Today the New South Wales Premier, the Hon Mike Baird MP, the State Treasurer, the Hon Andrew Constance MP, and I met with a group of representatives from the superannuation industry, industry groups, investment managers and government.
We discussed practical ways to encourage Australia's superannuation industry to invest further in infrastructure projects in Australia, particularly in new assets.
The Forum focused on how Australia's superannuation funds can work with State and Territory governments, and the Commonwealth Government, to develop the infrastructure needed to boost economic growth and create jobs.
Even though Australian superannuation funds have one of the highest asset allocations to infrastructure in the world, funds can sometimes be discouraged from investing in infrastructure because of high risk, high bid costs and liquidity constraints.
We discussed ways that State and Territory Governments can help mitigate project risk and provide maximum access to infrastructure assets.
In particular, we discussed investment in 'greenfield' assets – investment in new infrastructure – and explored initiatives such as improvements to the current regulatory settings, that could encourage greater involvement in this type of infrastructure by superannuation funds.
The Australian Government is investing $50 billion across Australia over seven years to deliver vital transport infrastructure for the 21st Century.
Both the New South Wales and Commonwealth Governments are committed to asset recycling to stimulate state government balance sheets. The Asset Recycling Initiative will generate close to $40 billion in new infrastructure investment across Australia.
Australia continues to have an infrastructure deficit, and this frustrates thousands of Australian commuters every day, as well as putting a handbrake on the productive capacity of Australia.
All levels of government are looking at ways to work more closely with the private sector to address funding constraints.