The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA WA) has welcomed progress toward the establishment of Infrastructure WA (IWA), with the Premier announcing that legislation would be introduced to Parliament on Wednesday.

“We have been calling for a more strategic approach to infrastructure planning and provision across the state for many years,” UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck said.

“Therefore, we are pleased to see that one of the key objectives of IWA will be the development of a 20 year State Infrastructure Strategy,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“For too long, WA has fallen short in terms of securing a fair share of federal infrastructure funding compared with other states,” Ms Steinbeck said. “This is partly due to the lack of forward planning and coordination in our dealings with Infrastructure Australia.”

“We hope that IWA will provide the leadership necessary for WA to gain more traction with Infrastructure Australia, and in turn, secure much needed increased federal infrastructure funding,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“As we saw just last week when Infrastructure Australia released their Priority Infrastructure List, WA had just one project on the High Priority Projects list and only two on the Priority Projects list,” Ms Steinbeck said. “That is compared with six high priority projects in NSW and Victoria.”

“In our submission to government on the establishment of IWA last year, UDIA also outlined the significant importance of IWA’s independence from the government of the day,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“Therefore, we are pleased to see that these concerns have been addressed, with IWA being established as an independent body with a maximum of half government members,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“As Perth grows toward a city of 3.5 million people, it is critical that we work together to plan and accommodate for the increased pressure this will put on our transport and other essential infrastructure services,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“Of course, the devil is always in the detail and we look forward to the opportunity to review the legislation more comprehensively when it is introduced to Parliament on Wednesday,” Ms Steinbeck said.