Infrastructure Australia Should Rank Alongside Productivity Commission

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13th October 2010, 04:35pm - Views: 986

Infrastructure Australia Should Rank Alongside Productivity Commission, Says Business

Infrastructure Partnerships Australia Executive Director Brendan Lyon called for an expansion of the role and independence of Infrastructure Australia - and the consideration of major reforms to transport taxation and superannuation - in an address to the National Press Club today.

"Infrastructure Australia has been a success, but we need the organisation to be resourced to do more," Mr Lyon said.

"The end of the initial funding provides the opportunity for Infrastructure Australia to be given permanency and be established alongside the likes of the Productivity Commission and the National Water Commission."

Mr Lyon's address called for four reforms; which were:
1. Transport taxation reform;
2. Harnessing superannuation into infrastructure;
3. Delivering the right structure for Infrastructure Australia; and
4. Renewed Federal funding for major projects.

Read the full speech here:

"A strengthened, well resourced Infrastructure Australia would have much greater effect in terms of considering and driving major regulatory reforms like road pricing and superannuation reform, as well as removing the crazy inconsistencies in planning and procurement that exist across state boundaries.

"An upgraded Infrastructure Australia could play an important role as a whole of government resource giving independent, strategic oversight to project planning by state and Federal departments that is free from short term considerations or geographic bias.

"The professional public service would take comfort in this oversight, because it would test and support good decision making and create an ally for projects that are in the national interest.

"But the challenge is that Infrastructure Australia's role must be supported by a permanent mechanism for the Commonwealth to bring sound projects forward.

"Infrastructure Australia's major output is a prioritised pipeline of infrastructure projects.

"With the Building Australia Fund depleted and no certainty of further surplus budgets in the immediate future, this will require a new funding mechanism.

"A pipeline of projects without any capacity to advance those projects could start to look more like a wish list than a national plan." Mr Lyon said.

Media contact:
Nicole Bisson
0438 380 464

SOURCE: Infrastructure Partnerships Australia

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