The Victorian parliament has passed legislation to create Infrastructure Victoria, a reform it says will “take short term politics out of infrastructure planning”.
The new independent body is designed to ensure the state’s current and long-term infrastructure needs are identified and prioritised based on objective, transparent analysis and evidence.
It will be required to publicly release a 30-year infrastructure strategy detailing short, medium and long-term infrastructure needs and priorities. The government in response will be required to develop a five-year infrastructure plan outlining priority projects and funding commitments.
“Infrastructure Victoria will ensure that despite whoever is in power, there is a pipeline of infrastructure meeting the State’s needs,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.
He said the government would not “ask Victorians to support dud, last minute plans for projects that don’t stack up”.
Infrastructure Victoria will also support government decisions by assessing business cases for major projects and publishing research on a range of infrastructure issues from schools, hospitals, water, arts and cultural facilities.
Special minister of state Gavin Jennings said that in the past evidence and transparency had been “secondary considerations” regarding Victoria’s infrastructure decisions.
“The community expects that critical decisions on infrastructure should be based on priorities not politics and Infrastructure Victoria will do just that,” he said.