A BLUEPRINT for the establishment of Infrastructure WA (IWA) was released for public consultation last week by the State Government, with a proposal for a new approach to long-term infrastructure planning in Western Australia.
IWA will be an independent board tasked with providing government expert advice on the state's infrastructure needs and priorities, maximising the value to Western Australia from every dollar spent on major proposals developed by government agencies.
Infrastructure WA's other main roles will include:
- Developing a 20-year strategy for infrastructure and industry investment;
- Applying more rigour and transparency in evaluating infrastructure plans, business cases and decision-making;
- Providing advice on alternative funding and financing options; and
- Improving collaboration with government, community and industry on infrastructure planning and delivery.
The model, which recommends that IWA be enshrined in legislation to provide certainty and help foster a bipartisan approach, proposes the board is made up of government and non-government representatives reporting directly to the Premier.
"My Government's commitment to Western Australians is to create a strong, diverse and resilient economy and a pipeline for secure, long-term jobs," Premier Mark McGowan said.
"Investment in infrastructure is critical in growing the economy, generating jobs and supporting sustainable and vibrant communities.
"For too long, the State has suffered from a short-term focus on infrastructure planning. There is a strong need for a coordinated, long-term vision to build the infrastructure we need in the right place and at the right time.
"Infrastructure WA will provide expert, independent advice to government on the State's needs and priorities, ensuring taxpayers' money is invested wisely.
"By developing a 20-year strategy, IWA will identify the infrastructure needed to keep growing the economy and create jobs, providing certainty to industry and encouraging private sector investment."
The six-week public consultation period closes on 20 March 2018. More information is available from <https://www.dpc.wa.gov.au/infrastructurewa>.