Report finds accelerated changes in infrastructure due to Covid-19
Changes in digitisation, local infrastructure use and service adaption have been key responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia, a new report has found.
The Infrastructure beyond COVID-19 report, comes from a national study on the impacts of the pandemic on Australia, developed by Infrastructure Australia and L.E.K Consulting.
Requested by the Australian Government in the 2020-21 Budget, the report found overall the Australian infrastructure sector responded well to the impacts of COVID-19. It looked at all critical infrastructure including the transport, telecommunications, digital, energy, water, waste, and social infrastructure sectors.
The report also found lockdowns, social distancing and work-from-home measures impacted projects by creating new trends and reversing others.
Infrastructure Australia Chief Executive Romilly Madew said this report establishes a baseline to help us understand how COVID-19 has changed the way we use infrastructure, and which of these changes could have lasting impacts on how we plan, fund and deliver the services we all rely on.
“COVID-19 has put a pause on the traditional driver of infrastructure, Net Overseas Migration, however the pace of change in the sector has generally increased, with new emerging trends.”
For instance the previously increasing trend of public transport use fell to 10 to 30 per cent of normal levels in the initial lockdown stage and settled at about 60 to 70 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.
But driving and traffic levels quickly rebounded, bolstered by an uplift in second hand car purchases.