A NEW standalone unit aimed at fostering investment partnerships that deliver positive infrastructure outcomes has been set up within the Queensland Department of Treasury and Trade, fulfilling a commitment made by the Queensland Government in its 100 Day Action Plan.
Treasurer Tim Nicholls last week said the new body, Projects Queensland, will focus on driving cooperative funding models that maximise private investment and ensure major projects are built on time and to budget.
"Projects Queensland will focus on service delivery, encouraging innovative private investment in a pipeline of new projects and reducing costs and red tape," Mr Nicholls said.
According to the government, Projects Queensland's key responsibilities will be:
- Preparation, evaluation and management of public-private partnership projects;
- Active engagement with the private sector to develop funding models to encourage private investment in infrastructure;
- Preparation of business cases and contract negotiations for government financed infrastructure where the expected cost is greater than $100 million;
- Acting in an advisory role assisting line agencies in the delivery of projects with an estimated capital cost below $100 million; and
- Review and maintenance of the government's key infrastructure policies.
The Treasurer and Cabinet approved the creation of Projects Queensland in early June.
Former Director General of the Department of Transport and Main Roads, Dave Stewart, has been appointed interim head of Projects Queensland. He will start work on July 16 for a period of up to six months.
"His key responsibilities will include developing the strategic direction for Projects Queensland, updating infrastructure policy frameworks, and engaging with key stakeholders," Mr Nicholls said, adding that he will also play a key role in appointing a permanent head of Projects Queensland.