NAB today released its inaugural report from the Catalyst Insights Series, Reimagining Australia’s Infrastructure 2017.
The Catalyst Insights Series brings together industry experts and leading thinkers to discuss the issues that are central to securing Australia’s future prosperity. Its purpose is to take ideas beyond the boardroom, to help shift the national conversation in the direction of action and discover possible solutions to some of Australia’s biggest social, economic and community challenges. The series reflects our strong commitment to working with industry, business and community stakeholders to support growth and opportunity in an inclusive Australian economy.
Australia’s population is set to grow by about 400,000 people each year for the next several decades, reaching nearly 40 million by 2055. This is the equivalent of building a new city the size of Sydney every decade. As it currently stands, Australia’s infrastructure is not sufficient to meet this expected increase in population, nor slow trends like increased congestion, deteriorating housing affordability and travel times that are impacting upon the quality of life of many Australians.
Our population isn’t just growing, it’s ageing too. As the Australian community gets older, the lack of appropriate infrastructure will hinder access to essential services like hospitals, public transport and community-based care. This means we have to think now about what kind of infrastructure the Australian community needs in the decades to come, not just the next one to two years.
The role of Australia’s banks in this task goes beyond just financing projects. We are critical in bringing together the many players in the infrastructure sector to collaborate and search for better outcomes. In particular, we have a role to play in championing system-based thinking approaches and supporting an emerging proactive customer voice.
At NAB, we are motivated by the interests of all of our customers. Our customers include the businesses that build infrastructure, the people who deliver services through that infrastructure, superannuation funds that invest in infrastructure, everyday Australians whose super goes into those funds, and the users of roads, hospitals, public transport and airports. We have a powerful and unique perspective. The Australian private sector has a shared responsibility to build confidence in the future of Australia to secure the ongoing economic and social prosperity of the nation.
This means embracing bold thinking, guided by a long-term vision, and taking a strong leadership position to turn ideas into reality. It is a collective challenge that NAB is committed to tackling with our customers, for our customers.
Dr Ken Henry, National Australia Bank Chairman
The report was developed following a roundtable focused specifically on infrastructure, where Dr Henry was joined by:
- Garry Bowditch, Executive Director, Better Infrastructure Initiative at the John Grill Centre, University of Sydney
- Cathryn Carver, Acting Chief Customer Officer Corporate and Institutional Banking, National Australia Bank
- Sam Kaplan, Managing Director, Kaplan Funds Management
- Steve Lambert, Executive General Manager, Capital Financing, National Australia Bank
- Mike Mrdak, Secretary, Federal Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
- John Pierce, Chairman, Australian Energy Market Commission
- Kerry Schott, Chairman, Moorebank Intermodal Company Ltd
- Robert Stewart, Managing Partner, Global Infrastructure Partners