Rural Councils Victoria welcomes today’s (3 September 2021) publication of Infrastructure Australia’s Reforms to Meet Australia’s Future Infrastructure Needs, a major report on Australia’s infrastructure needs over the next decade.
Rural Councils Victoria Chair Cr Mary-Ann Brown said:
“I welcome the report’s stated ambition to set an ambitious vision, to anticipate and adapt to change, manage risk and deliver infrastructure that works towards the future needs of the community.”
In the year to the end of March, a record 22,651 Melburnians moved to rural and regional Victoria.
“This movement of people to rural and regional Victoria is, as it should, forcing a rethink on how infrastructure is put in place in rural and regional areas.”
“For instance, rural Victoria has long needed urgent investment in infrastructure ranging from roads, to aged care, to health care, to housing, to broadband and that was just to accommodate community needs pre-COVID.
“With the exodus from the cities, that investment is even more urgent.”
“Broadband is particularly urgent to accommodate the working from home phenomenon, to ensure that remote workers in rural areas are as productive as workers in the cities.
The Infrastructure Australia report states that:
“Tomorrow’s infrastructure is likely to look very different to today’s, and the way infrastructure is planned needs to embrace this uncertainty. Historically, infrastructure planning has sought to project future conditions as an extension of today, then provided infrastructure to meet anticipated demand. In 2021 and beyond, the approach must be more robust.”
Cr Mary-Ann Brown said: “We welcome this more robust approach and look forward to working with the federal, state and local governments to ensure that all rural Victorians – whether long established, returning residents or newly arrived – have access to the infrastructure and services that we need in the 21st century.”