The paper was released just a few short months after the body was established. This is the first key step in producing its 30-year strategy, which is due for the release by 31 December 2016.
The paper identifies 10 key bottom line objectives for the 30-year strategy, set in the context of 25 long term infrastructure needs for Victoria; it does not propose any solutions at this stage.
With the release of these objectives, the overwhelming message of the policy paper is that Infrastructure Victoria is not currently focussed on finding the solutions but is taking a 'from the ground up' approach to delivering its 30-year strategy. The paper sets a clear landscape for delivering the much anticipated report, and emphasises Infrastructure Victoria's intention of seeking community consensus through the extensive public consultation process (see for example, the randomly selected 'citizen juries' planned in the coming months).
A clear takeaway is that Infrastructure Victoria is open to and will be proposing mixed solutions for the delivering Victoria's infrastructure needs. The solution is not 'one size fits all', and there will have to be tradeoffs.
The paper refers to mixed funding options (user pays/privatisation/debt financing), and makes clear that we should not expect the 30-year strategy to only produce a list of recommended major projects.
Instead, the body is taking a three pronged approach to infrastructure planning:
- How can we change the demand for a certain type of infrastructure, so that no new infrastructure is required?
- What can we do to make better use of our existing infrastructure?
- What should we build as a last resort?
Infrastructure Victoria is taking an innovative and holistic approach to infrastructure planning, and is considering the global economy, the unknown technological changes we face in the next 30 years and the growing trend of urbanisation, as key factors in identifying our needs over the next 30 years.