Home' Future Building: The Australian Infrastructure Review : December 2011 Contents futurebuilding 11
Volume 2 Number 2
The architect of Victoria’s infrastructure future
Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu has followed a
shrewd and steady path since he formed government
and – as this interview reveals – he has moved to
deliver on his election commitments, piece by piece,
and to chart a progressive roll-out of new projects.
Baillieu’s self-professed mission is to reshape
Victoria to drive up productivity and underpin
economic growth and development; and that
subsequently means a big infrastructure agenda.
The Victorian Premier recently celebrated his first
year in office and has a very clear vision for the future.
And it’s a vision built on partnerships.
‘In the shorter term, we are working hard to
deliver on our commitments to a number of significant
projects,’ Baillieu tells Future Building.
‘Our first budget included funding to support full
delivery of the Regional Rail Link; a new station at
Southland; the removal of selected level crossings;
and feasibility work on rail links to Doncaster,
Rowville and Melbourne and Avalon airports. We
are also undertaking initial planning for the Monash
Children’s Hospital, and have committed additional
funding for the Box Hill Hospital redevelopment and
the new Bendigo Hospital.’
Public Private Partnerships will be essential to
the state’s infrastructure delivery schedule. Baillieu
has talked about restoring Victoria’s reputation as the
leading innovator in PPPs. So how does he plan to do
‘Innovation can often come from collaborating
with others and drawing on the ideas and experience
of a wide range of practitioners,’ he says. ‘We are
working with other jurisdictions in Australia and
looking at practices across the world to ensure that
we have the best models, processes and commercial
framework going forward. Government and the private
sector must also engage in an ongoing dialogue to
identify innovations that deliver good outcomes and
value for money.’
While there has been some public concern about
the accountability of PPPs, Baillieu is confident he
will be able to convince the public that PPPs are now
the way to go for all governments.
‘Our Government’s priority is to ensure that
projects are delivered on time, on budget, to a high
standard and in a cost-effective way. For the right
projects, PPPs can be best placed to deliver these
outcomes,’ he says.
‘Various disclosure regimes exist in different
jurisdictions to inform the public of the nature of
individual PPPs. The Government has a role to play in
clearly explaining to the public why it believes that a
PPP model that it has chosen for a particular project
will deliver value for money.
‘Our Government will consider the future delivery
of projects using the PPP model where it offers value
for money for taxpayers and the state.’
The Baillieu Government’s first major PPP project
will be the enlarged New Bendigo Hospital project.The
new facility will be designed, financed, constructed
and operated by the private sector, with shortlisting of
consortia imminent. According to Baillieu, PPPs are
the best way to ensure that the hospital is delivered
on time, on budget, and at the best value for Victorian
‘The PPP procurement method has been chosen
for the Bendigo Hospital redevelopment because we
believe it will achieve better design outcomes and
deliver value for money to Victorians,’ he says.
‘The project will be delivered in accordance with
the National PPP Guidelines and the Partnerships
Victoria framework. These guidelines and processes
aim to provide an efficient allocation of risk, and
appropriate incentives for timely delivery.’
Bendigo will be a world-class regional hospital,
with 372 acute inpatient beds, 10 operating theatres,
a new integrated cancer centre and a new psychiatric
inpatient facility with a mother and baby unit.
‘By investing in world-class facilities and
education and training, the new hospital will also help
to create a skilled health workforce for the future. The
hospital will be a leading teaching and research hub
specialising in rural health care,’ says Baillieu.
‘The project will also stimulate the local economy
through 735 new construction and supply chain jobs.
Expanding the size of the hospital will also create
additional ongoing jobs at Bendigo Health.’
If successful, Baillieu’s PPP strategy could well
become the model for other states.
After Bendigo, much of the focus for the
infrastructure will include regional Victoria. The aim
is to create more liveable cities and a more dynamic
economy. ‘We are focused on boosting Victoria’s
productivity and making Victoria’s cities and regional
centres more livable,’ he says.
‘Our infrastructure agenda is central to this. For
example, the development of the Port of Hastings and
our work to unblock other infrastructure bottlenecks
will further enhance Victoria’s position as Australia’s
freight and logistics leader – and unlock future
Continued on page 14
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