Discussing the Infrastructure Spending Plans

Infrastructure Spending includes energy, transport, water and waste projects. Development consent orders are required for designated projects rather than other consents such as planning permission, listed building consent and compulsory purchase orders.

In his first budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled a series of exciting spending promises, designed to increase infrastructure spending to a level not seen for decades.

Overall, the Chancellor’s plans involve investing a massive £640bn for capital spending on infrastructure by 2025 – a generational change in the level of spending on public infrastructure.

Under Theresa May, previous Chancellor Philip Hammond had planned to spend £600bn on public and private infrastructure over a 10-year period, so the latest plans not only involve spending more money overall, but also spending it more quickly than the previous Government had planned to.

While much of the important detail has yet to be confirmed, and the publication of the long-awaited national infrastructure strategy has been delayed, the Chancellor’s spending announcements are likely to be well received by business, especially those in the community of infrastructure developers and investors.

After Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement last month that the controversial HS2 high-speed rail link will go ahead, the Budget is a further positive sign that this Government is prepared to make use of historically low interest rates to end the tendency of previous Governments to talk a lot about infrastructure investment, but to deliver very little.

The current Chancellor seems to be of the view that the very low interest rates that we have seen since the financial crisis will continue for some time, so has rejected assertions that his aggressive borrowing plans are irresponsible.

His argument is that while overall Government borrowing may be higher than it has been in previous times, the cost of servicing the Government debt is actually lower.

Looking at these plans from a broader policy perspective, it is undoubtedly the case that infrastructure spending by Government serves many policy objectives, but for this Government right now, it can also be seen as supporting the investment case in global Britain and showing that Britain is thriving post-Brexit.

The timing of this is obvious, but with pressure on infrastructure in the South East and a shortage of new mega projects that are already in development, it seems that the Government is keen to show the strength of United Kingdom engineering and innovation to the world, as well as to bulking up the engineering sector for activation by inward investors.

A question that has been raised by a number of industry-insiders is how the Government actually plans to deliver and fund the huge expansion in infrastructure spending that it has announced. The Chancellor made no mention of the potential use of private infrastructure finance models, so there is a concern among many that private sector investors may have a limited role in delivering the pipeline of new work.

Further concerns have been raised about the lack of specific measures designed to deliver on the Governments commitments to reduce carbon emissions and to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The United Kingdom was the first major economy to legislate for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by this date and has since launched a Net Zero Review to help determine how the United Kingdom can maximise economic growth opportunities as it transforms into a green economy.

Perhaps understandably at this stage, there was almost nothing in the Budget to indicate how real that commitment is and how the Government intends to achieve it.

We’re looking forward to learning more about precisely how the Chancellor’s spending promises will be delivered, and what other projects the Government plans to prioritise, when the national infrastructure strategy is published later in the spring.

Advisory Excellence Award For Darling Harbour Project

In the heart of Sydney, Australia, lies a stunning transformation that has captivated residents and visitors alike – The Darling Harbour Project. This visionary urban revitalisation endeavour has reshaped the city’s waterfront, breathing new life into an iconic space. From its humble beginnings as a working port to its current status as a vibrant hub of culture, entertainment, and education, the Darling Harbour Project stands as a testament to innovation and urban renewal.

Historical Context:

To truly appreciate the magnitude of the Darling Harbour Project, one must first delve into its historical context. Once a bustling port and industrial area, Darling Harbour had gradually fallen into disrepair over the years. In the 1980s, city planners recognised the need for a comprehensive revitalisation effort to rejuvenate the waterfront and bring it back to its former glory. Thus, the Darling Harbour Project was born.

Vision and Design:

The Darling Harbour Project was not just a simple renovation; it was a grand vision to create a dynamic, world-class destination that would attract both locals and tourists. The project’s design seamlessly blended modern architecture with the area’s historical elements, creating a harmonious fusion of past and present. The goal was to transform the harbour into a multifunctional space that catered to a diverse range of interests and activities.

Key Features:

The success of the Darling Harbour Project can be attributed to its array of captivating features that cater to a wide audience:

Darling Harbour Convention Centre: The project includes a state-of-the-art convention centre that has become a magnet for international conferences, trade shows, and events, bolstering Sydney’s reputation as a global business hub.

Cultural Enclaves: Museums, galleries, and cultural institutions such as the Australian National Maritime Museum and the Powerhouse Museum enrich the area’s cultural landscape, offering visitors an opportunity to engage with history, science, and the arts.

Entertainment Venues: The precinct boasts entertainment options for all ages, including the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, and the impressive IMAX Theatre, providing a perfect blend of education and fun.

Retail and Dining: Darling Harbour is a shopping and dining haven, with a plethora of boutiques, eateries, and waterfront restaurants offering diverse culinary experiences, making it an ideal spot for leisurely strolls and socialising.

Public Spaces: Lush green spaces, scenic walkways, and inviting public squares provide residents and visitors with serene spots to relax, unwind, and take in the stunning views of the harbour.

Economic and Social Impact:

The Darling Harbour Project has not only transformed the physical landscape of Sydney but has also had a profound impact on the city’s economy and social fabric. The revitalised waterfront has become a major contributor to tourism revenue, drawing visitors from across the globe and generating employment opportunities in various sectors. Moreover, the project has fostered a sense of community pride and engagement, providing a space for locals to gather, celebrate, and connect.

Sustainability and Future Prospects:

In line with contemporary environmental concerns, sustainability played a pivotal role in the Darling Harbour Project’s execution. The incorporation of eco-friendly practices, such as water management systems, energy-efficient infrastructure, and sustainable landscaping, demonstrates the project’s commitment to a greener future. As Sydney continues to evolve, the Darling Harbour Project serves as a shining example of how urban development can coexist harmoniously with nature.


The Darling Harbour Project stands as a testament to Sydney’s unwavering commitment to urban renewal, innovation, and cultural enrichment. With its captivating blend of history, modernity, and sustainability, the project has breathed new life into a once-neglected waterfront, transforming it into a thriving hub of activity and inspiration. As Sydney’s citizens and visitors alike continue to enjoy the diverse offerings of the Darling Harbour precinct, its enduring legacy as an iconic urban revitalisation project is set to inspire cities around the world for generations to come.

IPA 2019 National Infrastructure Awards Winners Announced

Infrastructure Partnerships Australia has today announced the winners of the 2019 National Infrastructure Awards. This annual Awards ceremony recognises excellence in public administration and business, across major national projects.

IPA is an industry think tank and an executive member network, providing research focused on excellence in social and economic infrastructure. They exist to shape public debate and drive reform for the national interest.

Awards Ceremony

National Infrastructure Awards

The 2019 Awards were overseen by an independent judging panel, comprising:

  • Ms Leilani Frew, Chief Executive Officer, Infrastructure Project and Financing Agency
  • Ms Kim Curtain, Interim Deputy Secretary, Trade, Tourism, Investment and Precincts, NSW Treasury
  • Dr Steven Kennedy PSM, Secretary, Federal Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
  • Mr Jason Loos, Director, Department of Treasury and Finance, Victoria
  • Mr Neil Scales, Director-General, Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads

Infrastructure Partnerships Australia many nominees stood out to the judging panel amongst all the other entries because of his extraordinary commitment to the infrastructure sector.

The judges found that nominees had proven to be a major asset and path-breaking engineer for the rail teams. His on-the-job mentoring of younger team members and his exceptional work at the forefront of infrastructure delivery was exemplary.

Moreover, Major Road Project Victoria’s Alexis Davidson won the Award for Women’s Achievement in Infrastructure.

Ms Davidson has had a long and successful career in infrastructure over the last two decades. The judging panel said they were particularly impressed by her strong leadership and mentorship of other female engineers in the sector.

The judges praised Ms Davidson for consistently delivering outstanding business cases and developing an impressive reputation for her innovative thinking and professionalism as a female engineer at the forefront of infrastructure delivery.

Board & Leadership:

The National Advisory Board is drawn from the most senior levels of the public and business sectors. It provides high level advice that shapes our research and informs our advocacy within Australia’s infrastructure policy debate.