The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCI) has today welcomed the State Government’s draft Market-led Proposals Policy to establish processes to asses unsolicited bids from the private sector for new infrastructure projects.

Premier the Hon Mark McGowan MLA revealed the draft policy this morning at CCI’s annual Resource, Construction and Infrastructure Conference.

CCI Chief Executive Officer Chris Rodwell said CCI had long called for the Government to establish a policy framework to evaluate private sector-led infrastructure projects.

“Businesses are at the coalface of WA’s economic development and have their ear to the ground on potential new projects that would benefit the state,” Mr Rodwell said.

“Giving business a platform to work with the government on its long-term infrastructure planning would help the government achieve its own planning objectives while having the potential to improve the budget by removing the need to use but debt to fund the Asset Investment Program.

“This is imperative to unlock the public benefits which could arise from increased private sector involvement.”

This view is backed by the Economic Regulatory Authority (ERA), which recognises that “the Government is not the only source of infrastructure innovation, and in many instances, there may be opportunities for the private sector to identify new approaches to all aspects of government service delivery, assets and infrastructure management.”

“Today’s announcement will build on the Government’s establishment of Infrastructure WA to drive a long-term strategic approach to planning and the prioritisation of infrastructure across WA,” Mr Rodwell said.

“We know that high quality economic infrastructure, protecting appropriately-placed suitable land and efficient planning processes are key enablers for industry growth and the attraction of business investment to WA.

“It is vital that industry isn’t just part of this process but is able to take a leading innovative role, which is exactly what this Market-led Proposals Policy will achieve.

“CCI looks forward to continuing to work with the State Government on its final proposal during the public consultation period.”