Australia's infrastructure sector will have until Tuesday 20 March 2018 to comment on the proposed model for Infrastructure WA (IWA), launched on 7 February by the WA Government.
IWA at a glance
Similar agencies that provide an integrated approach to strategic infrastructure planning have long been established by the Commonwealth Government (Infrastructure Australia), and by governments in New South Wales (Infrastructure NSW), Victoria (Infrastructure Victoria), and Queensland (Building Queensland). The model for IWA closely aligns with that of Infrastructure NSW.
IWA's key objective will be to improve infrastructure planning and decision-making to maximise the value to WA from investments on infrastructure.
IWA will have a range of roles and functions:
- Developing a 20-year strategy for infrastructure and industry investment in WA
- Evaluating proposals with capital costs of greater than $100 million
- Applying more rigour and transparency in evaluating infrastructure plans, business cases and decision making
- Providing advice on alternative funding and financing options
- Supporting the work of agencies in developing their infrastructure plans to develop business cases for major infrastructure projects
- Direct reporting to the Premier to ensure highest oversight.
IWA will be an independent body of experts from the private and public sectors. The proposal is for a board of 10 members, 5 of whom will come from the public sector, and 5 Government representatives including the Directors General of the Departments of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) and Planning, Lands and Heritage.
Key issues in the consultation period
Some of the key issues arising from the proposed model include:
- IWA will not be required to submit a 5-year infrastructure plan to the Premier. Instead, the short to medium term plan will be driven by the Government of the day (led by DPC, in consultation with Treasury and IWA). This may impact the independence of long-term infrastructure planning in WA.
- IWA will assist agencies in developing business cases, as well as playing a role in evaluating those business cases. Strict requirements will need to be established around these dual roles to ensure IWA can maintain its independence and accountability.
Making your submission on the proposed model for IWA
Public comments on the proposed model must be submitted by Tuesday 20 March 2018 via the DPC website.