Infrastructure Australia has released the latest edition of the Infrastructure Priority List, presenting 147 infrastructure proposals of national significance. A list that often focuses on road and transport projects has shifted focus and placed Town and city water security, National water strategy, Coastal inundation protection strategy as “high-priority” projects. Also on the list are cycling and public transport projects to relieve congestion in major cities due to recent population growth.
“Compounding issues of unprecedented infrastructure demand, severe drought and other environmental changes, require a focus on our resilience strategies and a consensus on where to invest now for our nation’s future prosperity.”Romilly Madew – Infrastructure Australia Chief Executive
Australia has recently faced an increase in environmental pressures due to extensive drought, bushfires, and flooding which are often attributed to climate change. Although the Infrastructure Australia announcement doesn’t mention climate change it is addressed in 208-page Infrastructure Priority List in relation to the various water security and coastal inundation projects.
For landscape architects in Australia, it is hoped that this shift in priority at the federal government level towards water security, coastal inundation and addressing sea-level rise provides opportunities to address many climate change issues that face Australian cities and communities. Australian landscape architects will need to become involved in the conversation around how to address these issues and take part in the various projects to ensure that a softer, greener approach is taken and thus avoiding heavy-handed grey infrastructure inundating our coasts and waterways.
The Infrastructure Australia Priority list and statement can be downloaded from https://www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au/publications/infrastructure-priority-list-2020
Cover Image: Flickr User Alexander Else