As advised in our recent alert, which can be viewed here, the Group of Twenty (G20) Leaders announced at the end of their two-day summit in Brisbane in November that an integral part of their plan to raise global growth by increasing investment in infrastructure would be the establishment of a Global Infrastructure Hub in Sydney. Partner, Tania Zordan provides an update on the project's progress.

The Australian Department of Treasury (Treasury) has taken responsibility and is now in the early stages of establishing the Global Infrastructure Hub (Hub). Other government departments (such as Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development) are expected to provide Treasury with assistance in setting up the Hub.

The following initiatives have been taken by Treasury to date to set up the Global Infrastructure Hub:

  • An international recruitment agency has been engaged to find a CEO to manage the Hub. Potential candidates are expected to have experience in both the public and private infrastructure industries.
  • The process of setting up the board for the Global Infrastructure Hub has commenced. Treasury is expected to have an ongoing role in the Hub through a direct appointment on the board, with the appointment of other board members distributed among other participating countries and chosen by their respective governments. The process of selecting which individuals will participate in the Hub’s inaugural board is currently underway.
  • G20 advisor to the Australian government and UBS Senior Advisor Robert Milliner will continue to assist Treasury with the establishment of the Global Infrastructure Hub, particularly as it concerns the Hub’s relationship with the private sector.
  • A location is currently being sought for the new Hub within Sydney, which is expected to be positioned somewhere in the heart of Sydney’s financial district.
  • Initiatives have begun to implement the legislative framework that will support the operations of the Global Infrastructure Hub. On 12 December 2014 Minister for Finance, Mathias Cormann registered the Financial Framework (Supplementary Powers) Amendment (2014 Measures No. 3) Regulation 2014 (Regulation) to establish legislative authority for the Government to form the Global Infrastructure Hub, a company limited by guarantee and to establish legislative authority for spending by the Australian Government to provide dedicated resources to the Global Infrastructure Hub.

The Explanatory Statement to the Regulation describes the objectives of the Hub as follows:

“The Hub will be established in Sydney to increase global investment in infrastructure by facilitating better information sharing and collaboration between the private sector, governments, development banks and international organisations on infrastructure investment.

With a four year mandate, the Hub will work internationally to help countries improve their general investment climates, reduce barriers to investment, increase the availability of investment-ready projects, help match potential investors with projects, and improve delivery of infrastructure policy around the world.

The Hub will, among other things, look to develop a global knowledge-sharing network; identify and where possible address key data gaps that may inhibit investment; identify practices that assist governments put in place the conditions and frameworks necessary to encourage greater infrastructure investment; build the capacity of officials and government institutions; share best practices; and develop a database of infrastructure projects to help match potential investors with projects.

The Hub will help achieve these practical outcomes by working collaboratively with governments, the private sector, development banks, international organisations and other stakeholders.  It will help draw together the collective expertise of these organisations to yield ongoing improvements to the functioning of infrastructure markets.  Further details on the Hub can be found on the G20 website (www.g20.org) and the Prime Minister’s announcement on 16 November 2014.

The Australian Government along with other G20 member countries, non-member countries, international organisations, non-government stakeholders and the private sector are expected to contribute to the Hub. …

The Department of the Treasury will administer this activity.”