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Why wait for government?

Customer-led DIY Infrastructure, Australia’s No. 1 priority

The third Outlook Policy Paper from the Better Infrastructure Initiative provides 10 key recommendations so that customer and community voices are strengthened to ensure we are doing the right projects for the future.

Date of publication: June 2017

Key recommendations from the paper


Focusing on customers not contracts 

Just as DIY infrastructure protagonists are not constrained by status quo, investors and businesses can further tap latent commercial, environmental and social benefits in infrastructure. Reprioritising objectives and resources in order to create more opportunities to engage, innovate and fulfil the expectations of customers beyond the ‘black letter’ of contracts and concessions with government is required.


Identify projects & prioritise

The impact of DIY infrastructure protagonists (refer Chapter 2) in Australia suggests that investors, business and the community can and should assume more responsibility for sourcing, scoping and specifying projects. In doing so, they should clearly annunciate problems to be fixed and objectives to be achieved that enhance the whole infrastructure system without necessarily waiting for government.


Service performance reporting 

Infrastructure asset owners and operators, alongside DIY protagonists, can meet community expectations by demonstrating that they are delivering service quality performance and long term stewardship for their infrastructure assets. 


Strengthening the whole system

There is an urgent need for government to build on the high level of excellence in the management of the subsystems of infrastructure (electricity, water, waste, rail, roads) to achieve a higher level of assurance towards the stewardship of system-wide outcomes.


A new infrastructure model

DIY infrastructure starts at home with the establishment of a Community Infrastructure Ecosystem that enables DIY protagonists from Australia’s many communities to take greater responsibility for identifying and prioritising its own infrastructure through a Community Infrastructure Hub (refer Chapter 2).


Getting back to community

Business, universities and the community sector should collaborate in the co-creation of the Community Infrastructure Ecosystem that brings community groups and local councils together to initiate and develop viable projects.


Connecting capital

Major finance institutions should work together to create alternative mechanisms to fund and finance viable projects that can be facilitated through a Community Capital Enterprise initiative (refer Chapter 2).


Genuine partnership

Government has a responsibility to all stakeholders to be a stable, consistent and predictable collaborator for the entire asset life cycle of infrastructure. Government should commit to a higher standard of partnership that lifts investment confidence, embraces innovation and entrepreneurism for betterment of the whole system.


Better data

Governments should make available data and information concerning the service standards of all public infrastructures in order to engender greater competition and innovation. A further commitment is required to have regular reviews, so that as technology changes regulation can too.