Education could help ensure efficient infrastructure delivery

Efficient infrastructure helps the economy to run smoothly and enables businesses to get product to market, provide essential services such as water and power to run the business, and allows workers to get to their workplace.

Source: Federal Budget 2018

After a relative backlog of essential infrastructure built up in Australia over decades, the country is now seeing something of a boom for the sector. Australia’s federal government has committed over $75 billion for the next 10 years to transport infrastructure across Australia. As part of this, the government announced funding of $24.5 billion in new major transport projects in the budget.

The NSW Government has committed $80 billion dollars to infrastructure for the next ten years while other states face similar project pipelines.

This, however, is creating a stretch in available resources to deliver complex projects successfully.

As noted by Commonwealth Bank’s Managing Director, Infrastructure & Utilities, Michael Thorpe, the economy is running up against constraints in the ability to deliver these projects. In an environment of cost pressures and low tolerance among investors and the public for cost over-runs, Thorpe points out it is more important than ever for project execution to be spot on.

Improved education and sharing of experiences for those involved in managing these projects is one avenue that could help to meet the challenges. The John Grill Centre for Project Leadership at the University of Sydney has launched a new Major Projects Leadership Academy “dedicated to the development of effective project leadership at all levels of government”.

The Academy will deliver leadership development programs for key government departments and agencies, provide a platform to share best practice knowledge of major projects and support with future project innovation.

Commonwealth Bank’s Thorpe has similarly highlighted the need to “get it right” and “the importance of expertise and a deep understanding of the contemporary needs of infrastructure development at this important point in Australia’s nation-building history”.

To read more about infrastructure and Australia’s project pipeline, see our BI Research Smart Infrastructure Report

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