The year 2020 was regarded as one of the most dramatic on record in terms of natural disasters (drought, floods and fire), the overwhelming health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and increasing cyber-attacks.
Consecutive national disasters have highlighted the importance of infrastructure to Australia’s wellbeing and economy by bringing into focus the fragility of many facets of Australia’s infrastructure, particularly in the eastern states.
The resilience, planning, social licence, and funding of civil infrastructure present critical challenges to governments and communities in Australia, which must be better equipped (resourced, trained and informed) to deal with national disasters now and into the future.
The statement outlines ATSE’s position in the four key areas as follows:
- Resilience to natural disasters, technological changes and cyberattacks must be considered in all infrastructure projects now and in the future.
- Vision, capability, trust, continuity, and consistency are the key drivers for infrastructure projects that require long-term planning and implementation strategies.
- Engaging the local community when initiating an infrastructure project is key to establishing a social licence.
- Economic recovery should be supported by funding infrastructure projects with short to medium completion times.