Upcoming Australian federal election & its impact on infrastructure

Sarah Shaw

4D Infrastructure

The Australian federal election will be held on Saturday 21 May 2022 to elect the members of the 47th Parliament of Australia. The incumbent Liberal-National Coalition government, led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, is seeking a fourth consecutive term in office. Opposition leader, Anthony Albanese, is seeking to return the Australian Labor Party (ALP) to government for the first time since 2013. Both parties have prioritised infrastructure investment in their election campaigns which could see some attractive investment opportunities for listed operators should they deliver on promises – in particular we see the energy and transport sectors growing.

The politics of the election

The election is likely to be closely contested, with a significant chance that decisions of the next Parliament will be swung by minor parties and/or independent candidates. This includes the Greens, United Australia, One Nation, other minor parties, and a variety of independent candidates.

Infrastructure: a key election battleground

Infrastructure, and infrastructure investment, has been a key point of policy debate during the election campaign. In this article we highlight the key infrastructure policy positions of the Coalition and ALP and what the potential implications and opportunities are for us as infrastructure investors.

Source: 4D Infrastructure 

As shown in the table above, regardless of the election outcome we see significant infrastructure investment over coming decades in Australia. Just the detailed Net Zero and emission reduction plans put forward by both parties present a huge long-term investment opportunity within the energy sector, with emphasis on supply, security and energy transition.

Impact on economic growth and the listed infrastructure sector

Increased infrastructure spending is not only occurring in Australia but also very broadly around the world. This spending is a clear positive for both the global economy and the listed infrastructure sector.

In terms of global economic growth, a November 2020 International Monetary Fund (IMF) research paper argues that a synchronised infrastructure investment push could invigorate growth, limit scarring, and address climate goals. The IMF believes that, when many countries act at the same time, public infrastructure investment can help lift growth domestically and abroad through trade linkages. This looks to be occurring at present.

The listed infrastructure sector is also a clear winner from increased public sector spending. It:

  • boosts economic growth and labour efficiency, which is good for all businesses but especially those infrastructure businesses which form the ‘arteries’ of the economy;
  • creates potential new opportunities for the private sector to co-invest alongside government or invest in place of governments; and
  • on a longer-term basis, potentially provides a bigger pool of infrastructure privatisation candidates.

Conclusion: investment opportunities abound

As we observed earlier, irrespective of the Australian election outcome there is going to be considerable infrastructure investment and development in Australia over coming decades.

There are multiple domestic and international listed stocks which have, and will continue to, capitalise on the infrastructure opportunity in Australia. We see Transurban, along with other global toll road operators, as a potential partner in future road investment, whether it be through investment in their existing roads, unsolicited investment proposals or future privatisations. APA Group and Iberdrola are amongst several listed organisations that have highlighted the opportunity set within the domestic energy sector and are eager to participate and facilitate generation, energy transition, transmission and distribution solutions.

Invest across the globe

4D Infrastructure is a Bennelong Funds Management boutique that invests in listed infrastructure companies across all four corners of the globe. For more insights on global infrastructure, visit 4D’s website.

Managed Fund
4D Global Infrastructure
Alternative Assets
1. https://www.liberal.org.au/our-plan/infrastructure 2. Australian’s Long-Term Emissions Reduction Plan (https://www.industry.gov.au/sites/default/files/October%202021/document/australias-long-term-emissions-reduction-plan.pdf) 3. Powering Australia (https://keystone-alp.s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/prod/61a9693a3f3c53001f975017-PoweringAustralia.pdf 4. https://theconversation.com/how-the-nsw-election-promises-on-transport-add-up-112531 5. https://www.miragenews.com/prime-minister-speech-liberal-election-campaign-782241/ 6. https://alp.org.au/policies/labors-plan-to-future-proof-australias-water-resources 7. https://www.liberal.org.au/our-plan/broadband 8. https://www.smh.com.au/national/government-splashes-cash-on-nbn-boost-for-regional-communities-ahead-of-election-20220321-p5a6ll.html The content contained in this wire represents the opinions of the authors. The authors may hold either long or short positions in securities of various companies discussed in the article. This commentary in no way constitutes a solicitation of business or investment advice. It is intended solely as an avenue for the authors to express their personal views on investing and for the entertainment of the reader. This information is issued by Bennelong Funds Management Ltd (ABN 39 111 214 085, AFSL 296806) (BFML) in relation to the 4D Global Infrastructure Fund (AUD Hedged), the 4D Global Infrastructure Fund (Unhedged) and the 4D Emerging Markets Infrastructure Fund. The Funds are managed by 4D Infrastructure, a Bennelong boutique. This is general information only, and does not constitute financial, tax or legal advice or an offer or solicitation to subscribe for units in any fund of which BFML is the Trustee or Responsible Entity (Bennelong Fund). This information has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the information or deciding whether to acquire or hold a product, you should consider the appropriateness of the information based on your own objectives, financial situation or needs or consult a professional adviser. You should also consider the relevant Information Memorandum (IM) and or Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) which is available on the BFML website, bennelongfunds.com, or by phoning 1800 895 388 (AU) or 0800 442 304 (NZ). Information about the Target Market Determinations (TMDs) for the Bennelong Funds is available on the BFML website. BFML may receive management and or performance fees from the Bennelong Funds, details of which are also set out in the current IM and or PDS. BFML and the Bennelong Funds, their affiliates and associates accept no liability for any inaccurate, incomplete or omitted information of any kind or any losses caused by using this information. All investments carry risks. There can be no assurance that any Bennelong Fund will achieve its targeted rate of return and no guarantee against loss resulting from an investment in any Bennelong Fund. Past fund performance is not indicative of future performance. Information is current as at the date of this article. 4D Infrastructure Pty Ltd (ABN 26 604 979 259) is a Corporate Authorised Representative of BFML.

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Sarah Shaw
Global Portfolio Manager and Chief Investment Officer
4D Infrastructure

Sarah has almost 30 years of experience across financial services, including 20 years focused on global listed infrastructure. She is an experienced portfolio manager, having successfully launched and managed several listed infrastructure funds...


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