Plant & Equipment

State govt passes ?landmark? infrastructure reform

Victoria’s new independent statutory authority, Infrastructure Victoria, will be responsible for ensuring the state’s infrastructure needs are identified and prioritised based on objective, transparent analysis and evidence.

“Infrastructure Victoria will ensure that despite whoever is in power, there is a pipeline of infrastructure meeting the state’s needs,” Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews explained.

Victorian Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings added, “For too long, evidence and transparency have been secondary considerations when it’s come to Victoria’s infrastructure decisions. The community expects that critical decisions on infrastructure should be based on priorities, not politics, and Infrastructure Victoria will do just that.”

As previously reported by Quarry, the new expert body will be required to publicly release a 30-year strategic plan detailing the state’s short, medium and long-term infrastructure requirements. The state government will then respond with a five-year infrastructure plan that outlines priority projects and funding commitments, and Infrastructure Victoria will monitor the state government’s progress in implementing the plan.

The new statutory authority will also support government decisions by assessing business cases for major projects and publishing research on a range of infrastructure issues.

Increasing transparency

Consult Australia chief executive Megan Motto said industry and consumers alike would feel the benefits of Infrastructure Victoria’s work, particularly due to the fact that it would largely remove the political influence from the infrastructure planning process.

“While we’re never going to completely take the politics out of decision-making around infrastructure project selection, we can at least increase transparency as to what the expert advice is, and force the relevant ministers to explain why they might have disregarded that,” Motto stated.

“The development of 30-year long-term infrastructure plans, together with short- and medium-term priorities, also gives industry greater certainty, and allows us to plan for the future to ensure we’re best able to meet the needs of projects as they are put out to market.”

A Victorian Government spokesperson told Quarry that the board for Infrastructure Victoria would be appointed shortly, adding that the new authority would come into effect in the coming weeks and would immediately begin work on the 30-year strategic plan.

The plan is due to be released in late 2016.

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New infrastructure body to provide greater certainty

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