Discussion paper released on private sector involvement in $600m Northern Australia Roads Programme

THE Australian Government last week released a discussion paper on ways of maximising value for money from its investments in northern Australia's infrastructure through private sector involvement.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the paper invites the private sector to bring forward innovative funding and delivery proposals for projects to be delivered under the $600 million Northern Australia Roads Programme.

Brand new Iron Road S34814
Above: 'Brand new Iron Road S34814', Port Hedland / by yaruman5.

"The Government is keen to test the market to see what the appetite is for delivering innovative investment in road transport infrastructure in the north," Mr Truss said.

"Our focus is on delivering outcomes for Northern Australia—and we will choose whatever works best, be it a private sector proposal or delivery by government. And what works for one particular road may not work for another.

"This discussion paper calls for proposals from the private sector on how to stimulate greater competition and investment under the Northern Australia Roads Programme."

Minister for Major Projects Paul Fletcher said that in delivering the best outcome for northern Australia, it was important to test whether private sector ideas could allow more to be delivered for the funds committed by government.

"We are therefore seeking the private sector's input on realistic and workable concepts and innovative models that will maximise the value of public investments in northern Australia road infrastructure," Mr Fletcher said.

"Not all models may be commercially viable—but the best way to find out is to call for expressions of interest.

"I encourage interested private sector players to put forward realistic and workable models in response to the discussion paper."

Expressions of Interest from the private sector close on 29 January 2016. More information is available from the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development website at <>.

Photo: 'Brand new Iron Road S34814', Port Hedland, WA / yaruman5 / Licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0.

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