Fixing Australia's infrastructure system
01 December 2014
The Australian Government is delivering on its commitment to fix Australia's infrastructure system by today announcing its response to the Productivity Commission's inquiry into Public Infrastructure.
The wide ranging Inquiry was a comprehensive investigation of the assessment, selection, finance and delivery of major economic infrastructure.
The inquiry found that the system left by Labor was broken and in desperate need of reform.
The Inquiry identified numerous examples of where inadequate project selection processes have resulted in costly outcomes for users and taxpayers â€“highlighting Labor's catastrophic National Broadband Network as the most significant example.
Poor project selection and a lack of planning is leaving Australia without the infrastructure it needs for the future and is acting as a barrier to much needed private sector investment.
To address these issues, we will implement new arrangements under our Infrastructure Investment Programme to improve the delivery of infrastructure in Australia, generate more private sector investment and ensure value for taxpayers' money.
The Government will place an increased emphasis on early planning and encourage jurisdictions to plan for projects which align with the long term priorities identified in Infrastructure Australia's upcoming 15-year plan.
In addition, we will:
- provide for greater transparency around cost benefit analysis by ensuring a robust methodology is developed and applied nationally;
- update the suite of project delivery guidelines to provide greater opportunities for private sector investment by reducing costs and unnecessary red tape; and
- ensure greater value for taxpayers' money by benchmarking costs and timeframes and evaluating projects.
The Australian Government is undertaking these reforms in partnership with the State and Territory Governments, who are most directly responsible for delivering a significant amount of our public infrastructure.
These new initiatives will support the significant number of reforms this Australian Government is already embarking on.
These include the reforms to Infrastructure Australia which improve its independence and accountability, ensuring all projects with an Australian Government investment of over $100 million are subject to a cost-benefit analysis, encouraging greater private sector investment in infrastructure projects, and reforming the national industrial relations settings through the re-establishment of the Australian Building and Construction Commission.
Infrastructure is a key pillar of the government's plan to build a stronger, more prosperous Australia.
The Government is investing a record $50 billion in infrastructure across the country, generating $125 billion of new investments.
Together with the reforms announced today, all Australians will benefit from a more productive transport network in the future.
The Inquiry Final Report can be downloaded from the Productivity Commission's website at www.pc.gov.au/projects/inquiry/infrastructure/report.
To access the Australian Government's response to the report, visit: www.infrastructure.gov.au.