Media Release


Victorian Government Urged To Borrow For Infrastructure



The Urban Development of Institute of Australia (Victoria) has called for the Victorian Government to encourage Victorians to invest in infrastructure through Government Guaranteed Bonds and also borrow funds to implement major infrastructure projects to stimulate employment and the economy.

Tony De Domenico Executive Director

The peak property body rejected the idea being put forward to add tolls to existing roads which had already been paid for by the community, saying tolls could be part of the package to fund new infrastructure.

Tony De Domenico, Executive Director of the UDIA (VIC) said, "The fear of the Government borrowing funds and incurring reasonable debt needs to put in perspective and can be done without threatening Victoria's triple AAA rating."

"It is entirely responsible for the Victorian Government to consider incurring some debt to get some major well chosen and costed infrastructure projects underway as soon as possible."

Mr De Domenico said that the time is right for Government to be borrowing with interest rates at historic lows, and the opportunity to lock in favourable arrangements to fund urgently needed infrastructure projects to unlock the gridlock of Melbourne's road network, improve public transport and other infrastructure facilities.

"We believe, after a number of financial collapses where many investors have lost considerable funds, the introduction of Government backed Infrastructure Bonds would provide a safe area for investment, especially for superannuation funds."

"It is important that the catch up on infrastructure building in Victoria is accelerated to cope with the growing population and act as a catalyst to increase employment and demand for services and Victorian manufacturing."

In a ten point plan to the Victorian Government last year the UDIA called for the investigation of ways to fund shovel-ready infrastructure, such as state-backed infrastructure bonds, tax increment financing and public-private-partnerships.

The ten point plan also included:
* The establishment of a properly funded Development Facilitation Unit for major developments and establish a "front door" for the development industry within Department Planning and Community Development.
* Commit to infrastructure projects close to high population growth areas to promote confidence and employment.
* Ensure the Victorian budget funds a programme of infrastructure works that meets demographic projections.

Media Enquires:

Ron Smith, Corporate Media Communications, UDIA (VIC) - Mobile: 0417 329 201