In July 2019, the Governor appointed the inaugural Infrastructure WA Board, comprising government and non-government representatives. Mr John Langoulant AO was appointed as Chair and Ms Nicole Lockwood as Deputy Chair.
Infrastructure WA (IWA) is an independent body tasked with providing expert advice to Government on the State’s infrastructure needs and priorities.
The first priority is the development of a 20-year State Infrastructure Strategy. In addition to this IWA will carry out other functions:
- Assessing and reporting on major government infrastructure proposals;
- Providing advice to government on infrastructure priorities;
- Providing expert advice on funding and financing options for infrastructure, as well as other infrastructure matters;
- Coordinating the State's submissions to Infrastructure Australia; and
- Supporting the work of agencies in developing their infrastructure strategies, plans and policies.
IWA will provide a comprehensive view of the State’s infrastructure needs, addressing a broad range of infrastructure types in its long-term strategy, focussing on infrastructure that enhances economic, social and environmental outcomes for the State.
It is intended that the needs of all sectors will be considered including water, digital, health, energy, education, transport, cultural, recreational, justice, agriculture, housing, safety and environmental infrastructure.
This month Infrastructure Australia released the 2019 Audit. The Audit, for the first time, includes social infrastructure.
It analyses the challenges people face in accessing adequate and affordable housing, with a particular focus on social housing as an infrastructure class. It identifies a lack of social housing dwellings of the right type and in the right place, and explores the difficulty of transitioning between types of housing, particularly from social housing into the private market. Also, it highlights the poor outcomes, particularly for health and education, that have resulted from overcrowding in remote areas due to a lack of fit-for-purpose dwellings and supply, with negative impacts for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
“Shelter WA is working with the National Shelter network to drive an increased investment in social housing supply as outlined in the Audit. We strongly advocate for Infrastructure WA to include social housing as a critical infrastructure class for WA. Future investment in social housing infrastructure should be non-negotiable,” said Michelle Mackenzie the Chief Executive Officer of Shelter WA.
“With a waitlist of over 14,000 people for social housing and over 9,000 people experiencing homelessness every night in WA, Infrastructure Australia must examine the need for more social housing in their 20-year State Infrastructure Strategy. This will provide not only much needed social infrastructure but will drive the government’s agenda of new jobs and economic growth.
IWA is governed by the Infrastructure Western Australia Act 2019, which formally commenced on 24 July 2019.
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