. Australia has a great deal of private sector infrastructure expertise which can be applied to solving the infrastructure backlog.
Growth 54 was released at CEDA's national infrastructure conference in Brisbane on 14 April 2004.
CEDA worked with seven private-sector interest groups on the report, and commissioned work from policy consultants Econtech and The Allen Consulting Group.