Inaugural State Infrastructure Strategy tabled in parliament

The final State Infrastructure Strategy, Foundations for a Stronger Tomorrow, has been tabled in parliament by the Premier.

Led by Infrastructure WA (IWA), this is the state’s inaugural twenty year infrastructure plan and is the culmination of two years of research and consultation.

In September 2021, Shelter WA made a detailed submission in response to the draft version of this strategy where we welcomed the explicit focus on housing infrastructure with a standalone chapter and suite of recommendations. In particular, we supported the recommendations to revise the targets in the WA Housing Strategy 2020-2030 to align with evidence-based need, and to develop regional housing plans with explicit targets informed by demand modelling. Our feedback to the initial draft suggested a greater emphasis was needed on affordable housing models, including improved definitions and evaluation of outcomes. We also suggested that the funding of social and affordable housing requires greater certainty, with permanent mechanisms in place for both new supply and asset management.

According to IWA, strong support was received for the housing recommendations in the draft and feedback reinforced the critical importance of ongoing sustained investment and the need for suitable housing option across the housing continuum. New and amended sub-recommendations have been included in response to feedback calling for mechanisms to improve transparency and consistency across the sector, and in expanding consideration of affordable housing in the Strategy. A new sub-recommendation drawing attention to the need for government intervention to address complex housing demand and supply pressures in certain regional areas has also been included.

Shelter WA commends IWA for retaining the recommendations for revised housing targets and the development of regional plans in the final Strategy document and welcomes the added focus on affordable housing (including affordable rental supply models), which was a key recommendation of our submission.

Foundations for a Stronger Tomorrow will provide a long-term infrastructure outlook from which government and the private sector can plan and work for decades to come. The WA Government must now formally respond to the Strategy’s recommendations within six months, where it is required to indicate which it supports and, if applicable, the reasons for not supporting any recommendations in part or full.

Shelter WA will continue to advocate for WA Government endorsement and implementation of the social and affordable housing recommendations of the Strategy.

The strategy can be found here.