State of the Environment Report title
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2004 Report



Infrastructure

Indicator description

The quality of life of communities is dependent on the condition and extent of infrastructure systems such as energy and water. To effectively manage public infrastructure assets it is necessary to develop long-term management plans that incorporate the true cost of developing, maintaining and upgrading infrastructure systems, as well as projecting likely future demand and other factors. It also includes planning for risk, to minimise the likelihood of failure. Inadequate planning can present significant problems for future generations and the environment.

The extent and effectiveness of longer-term planning is an indicator of the community's commitment to provision of sustainable infrastructure now and in the future to maintain an acceptable quality of life, and minimising the impact of human settlement on the state of the environment. Longer-term management of heritage places is also important to prevent a decline in the value of heritage places and objects in a community.

Each of the following sectors should be considered in terms of how many years ahead management plans plan for, and the adequacy of provision for risk, maintenance, upgrades and replacement:

A number of activities such as urbanisation, tourism, and recreation can place significant stress on existing infrastructure. These can divert resources away from maintenance to new areas, or by demanding more from existing infrastructure that is servicing existing areas which are experiencing significant population growth.