The need for new infrastructure is underpinned by economic growth, urbanisation and population growth. Fortunately, Managing Director Transport of Commonwealth Bank Christopher Scougall, argues that "investor demand for infrastructure has never been stronger and conditions for investing in infrastructure have never been better." Below we list everything you need to know about Scougall's report.
Urbanisation, economic and population growth drive infrastructure need
- By 2050 the global economy will have nearly quadrupled
- The world’s population is projected to rise from 7.3 billion today to 9 billion by 2050
- By then nearly 70% of people will live in cities
- Infrastructure Australia projects Australia’s economy will grow by 84% from $1.4 trillion in 2011 to $2.6 trillion in 2031
- Of the 40 OECD countries, Australia had the fourth fastest population growth in the decade to 2012. Our population is expected to increase another 6.6 million to 30.5 million in 2031
- By then more than two-thirds of us will live in the four largest capital cities and their extended metropolitan areas.
Ideal infrastructure investment conditions
- Low interest rates and flush liquidity are key drivers
- Amid volatile stock markets, investors seek assets such as infrastructure with stable long-term returns and growth
- Australia’s continued economic growth and rapidly expanding cities make it an attractive destination for infrastructure investment
- Transport is a beneficiary of this. The Australian Infrastructure Metric reported a 40% increase in transport infrastructure investment in the year to 30 June 2015.
Growing demands on Australian transport infrastructure
- Car travel times are expected to lengthen by at least 20% between 2011 and 2031 in the six largest capital cities
- If left unaddressed, the cost of road congestion would increase from $13.7 billion in 2011 to $53.3 billion in 2031
- Demand for public transport in capital cities is set to rise by an average of 89% over that period
- Air travel demand is expected to double over the next 15 years. Airports will have to expand capacity, necessitating growth in retailing and roads around airports.
Asia’s growing middle class propels air travel
- Only 20% of the world’s population has flown despite global air traffic doubling every 15 years since 1983
- The industry expects air travel to continue on this trajectory, driven by economic growth, increasing urbanisation and an expanding middle class
- The Asia Pacific’s middle class is expected to grow from 525 million in 2009 to 1.7 billion by 2020 and 3.2 billion in 2030, accounting for 66% of the globe’s middle class
- As people accumulate wealth, they like to travel to see the world. Year-on-year growth in international and domestic air travel in Asia Pacific in July outpaced the global rate.
Government and private sector involvement
- Governments are positioning themselves to meet the infrastructure challenge. The WA Government has a $5 billion asset sale program and the NSW Government is tendering long-term leases on its transmission and distribution assets. Some of the proceeds are being channelled into transport projects including Sydney CBD Light Rail and NorthConnex
- NorthConnex demonstrates that the private sector is developing well thought out infrastructure proposals
- As a leading global financier of infrastructure, we’re seeing this focus on infrastructure investment in the other jurisdictions we cover: Europe, the US and Asia.
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