23 March 2011– The Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering has produced a Handbook for Reform to guide a new NSW Government after Saturday’s election towards the successful infrastructure needed for continuing economic growth.

“Last year’s infrastructure report card from Engineers Australia told a very sad tale of t is state’s poor delivery record on major infrastructure – D’s and C’s. We have an opportunity after 26 March – the date of the NSW election – to make sure we get what we need,” the Warren Centre’s executive director, Professor Michael Dureau, said at the handbook launch earlier this month.

The handbook recommends: reform in policy formulation, strategic planning, structural reform of government, and in the administration of the implementation process.

The Warren Centre’s year-long research found the engineering, construction, commercial and legal industries want to work with a new government in an environment of trust and transparency, Prof Dureau said.

“We strongly recommend a clear vision, coupled with leadership and political commitment. Future infrastructure announcements must be supported by Treasury as part of a comprehensive long term plan and coordinated by an independent authority.

“Individual projects should show whole of life costings and be transparent about its value for money and public interest tests. The private sector should be involved in the development and the implementation of the program and there should be both a sharing of risk and cost between the public and private sectors.”

Professor Dureau said the handbook outlined strategies that would guarantee infrastructure was strategically planned so that government and industry would deliver good social, environmental and economic outcomes for the future of community.

Over the next year, Warren Centre will assemble industry, government, workforce, community, commercial and public sector experts to create an action plan against which the next government’s performance on infrastructure development will be guided by.

The reform agenda suggested in the handbook recognises that cities are an integrated spatial system and that cities and regions should be accessible, connected entities.  It advocates:

  • Value add by building in synergies across the range of infrastructure projects.
  • Ensure infrastructure projects are transformative in intent, consistent with the adopted vision and policies and in the long term public interest.
  • Ensure independent decision makers are a part of the planning process.
  • Apply modelling and simulation to forecast long term impacts and ensure social, environmental and economic factors inform the plan.
  • Mandate strategic design before project design and costing.

It suggests, focusing on:

  • Social, environmental and economic outcome not process.
  • Reviewing regulations and standards against the reality of the project to assess real value of outcomes.
  • Including design standards that consider optimum as well as peak load capacities.
  • Providing peer review of project briefs, design and costing.
  • Incorporate skills required to provide form and physicality into the planning process.
  • Mandate 3D spatial planning and design.
  • Utilise multi-disciplinary planning and design teams.
  • Design should guide project design at both masterplan and precinct scales.

For full report see https://sydney.edu.au/warrencentre/front_page.html

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