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Regional Infrastructure Study
The Department of Transport, has awarded a tender to a consortium (known as MomeNTum) to prepare a Regional Infrastructure Study.
The study will be done by a multi-disciplinary team from GHD, KPMG, Michels Warren Munday, Parsons Brinkerhoff and QS Services. It will include desk research of previous studies, infrastructure audits, an analysis of the Territory’s economy and stakeholder engagement.
The project was funded by $1.2 million from Infrastructure Australia and is due to be completed by November 2014.
It will identify priority regional infrastructure investments that will drive the next stages of economic and social development in the Territory’s regional areas.
This will complement work being done on the Northern Development White Paper, the infrastructure audit by Infrastructure Australia and a study in the potential redevelopment of Darwin’s port and foreshore area to accelerate Northern Australia’s growth.
The study will provide evidence-based proposals to attract or leverage off private sector investment or make the case for Australian Government funding for infrastructure projects that will support future resource, tourism and agricultural growth that will enable social and economic development in regional areas.
What the project covers
The aim of the project is to look at existing and prospective economic activity in the Territory, particularly in key sectors such as mining, oil and gas, tourism, horticulture, agriculture and the pastoral industry.
The focus is on the regions, not Alice Springs and Darwin, which are covered by a separate Infrastructure Australia audit, however these major towns will be considered in the context of their role in the supply chain and services they provide to regional areas.
The study will consider the following key issues:
- what infrastructure is needed to support key economic activity
- what other projects might be unlocked by key infrastructure (for example, a sealed road might make other mines viable, help horticulturalists get produce to market and open up tourist areas)
- what social and economic benefits would be unlocked or, in other words, how would infrastructure build regional economies, supports jobs and businesses and contribute to community and essential services.
The team will use this information to prepare a 30-year regional infrastructure plan, which is a long-term blueprint to guide government and private sector spending on roads, ports, essential services and other infrastructure.
The study will also prioritise 10 infrastructure projects that best unlock social and economic benefits for regions as well as looking at options for financing them, including Infrastructure Australia grants and private investment.
The Northern Territory Government will then ask the team to prepare a detailed business case for at least one of these projects to ensure a professional application can be put forward to Infrastructure Australia on the Territory’s behalf.
Work for the Regional Infrastructure Study will also support the Northern Territory Government’s North Australia Development Strategy by helping to identify growth areas that could be of interest to investors.
The study will take account of community aspirations but it must be stressed that the aim of the exercise is to take a regional approach and look for multi-use infrastructure that grows the Territory’s regional economy.
The information and analysis should provide useful background for investors looking at opportunities in the Northern Territory.
What work is being done
The team is starting with scoping studies to gather all previous relevant studies, start with desk top research and meet with the Project Control Group, which is led by the Department of Transport.
KPMG is working on regional economic analysis, taking into account key industry sectors in the Northern Territory.
GHD and Parsons Brinkerhoff are doing detailed audits of regional infrastructure in three main categories:
- transport (road, rail, ports, barges, bridges, aerodromes, telecommunications)
- community infrastructure (schools, stores, health clinics, trade training centres, housing)
- essential services (power, water, sewerage, waste water).
Michels Warren Munday is coordinating stakeholder engagement.
QS Services will cost the prioritised projects.
What the department would like to find out
The department aims to investigate all of the following:
- anything that contributes to our understanding of current or existing economic activity in the Northern Territory
- any plans for government or private sector investment in infrastructure, including infrastructure that could be shared to unlock wider regional benefits
- What are the infrastructure constraints impeding projects
- Any thoughts on clustering or aggregated infrastructure development that could happen if various parties or industries worked together
- What other projects might be unlocked in regions if there were to be new ports, roads or other infrastructure
- what are communities’ priorities and aspirations for economic development
Also the department wants to find out the social and economic benefits that might be unlocked such as jobs, education, business development and better services to remote communities.
The consultants have been meeting with industry associations, businesses, land councils, shires, economic development committees, government staff and community groups.
Regional workshops were run in July to provide feedback on the regional economic studies and infrastructure audits, as well as to prioritise infrastructure projects that will unlock the greatest regional economic and social benefits.
0415 737 792
Project Manager and transport:
0407 728 118
Parson Brinkerhoff (Essential Services)
0458 610 663
Parsons Brinkerhoff (Community infrastructure)
0447 210 675
KPMG (economic study)
0430 343 143
Last updated: 18 April 2016