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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 1128 asked in the Legislative Council on 15 October 2019 by Hon Charles Smith

Minister responding: Hon R. Saffioti
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on

INFRASTRUCTURE AUSTRALIA — 2019 AUSTRALIAN INFRASTRUCTURE AUDIT

1128. Hon CHARLES SMITH to the minister representing the Minister for Transport:

I refer to ''An Assessment of Australia's Future Infrastructure Needs: The Australian Infrastructure Audit 2019'', recently published by Infrastructure Australia, which shows that infrastructure in Perth is clearly failing to keep pace with rapid population growth, particularly on the urban fringe, and that a mounting maintenance backlog is putting unprecedented pressure on the infrastructure services on which our residents rely.

(1) Does the state government accept that infrastructure and service provision is failing to keep up with population growth and that this is negatively impacting residents' quality of life, as well as economic productivity and competitiveness?

(2) Does the state government accept that without a massive and sustained increase in infrastructure spending, the situation is only likely to worsen?

(3) Does the state government concede that any sizeable increase in infrastructure spending will inevitably put immense pressure on the state budget and lead to a blowout in state debt levels?

(4) Will the state government now consider adopting a sustainable population policy and call on the commonwealth to reduce immigration to more normal levels?

Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.

(1) The Australian infrastructure audit 2019 results show that the cost of road congestion in Western Australia is growing at a slower rate than in the previous audit due to sustained investment in congestion-reducing projects. The 2015 audit predicted that by 2031, seven of Australia's top 10 most delay affected road corridors would be in Perth; the 2019 audit shows that WA now has just one road corridor in that list.

(2)–(3) The government's 2019–20 state budget includes $4.2 billion in road investment and a further $4.1 billion to deliver Metronet, while returning the budget to surplus.

(4) The government has been proactive in planning for future population growth by delivering on its vision of a strong integrated infrastructure and urban development program centred on Metronet. Further, through the release of ''Our Priorities: Sharing Prosperity'' and the Perth and Peel@3.5 million suite of documents, the government has established the strategic framework to accommodate anticipated growth.