Securing Commonwealth funds for WA major projects is about to get easier following the announcement of a new approach to long-term infrastructure planning.A blueprint for the establishment of Infrastructure WA (IWA) was released this week by WA Premier Mark McGowan. The six-week public consultation period closes on March 20, 2018. Industry stakeholders are also invited to register for an information forum at https://www.dpc.wa.gov.au/infrastructurewa
Focused on ensuring investment is made in the right projects, at the right time, and generating a pipeline of jobs in WA, the Premier invited industry groups and the public to provide feedback on the proposed model.
IWA will be an independent board tasked with providing government expert advice on the State's infrastructure needs and priorities, maximising the value to Western Australia from every dollar spent on major proposals developed by government agencies.
Infrastructure WA's other main roles 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.
The model, which recommends that IWA be enshrined in legislation to provide certainty and help foster a bipartisan approach, proposes the board is made up of government and non-government representatives reporting directly to the Premier.
"Investment in infrastructure is critical in growing the economy, generating jobs and supporting sustainable and vibrant communities," Mr McGowan said on Tuesday. "For too long, the State has suffered from a short-term focus on infrastructure planning. There is a strong need for a co-ordinated, long-term vision to build the infrastructure we need in the right place and at the right time."
The Premier said that Infrastructure WA will provide "expert, independent advice to government on the State's needs and priorities" to promote better spending habits and develop the 20-year strategy.
"IWA will identify the infrastructure needed to keep growing the economy and create jobs, providing certainty to industry and encouraging private sector investment. We need to get this right in order to plan for the State that we would like to leave our children and grandchildren. I encourage the public to consider the proposal and provide feedback during the consultation period."
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