The Australian and New Zealand governments have announced the launch of a joint infrastructure pipeline initiative to encourage infrastructure investment, but Industry Super Australia says more needs to be done.
The Australia New Zealand Infrastructure Pipeline will reinforce “a shared commitment to Trans-Tasman collaboration, open markets, innovation and investment”, while encouraging foreign direct investment, Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison said on Friday.
ISA however called on the government to “be more proactive in partnering with super funds to develop clear infrastructure investment pipelines”, with ISA chief economist Stephen Anthony cautioning that more needed to be done to prevent “consigning the economy to a low growth trajectory”.
"Industry super funds have spent 30 years improving their investment model to the benefit of both members and the broader economy. They are ready, willing, and able to develop the large infrastructure that Australia needs to jump-start growth," he said.
Mr Anthony told InvestorDaily that the super sector would "very much like to sit down with them and help them frame an agenda that does pick up these sorts of issues in a way that’s workable to them".
“What we’re calling for is a fundamental structural engagement between the federal and state governments, and long-term investors like the super sector,” Mr Anthony said.
“What we don’t want is something that’s convenient in the context of an Australia-New Zealand dialogue that doesn’t deal with the fundamental, broader issues for our national economy and our long-term future.”
ISA “very much appreciate” the government’s push for infrastructure investment, but needs to go further and look to work with long-term domestic investors rather than foreign governments, Mr Anthony said.
“This is hardly a long-term institutional arrangement that addresses the needs of the whole nation, and each state, and directly interacts with the whole super sector that has $2 trillion in assets,” he said.
“Why would you strike a deal with New Zealand before your own super sector?”