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The missing link in infrastructure

Customer stewardship is crucially linked to infrastructure’s potential
Our fifth Policy Outlook Paper reinforces the need for enduring answers to our economic problems are more likely to be found in the fertile soil of building relationships, reinforcing growth through reciprocity and sustained with a commitment to participation first.

Date of publication: September 2018

Customer Stewardship: Infrastructure missing link was written by the Better Infrastructure Initiative's, Garry Bowditch and Gordon Noble.

Customer stewardship challenges stakeholders to find enduring answers in infrastructure via broader thinking. Infrastructure is an actively intimate part of our lives therefore quality of services and astute long-term investment decisions have never been more important. 

The Better Infrastructure Initiative identified ten industry exemplars that share a vision for infrastructure’s future - in partnership with customers and stakeholders.

Recommendations from the paper


Embed customer stewardship in all major decisions

Federal, state and local government must address the missing link in their infrastructure governance – customer stewardship – towards enhanced focus and accountability to customers and function of markets.


Enable customers to always shape infrastructure

All public and private sector organisations must embrace and practice customer stewardship values and principles in their project selection and governance processes that enable customers to shape all aspects of the asset life cycle for infrastructure.


Reward customer stewardship practices

Investors as owners of infrastructure need to ensure the operators of infrastructure are given the latitude and motivation to use customer stewardship practices, including engaging with and maintaining high standards of customer trust and integrity of assets and services.


Motivate a reporting and transparency ethos

Asset recycling programs and other infrastructure divestment and investment processes need to embed a customer stewardship ethos of accountability, and mechanisms for reporting to ensure all decisions will accrete to customer outcomes and benefit the infrastructure system as a whole.


Better communicate genuine achievements

Owners and operators need to communicate their customer stewardship achievements, (using case studies, data with their stakeholders) to redress misconceptions and build trust and understanding

about quality of planning and management capabilities in preparing for the future.