Government response to Infrastructure Australia offers no grounds for optimism

30 Nov 2016

How wonderful, you might think, that the Australian government is in furious agreement with its independent infrastructure advisory body on how to tackle the country’s present and looming infrastructure challenges.

Of Infrastructure Australia’s 78 recommendations in its Infrastructure Plan, the federal government opposes only three outright. But, in reality, the government has ducked some hard choices by either supporting “in principle” or supporting with caveats. This means it can’t be criticised for being hostile to a good idea, but at the same time it doesn’t actually have to do anything.

Ducking hard choices means avoiding change that could make a real improvement to the effectiveness of Australia’s infrastructure.

A transparent and rigorous process is perhaps the most critical element underpinning an effective infrastructure investment program.

Infrastructure Australia believes this, and so does the Australian government. That’s why the Infrastructure Plan recommends publication of full project business cases, including supporting data and analysis, and preparation and publication of robust post-completion reviews once a project has been delivered.

How disappointing, then, that the government is silent on the first recommendation and passes the buck on the second.

Follow the link to read the full article at The Conversation

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