Steady hand takes wheel at Infrastructure Australia

Media Release

WT063/2015

05 March 2015

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss has welcomed Infrastructure Australia's appointment today of Mr Philip Davies as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Mr Truss said Mr Davies is an ideal fit for the role, bringing to the position a strong record of achievement and wealth of experience both in Australia and overseas.

“Mr Davies is an expert in infrastructure and transport planning,” Mr Truss said. “In addition to his experience as the Director, Infrastructure Advisory, Asia Pacific for AECOM Australia, he has also held the role of Director of Traffic Operations for Transport for London.

“The Government has reformed the governance of Infrastructure Australia to free it of the ministerial meddling which abounded under the previous Labor Government to make it a truly independent and more robust statutory authority.

“Under the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd governments Infrastructure Australia was not allowed to appoint its own CEO. Worse still, the then Infrastructure Coordinator reported solely to the Minister… never to an independent Board.

“The Infrastructure Australia Board was established in September 2014 under the Infrastructure Australia Amendment Bill 2013, which improved the transparency and accountability of Infrastructure Australia.

“Infrastructure Australia is the primary independent source of research and advice to the Australian Government. Infrastructure Australia has been commissioned to develop a 15-year plan for the country's current and future infrastructure needs and plays a key role in assessing the merits of major infrastructure projects.”

Mr Truss paid tribute to outgoing Infrastructure Australia head John Fitzgerald, who led the organisation first as Interim Infrastructure Coordinator and then as Acting CEO from April 2014.

“Mr Fitzgerald guided Infrastructure Australia through its transition to make it a more accountable and transparent body, refocussing its key priorities after amendments to the Infrastructure Australia Act 2008 in July 2014.

“I thank him for his efforts over the past 12 months.”

The new CEO will report to the Infrastructure Australia Board, which undertook an executive recruitment process to fill the position.