Engineers Australia response to WA draft State Infrastructure Strategy

Engineers Australia broadly supports the recommendations proposed in Infrastructure WA's draft strategy, and has provided further recommendations.
News Image

To support the development of infrastructure in Western Australia, Engineers Australia responded to the consultation survey on the recommendations contained in the Infrastructure Western Australia’s Foundations for a Stronger Tomorrow State Infrastructure Strategy Draft. 

The response was informed by a number of members from Engineers Australia’s WA Division Committee, College branches, groups and technical societies.

As well as contributing to the review of the recommendations, several members attended invite-only sector specific workshops covering Energy and Climate Change, Asset Management and Infrastructure Delivery, and Planning and Coordination.

The WA President Brian Haggerty said this was a great opportunity for the collective engineering capability to come together and provide impartial and expert advice to government for the benefit of the community.

"It demonstrates the unique value of engaging the breadth and diversity available in EA members," he said.

Engineers Australia broadly support the recommendations proposed in Infrastructure WA’s Draft State Infrastructure Strategy and has provided recommendations to numerous areas for consideration. Highlights of our submission include:

 

Planning and coordination

  • Recommended that the creation of a centralised data bank and decentralised flows of information may assist in planning the short term. Transparency and accountability of these processes are essential to market confidence. Depoliticised consensus-based decision-making is also critical. It is noted that some governments are already focused on this work.
  • Outlined a need for an overarching co-ordinated Perth Metro Area development plan with urban growth boundary, green and brown field redevelopment site opportunities identified.
  • Advised that fully integrated transport, land use and development planning is essential. Land use planning should not occur without considering transport needs and vice versa. Ideally infrastructure planning and transport planning should be taken by an integrated team of planners and transport planners. Determining the location of urban infill is critically important. The vast majority of urban infill should be provided in mixed use activity centres and corridors that are either well served by public transport, or where there are plans to upgrade public transport in the short term.

 

Infrastructure Delivery

  • Supported the development and implementation of contemporary procurement models. New models for infrastructure planning, funding, and delivery are critical. Some options provided for consideration included greater collaboration between government and industry, embedding technical expertise throughout the planning process and including sustainability principles and innovation requirements in tendering processes.
  • Highlighted the importance of business cases capture wider impacts of investment decisions and drive mutually beneficial outcomes across state agencies and sectors.

 

Asset Management

  • Recommended all government trading enterprises and government agencies have asset management systems that are measured and recorded against compliance with ISO5500x in a clear transparent format that is publicly accessible. 
  • Advocated for formalising and funding an appropriate government body with the role as functional lead for asset management. All government organisations/ agencies should have clear accountable parties within their structures responsible to reporting the application of asset management to the governing functional lead.

 

Transport

  • Recommended introducing demand management along with transport infrastructure capacity increases, particularly road projects, to ensure that induced demand for car traffic is maintained at a low level.
  • As well as reducing speed limits, supported a series of low-cost road design measures for urban streets that will work alongside reduced speed limits in lowering driving speed.