During July and August 2020, as part of the engagement program to support the release of A Stronger Tomorrow: State Infrastructure Strategy Discussion Paper, IWA hosted a state-wide workshop series. We travelled the length and breadth of WA to gain a better understanding about the medium and long-term infrastructure needs and priorities in different areas and by different sectors.
In our visits to Karratha, Broome, Exmouth, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Northam, Mandurah, Bunbury, Albany and Perth, as well as via three online workshops, we heard from a terrific cross-section of community, government, industry and not-for-profit groups about the issues they believe are important for IWA to consider when developing our 20-year State Infrastructure Strategy.
We asked 450+ workshop participants to identify the regional and state-wide infrastructure priorities and encouraged them to think about the different approaches to deliver them, for example, whether something needs to be built or whether there might be non-build options, such as through policy, governance, funding reforms etc to achieve them. We then encouraged them to reconsider this against a number of different scenarios, all of which could possibly have an impact on future infrastructure planning - something that we will also have to do to prepare the Strategy.
What we heard..
The 15 workshops that we hosted generated a sizable amount of feedback, something we are now (in mid-August) working our way through. We can however say that there were some key themes that were raised by people in most, if not all, regions. These included:
- digital connectivity and telecommunications;
- industry; and
Waste, security of water supply, decentralisation and social and affordable housing were other commonly discussed topics.
Across the remainder of August, September and October the IWA team will be analysing all of the feedback that has been received during the formal consultation period, including survey responses, online submissions, project and program ideas as well as the outcomes from the workshops. A Consultation Report will be made available via our website upon the completion of this work.