The Queensland Government has taken a further step towards the establishment of a new independent statutory advisory body called Building Queensland.

This week, the Government introduced Building Queensland Bill 2015 (the Bill) to formally establish Building Queensland and define its powers and functions.

The stated purpose of the body is to facilitate a whole-of-government approach to infrastructure planning and investment. 

WHAT WILL BUILDING QUEENSLAND DO?

Building Queensland will independently assess infrastructure projects through business case development, including cost benefit analysis and an assessment of the community benefits.

The Bill outlines that Building Queensland will provide advice to government agencies about certain matters, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • current and future needs and priorities;
  • policies, pricing and regulatory issues;
  • impediments;
  • options and reforms;
  • emerging trends;
  • needs of users; and
  • the delivery of projects.

Separately, Building Queensland may provide advice to private stakeholders. If the Government is investigating private finance options, Building Queensland may liaise with Queensland Treasury to facilitate this (however ultimate procurement responsibility will remain with Queensland Treasury).

A key output of Building Queensland will be the creation of a pipeline of priority infrastructure projects that will be provided to the Queensland government for consideration. The intention is for Building Queensland to operate in a similar manner to Infrastructure Australia.

INVOLVEMENT IN BUSINESS CASE DEVELOPMENT

The extent of Building Queensland’s involvement in preparing business cases for infrastructure projects will depend on the estimated capital cost of the project, as follows:

Click here to view table.

In general, it is not proposed that Building Queensland will lead the procurement of an infrastructure project. The Bill indicates that this may only occur in a rare case (upon direction from the responsible Minister).

WHERE TO NEXT?

This is a space to monitor with the Bill currently being considered by Parliament.

All participants in infrastructure projects will, to some extent, be affected by the introduction of Building Queensland. Innovative funding models and partnering with industry, including through Public Private Partnerships, will likely continue to be used to deliver infrastructure for appropriate projects.