Infrastructure due for a change

By Greg Bell

Nothing opens up more opportunities for commercial real estate development and industrial expansion than new infrastructure. Not only do works open up swathes of new, accessible land, but they also provide opportunities for local businesses and contractors to take on more jobs and more staff.

According to the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, the latest federal budget continues the government's commitment to providing $50billion up to 2019-20 for the improvement of infrastructure and development of safe and useable roads. But where is this money (and other funding) most sorely needed? The inaugural Australian Infrastructure Audit Report could provide some indication of where this spending should occur.

Australian Infrastructure Audit Report

The report by Infrastructure Australia highlights issues facing the entire country over the next decade and more, and lays out some suggestions for where the government can make improvements. As mentioned above, traffic and roadworks play a vital role in keeping our economy flowing. The report finds that by 2031, some of the most congested corridors in Brisbane and other areas could increase by at least 20 per cent.

Public transport demand is expected to double over the next 20 years, and the burden on our national land freight is expected to increase by 80 per cent – most of which will be handled by road freight vehicles. Ensuring that goods can get from one commercial premises to another enables our economy to keep functioning. The arterials and highways are easily likened to arteries and veins when you consider that the produce and material shipped around the country is the lifeblood of local communities and the national economy.

Those with industrial leasing agreements in the Gold Coast could be interested to find out what developments could be coming to their neck of the woods, there is still some waiting to do. Now that the audit is complete, Infrastructure Australia begins its consultation with governments and other stakeholders, as it develops a 15-year plan to tackle the issues that have come to the surface.

Drawing inspiration from the electricity network

It was noted by Infrastructure Australia chairman Mark Birrell that without public and private commitments to furthering Australia's infrastructure, little progress would be made. He said that reform in other sectors and networks had already proved successful, laying out a game plan for the upkeep and improvement of road and land infrastructure.

"The telecommunications and energy sectors highlight how well-structured reforms can lead to positive outcomes for consumers. However, these reforms need to be deepened and applied across other sectors, as markets can drive higher standards of service delivery," said Mr Birrell in a 22 May statement.

Just last month the Australian Energy Regulator made changes to the networks on the eastern seaboard which will see Queensland businesses saving money every month. the regulator was able to clamp down on prices to end users by making changes upstream, determining how much companies can charge for passing on power from the grid.

"Small businesses in South East Queensland should see a reduction in their annual electricity bills of about 1.8 per cent or $53," said Nick Behrens, director of advocacy for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland.

Better business decisions

There are plenty of ways businesses can make better decisions to enhance the profitability of their commercial premises. Whether it's taking advantage of expected infrastructure improvements, tapping into cheaper electricity prices or checking out new industrial property for lease in Surfers Paradise, there is always something that can be done.

If you think your commercial real estate needs are not being met, talk to the Ray White Surfers Paradise commercial division for ideas on how to improve your return on investment.

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