Today, the Andrews Government will introduce legislation into Parliament to create Infrastructure Victoria, a new entity that will be charged with the responsibility for developing a long-term pipeline of key infrastructure projects.
Committee for Melbourne recently released The case for an independent Infrastructure Victoria, a discussion paper that outlines best practice principles for establishing an independent, accountable and transparent infrastructure prioritisation entity.
The ten Principles for infrastructure Prioritisation listed in the document were:
1. Independence – to transcend political cycles
2. Transparency – in presenting recommendations
3. Appropriate powers – to ensure independence is adhered to
4. Accountability – which clearly defines roles and responsibilities including their limitations
5. Evidence-based analysis – that underpins project prioritisation
6. Cross-sector holistic approach – to maximise state-wide network benefits
7. Alignment – with the broader state-wide socioeconomic vision
8. Quality appointments – to ensure credibility with government and the public at large
9. Stakeholder engagement – to ensure appropriate stakeholder engagement
10. Flexibility – to allow for appropriate changes to be made if good reasoning dictates
Committee for Melbourne CEO Kate Roffey says “It is pleasing to see that these key principles are strongly reflected in the proposed Infrastructure Victoria Bill, in particular the Andrews Government emphasis on ensuring this pipeline of projects will be prioritised on the basis of ‘objective, transparent analysis and evidence’.”
“For too long we have seen short-term thinking and political nuance result in key projects being pulled off the infrastructure agenda, and this stunts the growth and development of Melbourne and Victoria. It is critical that we get the process of infrastructure prioritisation right, and that means an independently developed long-term plan,” said Roffey.
The establishment of an independent Infrastructure Victoria entity is a good move forward for the State and the Andrews Government should be supported in taking this important step.