Infrastructure that assists to diversify WA’s economy, contributes to improved health outcomes, addresses climate change and delivers digital connectivity to our regions all feature in Infrastructure WA’s (IWA) Discussion Paper: Consultation Outcomes Report.
The report, released today, summarises feedback from IWA’s wide-ranging consultation program on its A Stronger Tomorrow - State Infrastructure Strategy Discussion Paper which concluded in late August this year.
From its consultation process, IWA received more than 140 submissions on its Discussion Paper, had more than 520 attendees at its workshops and also surveyed nearly 600 Western Australians via its online survey.
Chairman, John Langoulant was pleased to share this information with the WA community, which will help shape the State’s first infrastructure strategy.
“It’s clear the WA community are passionate about the future of infrastructure and are well-aware of the challenges we face to ensure infrastructure decisions are both economically sound and contribute to a better future for all Western Australians,” Mr Langoulant said.
“Feedback from respondents indicated many of our regional areas lack quality digital connectivity. Not only does this stifle advancement in industry and innovation, it also means people living in regional or remote areas may have additional challenges in accessing services such as health and education, which are increasingly being offered online.”
“Putting digital solutions front of mind can improve efficiency and minimise costs and impact on business, community and the environment”.
Chief Executive Officer, Phil Helberg also noted environmental considerations raised by respondents such as the need for WA to shift towards a clean energy future, address water security and consider how infrastructure will mitigate and adapt to climate change.
“Emerging technologies in renewable energy combined with solar and wind energy sources and the availability of land have the potential to develop regional areas, diversify our resources and mining-dependent economy, grow supply chains within WA and into global markets, and assist the State Government’s aspiration for net zero emissions by 2050.”
Infrastructure that connects communities and improves health, education and social well-being were also prominent in feedback.
“While transport links that connect markets and supply chains were considered important, active transport infrastructure that supports walking, cycling and connects to our public transport system to reduce congestion also featured highly,” Mr Helberg said.
“It was noted that providing easily accessible and high-quality education has a linkage to improved liveability and wellbeing. This extends to better use of existing assets and investigating the viability of shared or multiple use of community facilities”.
Many people stated historically there was a perceived lack of strategic vision for infrastructure in WA, and the State Infrastructure Strategy should provide this direction where necessary.
“We have listened to this feedback and strengthened our objectives which guide the Strategy, to ensure they are clear and outcomes based,”
“I would like to thank the many industry and community groups, government agencies and the WA community, not only for its valuable feedback, but also the ongoing support it has provided us on this journey towards WA’s first State Infrastructure Strategy.” Mr Helberg said.
IWA will now move forward in preparing a draft State Infrastructure Strategy which it intends to unveil to the public for consultation in mid-2021.