Infrastructure Australia launches audit and 15 year plan

Friday, 19 September 2014

Infrastructure Australia has declared a “fresh start” with the announcement of a new board while commencing a full audit of existing national infrastructure and designing a 15 year national infrastructure plan.

The new board includes two engineers, a sign that government is aware it needs to ‘re-engineer’ decision makers and listening to its critics. Associate Prof Colin Duffield is the civil engineering leader and coordinator for postgraduate engineering project management courses within the Department of Infrastructure Engineering at the University of Melbourne while Peter Watson, a civil engineer, runs his own consultancy and has been involved in an extensive range of industries.

Other board members include the chair Mark Birrell, Julieanne Alroe, Gerard Blood, Michael Carapiet, Peter Corish, Nicole Lockwood, Daniel Norton and Dr Kerry Schott. While Infrastructure Australia is an independent government-based body, adding two eminent engineering based persons onto the board is indicative that the government has been listening to its critics. The independent board will be able to appoint a CEO to Infrastructure Australia. The acting CEO is John Fitzgerald.

Infrastructure Australia is now set to complete a “comprehensive audit” of existing national infrastructure that will be presented to the federal government later this year. It will also publish a 15 year national infrastructure plan which will be based on consultation about current and future infrastructure needs; means of financing and delivering infrastructure; and ideas for better planning and use of infrastructure networks.

Birrell said Infrastructure Australia will be a key source of research and advice on the projects and reforms Australia needs to fill the infrastructure gap. The federal government appears pleased with the new independent statutory body as it pursues the establishment of a similarly modelled global-based organisation at the G20 summit in Brisbane. Treasurer Joe Hockey said itcan cover everything from private-sector involvement in the provision of basic infrastructure like water and electricity, right through to cross-border PPPs,” he told The Australian.

Photo: VicRoads

This news item has been posted by Engineers Media, a wholly owned subsidiary of Engineers Australia.