WA infrastructure strategy to guide next 20 years of investment

By Melissa Coade

August 4, 2022

Mark McGowan
WA premier Mark McGowan said the long-term infrastructure outlook considered the state’s future challenges. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

After two years of development, Western Australia’s ‘Foundations for a stronger tomorrow’ strategy has been tabled.

The strategy will guide the state’s investments to 2042, mapping a 20-year vision for planning and investment decisions. It was tabled in the WA parliament on Wednesday.

Premier Mark McGowan said the long-term infrastructure outlook considered the state’s future challenges, including climate change, transition to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, digital connectivity, and improving Aboriginal empowerment and wellbeing.

“We are already responding to many of the recommendations, including cutting government emissions by 80% by 2030, investing in a new desalination plant, planning for Westport and investment in the Emergency Department reform package,” McGowan said in a statement. 

“Importantly, the strategy highlights just continuing to build infrastructure is unaffordable and unsustainable and there should be a focus on managing demand.”

Infrastructure WA led extensive consultations with the government, industry and the community, whose input informed the final document. The body was established as part of an election commitment by the government and advises and assists political decision-makers on infrastructure-related matters to help drive the state economy and create jobs.

Chair of the group Nicole Lockwood said the strategy’s 93 recommendations collectively built a stronger, more diverse and resilient community, economy and environment.

“Infrastructure WA will continue to advise and assist the government through the response and look to add value to activities being undertaken by key agencies throughout the strategy’s implementation process to achieve a successful outcome,” she said. 

The draft strategy was released in July and several announcements committing to the recommendations have already been made. These include the Collie transition plan, a whole-of-government 2030 emissions-reduction target, the creation of a $350 million remote communities fund, and an ED reform package.

The premier said the government would consider all of the strategy’s recommendations and give a response to each one within six months. 

“While Infrastructure WA is tasked with providing expert advice to the [state] government on WA’s infrastructure needs, the advice is not binding,” McGowan said. 

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