BUDGET 08-09: Planners call for details of infrastructure spending

The first budget of the incoming Rudd Government targets infrastructure and foreshadows significant spending but ‘what will be built, where, by when and who and how will priorities be determined?” asks Planning Institute of Australia, national president, Neil Saver.

Housing affordability and climate change two other critical areas singled out for new programs and spending and the PIA says it supports this shift in national budget priorities.

“Together with the Major Cities Unit announced last week, we have a stronger commitment at the national level to urban and regional planning and related issues than we have seen in over a decade”, he said.

However, the PIA wants to see the “who, how, when, where and why?”

“We need spending which is outcomes focused, and linked to targets for climate proofing our cities and ensuring their future competitiveness and vibrancy," he said.

“Spending needs to have clear objectives and a set of national targets and measures agreed to by all three spheres of government.

“An allocation of funds is only the first step. It is critical for the right decisions to be taken in selecting projects to achieve the best return on investment, economically, socially and environmentally.

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