The Victorian government said on Tuesday it would create an agency to manage the delivery pipeline for infrastructure in the state, a move met by strong approval by the property industry.
Premier Daniel Andrews said Infrastructure Victoria would consult widely and “take short term politics out of infrastructure planning”.
It would publicly release a 30-year Infrastructure Strategy with short, medium and long-term infrastructure needs that the government would respond to with a five-year infrastructure plan with priority projects and funding commitments.
Infrastructure Victoria would give the community and the private sector greater certainty about infrastructure needs, Mr Andrews said.
Special Minister of State, Gavin Jennings said, “We’re putting evidence and transparency at the front and centre of Victoria’s infrastructure decisions.”
Consult Australia chief executive Megan Motto said it was an “important milestone” for the state and would help avoid the mistakes of the East-West Link motorway, (which was abandoned by the government in line with its election commitment).
“While we’re never going to completely take the politics out of decision making around infrastructure project selection, we can at least increase transparency as to what the expert advice is, and force the relevant ministers to explain why they might have disregarded that,” Ms Motto said.
The Property Council said Infrastructure Victoria would be an “essential tool for Australia’s most urbanised state”. Executive director Jennifer Cunich said the Property Council had long advocated for such a body.
“The development of a 30 year Infrastructure Strategy detailing short, medium and long term infrastructure needs is pivotal to securing a strong economic future for Victoria,” Ms Cunich said.