The main threat to Australia’s economic future is population growth outpacing infrastructure development, says Infrastructure Australia chairman Mark Birrell.
Australia will not be able to capitalise on the economic benefits of population growth without long-term infrastructure planning, he told the Committee for Economic
Development of Australia (CEDA) at an event in Sydney.
“Considered and well thought through infrastructure investment is going to be one of the most effective ways for us to achieve and deliver the qualities we want out of our economic growth,” he added.
Not acting would prove particularly costly given the increased infrastructure demands associated with population growth.
By 2031 the Australian population is expected to increase to over 30 million people from its current figure of 23.5 million, while congestion will come to cost $53.3 billion nationally and demand for public transport will double.
With Australian population growth outpacing that of the US, UK and Canada, the challenge is particularly great though it also provides much opportunity for economic growth in parallel, Birrell said.
“I think the population challenge we face is a good one and there’d be many nations from Japan through to France who’d like to have a population growth issue”. To read more at the International Business Times click here.