Although the policy has a lot to do with freight rail and other ‘big engineering’ issues, it also has the potential to renew the Commonwealth’s interest in the infrastructure of cities and towns which, some people realise, is a key economic driver for the nation. Urban transport and the infrastructure of the public realm are an important part of that equation.
The policy is centred around providing Commonwealth leadership in the maintenance and development of infrastructure. If elected, the ALP says, it will set up an independent statutory body to develop and manage a coordinated and objective approach to planning and development of nationally significant infrastructure. One of its first tasks would be to conduct a national infrastructure audit to assess the adequacy of Australia’s infrastructure, identify gaps and establish a national infrastructure priority list. So, urban designers of the world unite, and have your say about how you think the mega dollars of Commonwealth funding should be spent for best effect. For more details see www.alp.org.au/policy/index.php