| 10 July 2023

Engineers Australia welcomes ACT Government's Infrastructure Plan

Engineers Australia acknowledges the release of the first sector instalment of the updated ACT Infrastructure Plan by the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government. This plan outlines a framework for infrastructure development in the Territory.  

The ACT Infrastructure Plan will be released progressively for seven sectors, with all sector updates scheduled to be released by mid–2024. The entertainment, arts, and sports sector, including community sports, community arts, and key entertainment and sports venues, is now available. 

The ACT Infrastructure Plan overview, released as part of the Built for CBR initiative, provides a roadmap for the development and enhancement of critical infrastructure in the region. Engineers Australia recognises the effort invested in crafting this document, which sets out a vision for infrastructure in the ACT. 

Over the past decade, the ACT has experienced population growth with the number of residents increasing from 370,000 to 455,000 and is expected to reach half a million by 2027. As Canberra's population grows, the government will need to invest in enabling infrastructure and drive private sector investment into renewal precincts, as well as new housing and commercial opportunities. 

Dr Therese Flapper, Immediate Past President for Engineers Australia Canberra Division says "engineers are the foundation of turning every city plan into a built reality. To do this successfully, we need an integrated long-term plan across the built form.  

“This must include not only the ACT Government's announcement-based sector releases across the year but how the whole built landscape will come together, critically including utilities and transport," Dr Flapper says.   

"Whilst the twenty-year horizon and placement of key facilities in the built form are welcomed, it is difficult to navigate how this will be activated without the linear infrastructure elements also outlined cohesively,” she explains.  “Engineers Australia looks forward to our ongoing engagement with the ACT government regarding best practice infrastructure planning and stepwise evolution." 

As the leading professional body representing engineers across the country, Engineers Australia recognises the role of infrastructure in supporting economic growth, improving quality of life, and fostering environmental sustainability.  

Engineers Australia commends the ACT Government for its commitment to evidence-based decision-making, as reflected in the plan's focus on sustainable infrastructure solutions. 

“The plan addresses key challenges faced by the ACT, such as population growth, urban development, and the need for reliable and efficient infrastructure systems,” says Caitlin Buttress, General Manager, Engineers Australia Canberra division.  

“By incorporating engineering expertise and sustainable design principles, the ACT Infrastructure Plan presents an opportunity for achieving Canberra’s infrastructure needs in the foreseeable future.   

“While the vision presented by the ACT Government and underlying principles are strong, it is critical that this Infrastructure Plan is observed and nurtured by governments over the long term, and reviewed regularly as the landscape continues to change,” Ms Buttress says. “The incorporation of sustainable design principles, the integration of smart technology, and the focus on reducing the environmental impact of infrastructure projects are important steps toward creating a greener and more liveable urban environment.” 

Engineers Australia supports the plan's emphasis on building infrastructure that is resilient, adaptable, and future proof.  

Additionally, Engineers Australia recognises the opportunities for collaboration and knowledge-sharing. By engaging with engineering professionals, stakeholders, and the wider community, the ACT Government can foster innovation and ensure the successful delivery of infrastructure projects. 

Engineers Australia looks forward to actively engaging with the ACT Government throughout the development and implementation of the Infrastructure Plan.