Housing is the top infrastructure gap in regional Australia, says Infrastructure Australia’s Policy Chief Peter Colacino.
“The most significant gap in our nation is availability, diversity and affordability of housing,” Colacino told the Australia Property Institute’s 2022 National Property Conference.
He said cost, location and being fit-for-purpose were key issues across the entire housing spectrum.
There were 26 regions across the country that prioritised housing as a gap in IA’s Regional Infrastructure Gap Prioritisation Framework.
The other priority infrastructure gaps were broadband and mobile connectivity; water security; access to further education and skills training; and capacity, connectivity and quality of public transport.
“Our focus at Infrastructure Australia is on infrastructure, so housing for a public good and we’re particularly interested in the idea of social and affordable housing,” he said.
“But the needs are much more varied and the needs are varied at a time when we see pressure on the sector to deliver because of strong demand in infrastructure and the impact of natural disasters such as in southeast Queensland and northern NSW.
“This is a gap, this is a need and it’s perhaps the largest need in our nation.
“We stand ready and we have tried through our reports like the Australian Infrastructure Plan to promote reform to deliver meaningful change.”
IA’s 2022 Regional Strengths and Infrastructure Gaps report said local stakeholders across Regional Australia had highlighted a lack of appropriate housing as being a major constraint in attracting and retaining skilled workers to the regions, many of which were already experiencing skills shortages.
The report said poor housing availability, diversity and affordability in the regions was inhibiting capacity for population and economic growth.
Read further insights from NPC 2022