The Federal Opposition has announced its intention to enhance the role of Infrastructure Australia in assessing infrastructure projects of national significance, should it be elected.

In a recent speech, Federal Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott expressed his support for Infrastructure Australia and said the Opposition would boost IA’s role and resources.

“The Coalition supports Infrastructure Australia (IA) and in government will strengthen its role, creating a more transparent, accountable and effective adviser on infrastructure projects,” Mr Abbott said.
“We’ll keep it, we’ll fund it and we’ll listen to it because important infrastructure decisions should be made on the basis of rational planning and not short-term political pork barrelling.”

Mr Abbott outlined a number of measures to boost IA’s capabilities and effectiveness:
  1. The Coalition will ensure that Infrastructure Australia has guaranteed ongoing funding. Funding for Infrastructure Australia expires at the end of this financial year. The Coalition’s commitment means that IA will be provided with the resources necessary for it to do its job properly.
  2. The Coalition will retain Sir Rod Eddington as the chairman of Infrastructure Australia.
  3. The Coalition will require that all Commonwealth-funded infrastructure projects worth more than $100 million have undergone a cost-benefit analysis by Infrastructure Australia.
  4. Infrastructure Australia will be required to publish justifications for its project recommendations, including the net present value of each recommended project.
  5. The Coalition will task Infrastructure Australia with developing a rolling 15-year infrastructure plan for Australia, with this plan being revised every five years. This will provide certainty for industry as to what infrastructure projects will be pursued by government and in what order. IA will be required to clearly specify infrastructure priorities at the national and state levels, based on a rigorous and transparent assessment of competing infrastructure projects proposed by the states.