National Cabinet has agreed that Infrastructure Australia will now evaluate project proposals which require more than $250 million in Commonwealth funding – an increase from the previous threshold of $100 million.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the move would better focus Infrastructure Australia‘s business case evaluation process on key projects to help rebuild the economy and support jobs into the future.
“This change is something all States and Territories have been advocating for and will improve the efficiency of infrastructure decision-making and delivery,” he said.
“These changes will take effect from 1 January 2021 onwards and will support our infrastructure-led recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is about making sure the national infrastructure advisory body is looking at the most nationally significant job-creating infrastructure priorities across the country in order to lay the foundations for economic recovery.
“October’s Federal Budget brought our pipeline of transport infrastructure investment to a record $110 billion, with thousands of job-creating infrastructure projects large and small rolling out in every part of Australia.
“Refocusing Infrastructure Australia’s independent advice to government toward projects receiving over $250 million in Australian Government funding is an important step to accelerate delivery of projects nationwide that are critical for jobs, freight efficiency and road safety.
“At the same time, the Government is committing to maintaining the transparency and quality of IA’s advice on the biggest, most significant proposed investments.
“Projects falling under the revised assessment threshold will continue to go through all other State and Federal approval processes.”
Infrastructure Australia Chair Julieannne Alroe said IA supported efforts to improve the efficiency of infrastructure decision-making and delivery.
“We will focus our rigorous advice on Australia’s most nationally significant proposals with long-term productivity and community benefits,” Ms Alroe said.
“The Infrastructure Australia Assessment Framework and our business case evaluation process will continue to support robust, evidence-based decision-making.
“Infrastructure Australia will continue to take a leading role in streamlining and harmonising assessment processes and work closely with national, state and territory infrastructure advisory bodies to support the timely delivery of infrastructure projects.”