Propelling City Growth

Collaboration is key to Australia's infrastructure-led recovery

The Federal Government is unquestionably in a tough position when it comes to infrastructure investment. At stake: a once-in-a-generation-sized investment of A$183.8 billion (9.5% of GDP)* that must deliver jobs and economic growth across the country, against a backdrop of uncertainty.

*International Monetary Fund, Policy Responses to COVID-19

Australia needs to refocus its infrastructure pipeline

Allens' 2020 Infrastructure Leaders Survey reveals increasing concern about the future of the industry:

are more concerned about the risks facing the sector than they were five years ago, an increase from 2019 of

are concerned about the viability of the industry as a whole, an increase from 2019 of

The uncertainty resulting from COVID-19 is challenging the assumptions upon which the current pipeline is based. Respondents picked these trends as the single-most important factors influencing future development priorities:

People working from home more frequently

Social pressure to change towards a greener energy mix

Decreasing concentration of offices in the CBD

These projects were seen to have the greatest benefit to society and the economy, but are the most under-represented in the pipeline**:

Social Infrastructure

Social and Affordable Housing

Renewable Energy

Community Infrastructure

**The remaining 7% is made up of other responses from our survey participants

What industry and government should consider to refocus the pipeline and create better outcomes for our future:


Prioritise projects that are 'shovel ready' and consistent with future needs

Create a vision that provides greater opportunities to more Australians

Plan in the context of capacity constraints in the system (labour, skills)


Reassess how the pipeline supports the longer-term vision and public expectations

Bring all stakeholders together to explore:

  • The impact of longer but fewer commutes on the mix, direction and timing of travel
  • Decarbonising the economy, including the network investments and stability required to deliver environmental benefits
  • Improving cost-of-living pressures
  • Creating regional jobs
  • Improving high value manufacturing competitiveness
  • Balancing the pipeline to factor in broader social and community benefits – remembering housing needs grow more quickly than the need for train carriages

Propelling City Growth

Solutions to help Australia close its infrastructure gap

Allens is an independent partnership operating in alliance with Linklaters LLP. © 2020 Allens, Australia