Project Appraisal Overview released for comment
05 September 2014
Today, I have released for public comment a paper prepared by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics, in consultation with state and territory governments, outlining a new framework for the appraisal of transport infrastructure projects.
For the first time, State and Territory Governments have agreed to consult on the development of a more sophisticated and consistent framework to assess and evaluate major infrastructure projects.
Following consultations on the findings from the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Public Infrastructure, Transport Ministers have agreed that the project appraisal framework outlined in the paper will be the basis for a revised National Guidelines for Transport System Management in Australia.
The new framework will seek to improve how information on cost benefit analysis and wider economic modelling is disclosed to decision makers and ultimately the public.
The framework will give greater emphasis to the contribution infrastructure makes to improving productivity, in particular, estimating ‘wider economic benefits’, a category of project impacts that economists have identified relatively recently.
Work is underway by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on how the estimation of wider economic benefits can be improved to enable their incorporation into project appraisal where relevant.
This framework will lead to more transparent decision making with major projects selected based on a broader range of factors that better reflect community expectations and achieve value for taxpayer's money.
I encourage all interested parties, including industry players, to review the proposed project appraisal framework and put their views forward by Friday 3 October 2014.
From this process we expect to deliver a nationally consistent approach to project evaluation that will guide Infrastructure Australia and the States to ensure we build a strong infrastructure base at less cost to taxpayers.
The paper and information on how to submit feedback is available online at infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure/publications/.