Communities have their say on Australia’s $272 billion big build

28 September 2021

The Australian National University (ANU) is seeking the views of communities impacted by Australia’s $272 billion infrastructure roll-out.

Researchers from the ANU Institute for Infrastructure in Society (I2S) want to speak with people in Moree, Shepparton, Toowoomba, Newcastle, Geelong and the Gold Coast about their experiences of road, pipeline and other major projects.

The interviews form part of a major research project, Australian Perspectives on Infrastructure.

ANU I2S Research Director, Professor Sara Bice, said it is essential to understand how infrastructure delivery is affecting ordinary citizens and how their experiences can be improved.

“We’ve never seen a more intensive period of development than the current $272 billion pipeline,” she said.

“There’s a huge amount of activity from local councils, state governments and the Federal Government in communities all across Australia.

“We’re really interested to know about the experiences of the local community members who are shouldering the burden of this nation-shaping infrastructure program.”

Professor Bice said improving the relationship between proponents of infrastructure projects and local communities was also key.

“We know from our research that a positive community-project relationship can improve social, environmental and economic outcomes from major projects,” Professor Bice said.

“Our research has also shown that when community-project relationships sour, it can put huge pressure on communities and project teams.

“This latest piece of research will help us to advise regulators, policymakers and proponents – based on the lived experience of local people – on how to protect communities and meet their needs while delivering the infrastructure we all need.”

Australian Perspectives on Infrastructure is being delivered in partnership with community research firm Voconiq and has ANU research ethics approval.

Interested community members can register to be part of the survey.

The ANU I2S anticipates releasing the findings of the survey in the final quarter of 2022. Participants may request a copy of the research findings.

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Updated:  28 November 2021/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team