Thumbs up for WA Govt infrastructure advisor

CCIWA has welcomed a plan for creation of an independent board to provide the WA Government with expert advice on the state’s infrastructure needs and priorities.

The main roles of the board, Infrastructure WA, will include:

  • developing a 20-year strategy for infrastructure and industry investment
  • applying more rigour and transparency in evaluating infrastructure plans, business cases and decision-making
  • providing advice on alternative funding and financing options and
  • improving collaboration with government, community and industry on infrastructure planning and delivery.

CCI Chief Executive Chris Rodwell says CCI has long called for the establishment of an independent infrastructure body, comprised of both public and private sector representatives, to progress priority projects that will create the greatest economic benefit to our state.

“In the past, business cases for new infrastructure projects in WA have not always been made publicly available or been independently assessed,” he says.

“The independence of Infrastructure WA will provide transparency and certainty to industry around the state’s pipeline of works and their timing to ensure businesses can plan their investments, manage their workforce and retain critical specialised skills within the state.

“This will assist in improving community support for projects that are demonstrated to be of value, giving WA businesses and the community the assurance they need that infrastructure planning will transcend short-term politics and that our state has a clear direction for project investment and management.

“Confirmation that the Board of Infrastructure WA will have a majority of non-government members with a casting vote will also boost confidence in this long-term strategy.”

He says CCI is particularly pleased the State Government has confirmed that robust independent evaluation of projects will be used to maximise value for money for the state, and that it is working to increase the number of business cases submitted to Infrastructure Australia.

“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 – particularly for industries where the investment location is flexible,” Rodwell says.

“Improving the number and quality of business cases that are submitted to Infrastructure Australia is critical for the successful development and implementation of this 20-year State Infrastructure Strategy, as it will increase the likelihood of WA projects featuring on the Infrastructure Australia priority list and access to Federal Government infrastructure funding.”

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