Transport infrastructure is vital for economic growth in Australia. The connection between the two may seem a little abstract, however when you realise that transport infrastructure enables people to access work, education and essential services, allows goods to be conveyed and businesses to reach new markets and bases of inputs, it's a no-brainer. The improved connectivity that comes with better transport infrastructure can significantly boost productivity, innovation, and business and social opportunities, in more areas than just Australia's CBDs. Dispersing economic activity is important as it helps to drive and sustain growth.

Due to the huge impact that transport infrastructure has on the economy, as well as the quality of life in Australia, the government has focused funding on maintaining, upgrading and developing these vital structures.

Population Growth

One of the main factors that has pushed the government to invest more heavily into transport infrastructure, is Australia's ever-growing population. Across the board, Australia's major cities are projected to experience significant population growth in the near future. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the population of Australia currently sits at approximately 24.6 million, and is expected to increase to between 36.8 million and 48.3 million by 2061.

As it stands, Australia's transport infrastructure is already reaching capacity and struggling to accommodate the masses, with congestion becoming a common feature in more urban areas. In order for economic activity and progress to continue, Australia's transport infrastructure needs to be enhanced to keep up with the ballooning population, and prevent congestion from severely limiting access, and increasing costs and inefficiencies.

Projects

In recent years, there has been a notable shift in emphasis regarding government spending. The impending increased strain on Australia's existing transport infrastructure has spurred the government to funnel more money into construction projects. Infrastructure projects have been springing up  all over the country, in both urban and regional areas, with a strong emphasis on road and rail (public transportation and rail)

Some of the most prominent infrastructure projects currently underway, or in the pipelines, include:

New South Wales

Victoria

Queensland

Northern Territory

Tasmania

Western Australia

Australian Capital Territory

South Australia

These transport infrastructure projects have been deemed to be high priority, as they would deliver significant economic outcomes in the short and long term.

Job Creation

Another benefit of increased investment in transport infrastructure is job creation. Since the development of infrastructure involves major construction, each project has the potential to generate a large number of direct and indirect jobs. Direct jobs are related to the actual construction and delivery of the infrastructure, while indirect jobs are the jobs created as a result of the infrastructure, such as positions created by businesses that have been attracted to the area thanks to the improved connectivity. Job creation is significant as it boosts participation and productivity in the workforce, and provides those employed with financial independence.

The roles that tend to be required on infrastructure projects include:

  • Electricians
  • Plant Operators
  • Traffic Controllers
  • Riggers/Dogmen
  • Welders/Boilermakers
  • Trades Assistant
  • General and Skilled Labourers
  • Steelfixers
  • Rail Workers
  • Pipe/Mechanical Fitter

Transport infrastructure is vital for the continued economic growth of Australia. The value that transport infrastructure brings is significant and has been reflected in the government's increased commitment to funding these major projects across the country. Once these infrastructure projects are completed, they will help to ease the congestion that comes with a growing population, provide greater connectivity and enable better access to opportunities.

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