The Queensland Government has started the process to establish a new independent statutory advisory body to provide independent advice to the State and government agencies on infrastructure projects and proposals.
The Building Queensland Bill was introduced to Parliament on Tuesday 19 May 2015 and has beenreferred to Committee. An election promise of the Labor party, Building Queensland will operate with the objective of helping deliver a 'whole-of-government' perspective to infrastructure planning and investment to ensure economic and community benefit.
Building Queensland's main operative will include providing advice on:
- the State's current and future infrastructure needs and priorities;
- policy, pricing and regulatory issues that may impact on the use of infrastructure;
- options for reforms, including regulatory reforms, to make the use of infrastructure more efficient; and
- emerging national and international policy trends to improve the State's future procurement and project financing arrangements and promote the delivery of better infrastructure to Queensland.
In addition to this advisory function, Building Queensland will also:
- develop a robust and transparent framework for assessing infrastructure projects;
- evaluate proposals for new and existing infrastructure including the preparation of an infrastructure priority pipeline;
- assist or lead the preparation of certain business cases for infrastructure proposals;
- seek to increase opportunities for leveraging Commonwealth funding; and
- publish information and promote public awareness.
For infrastructure companies and investors, it will be interesting to see the effect that Building Queensland will have on the roll out of the State's infrastructure plan and any impact that it may have on what that new infrastructure play may look like.
Building Queensland will be headed by David Quinn, who recently lead Queensland Government's commercial advisory and procurement arm, Projects Queensland.
It is anticipated that Building Queensland will not serve as an advocate for any particular infrastructure project, but rather it will develop a standard cost-benefit analysis to allow it to make robust recommendations to the State about infrastructure priorities generally.
At this stage, submission dates have not yet been set.