Home' Future Building Australian Infrastructure Review : December 2010 Contents Infrastructure Australia (IA) also began the diffcult task of
building a better pipeline of national projects -- including PPPs. The
body's recent annual report was important because it spelt out in
black and white Australia’s frst national list of the most signifcant
projects. Obviously, public funding will be critical to many of
these projects coming to fruition, but the IA report highlighted
that there will need to be wider funding options if Australia is to
secure the next round of major infrastructure investments.
Creating real certainty about which projects will commence,
and in what order, will increase competition in the infrastructure
market and give both business and taxpayers visibility about
which projects will be delivered, and how.
Infrastructure Australia's annual report showed welcome
progress in terms of prioritising projects and in assessing each
project on the basis of credible cost-beneft criteria. With more
than $83 billion in projects on the IA list, it is clear Australia will
rely on strategic partnerships between the Commonwealth, states
and private sector to advance the projects this country requires.
But in spite of these excellent reforms, there remains much to
A window into the challenges ahead was provided recently
when the Federal Government released a KPMG study into the
barriers and impediments to a more functional infrastructure
market. This research particularly pointed to the requirement for
further work between jurisdictions to fnally deliver an optimal
and national market for major PPP projects.
The report found that by comparison to other international
jurisdictions like Canada and the United Kingdom, Australia
brings comparatively few PPP projects into the market. While the
projects here tend to be larger, Australia is in a global competition
to attract skills and investment into our $700 billion infrastructure
investment task. The report echoed industry's view that Australia
must renew its reform agenda with an eye to enhancing the
attractiveness and function of the domestic PPP market.
A robust pipeline over the long term would also do much to
fnally attract superannuation to play its role. The development
of such a pipeline would help give super funds the confdence
to employ often costly bid teams for large infrastructure projects.
A clearer picture of what projects will be coming to market, and
what opportunities there are for the private sector, will naturally
attract skills and fnance to Australia’s infrastructure projects –
meeting key national objectives.
Creating real certainty
about which projects
will commence, and in
what order, will increase
competition in the
infrastructure market and
give both business and
taxpayers visibility about
which projects will be
delivered, and how.
Mark Birrell, Chairman of Infrastructure Partnerships Australia.
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