Call for comments on Data Plan for infrastructure decisions Thursday, 26 October 2017

The Federal Government has released its Draft National Infrastructure Data Collection and Dissemination Plan and engineers are invited to contribute comments by 1 November.

The ‘Data Plan’ is part of the government’s reform agenda for infrastructure, with the aim of improving and co-ordinating information and data collection across key transport and infrastructure stakeholders. In putting the plan out for comment, the government acknowledged that things could be done better.

“[The plan is to] provide “improved and more timely information for infrastructure investment decisions and monitoring of the performance of Australia’s infrastructure networks.”

The Data Plan will also be used to develop opportunities to harness new data sources, including Big Data, from emerging sources. Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher said cars and trucks now generate large volumes of data which offers “rich opportunities to use this data to build better roads”.

But it’s not just about vehicles. Mr Fletcher revealed that opportunities discussed in the draft Data Plan include collecting road freight data for determining and addressing points of congestion for freight vehicles, and using telecommunications data to better understand large scale patterns in the movement of people.

“For example, we can use the data to see whether the roads that trucks actually use are the ones we think they use — helping us target where new road investment should go,” Mr Fletcher explained.

The 60-page consultation draft Data Plan was developed by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) along with infrastructure and transport experts from across the public sector, industry and academia.

BITRE is particularly interested in receiving input from individuals and organisations on:

  • key statistical and information sources, and data and information gaps
  • prioritised enduring questions
  • opportunities
  • draft infrastructure and freight performance measures
  • priorities for improving infrastructure data sharing and accessibility
  • ideas for priority projects that relate to data gaps associated with prioritised enduring questions.

Comments close 1 November 2017.