Infrastructure Australia’s Infrastructure Decision-Making Principles
Infrastructure Australia, the nation’s independent infrastructure advisor has released new guidelines to drive greater transparency and accountability in infrastructure decision-making in order to reduce instances of major projects receiving funding before appropriate planning and assessment have been conducted.
The Infrastructure Decision-making Principles were developed out of a recommendation in the 2016 Australia Infrastructure Plan and are designed to ensure major public infrastructure investments deliver the best outcomes for the community and the best value for taxpayers. The recommendation noted that Australia’s governments and the community would benefit a set of clear principles to provide a benchmark for high-quality infrastructure decision making.
The Infrastructure Priority List has helped create a credible pipeline of future infrastructure investments. However, there are often instances of projects which are committed before a business case has been prepared and a full set of options have been considered. This should include making better use of existing infrastructure by deploy new technologies or utilising the data we’re already collecting.
These Principles represent a benchmark to encourage politicians to adhere to a rigor and transparency in infrastructure spending in contrast to infrastructure planning based on short term headlines. Furthermore, the application of these principles will improve the development of Australia’s infrastructure to address a growing population.
As such, the Infrastructure Decision-making Principles should act as a guide for Australia’s Local, State and Federal governments, establishing clear lines of responsibility and accountability for major infrastructure projects and providing the broader community will set clear expectations with which to hold decision makers to account.
Therefore, Government’s should work more to engage with communities in communicating long-term infrastructure plans, problem identification and by incorporating community input into the pro development processes. Part of this involves being more transparent around project decision-making by publicly releasing the analysis and processes that form the basis of funding decisions.
The Infrastructure Decision-making Principles guide the assessment of nationally significant infrastructure priorities and provides advice to project proponents in preparing their submissions. These principles are already embedded in Infrastructure Australia’s broader approach to providing infrastructure advice.
Infrastructure Decision-making Principles are now available here.