Home' Future Building: The Australian Infrastructure Review : December 2011 Contents 30 futurebuilding
Volume 2 Number 2
A Broad mandate for reform
Infrastructure NSW Chief Executive Paul Broad picks up his
Apple iPhone from the table, after it beeps to remind him of
his next meeting.
‘Four years ago no-one would have imagined
that,’ Broad says. ‘Google as we know it today
has only existed for about eight years, yet it has
changed the world.’
Broad’s observations about the pace of change
underline the challenge he is facing, as he moves
to map out the future requirements of a rapidly
growing and changing economy and population.
‘My job is to paint a picture of tomorrow.
Infrastructure itself is not the goal. It’s a means to
These comments underline the sweeping scope
of Broad’s remit to untangle infrastructure networks
across New South Wales covering transport,
ports, telecommunications, energy and health
sectors as well as the state’s social infrastructure
requirements. He is passionate that the work of
Infrastructure NSW is not Sydney-centric.
Established earlier this year, Infrastructure NSW
stems from a longstanding promise of Premier
Barry O’Farrell, who vowed in Opposition to
set up an independent body that would outline
infrastructure priorities for the state. The aim
was to insert economic rigour into infrastructure
decisions rather than what worked well for
politicians, Broad says.
Under the organisational structure, the Premier
takes overall responsibility for infrastructure
planning, with Infrastructure NSW to develop a
20-year strategy detailing major infrastructure
projects that are focused on improving productivity
and, ultimately, growing the economy. It also has
the remit to review plans by other agencies that
cost over $100 million.
Known as the State Infrastructure Strategy, the
aim is to review the long-term plan every five years.
The overall blueprint will spin out detailed, costed
and transparent five-year plans that are contained
in the forward estimates of the State Budget. It will
also examine ways of rebalancing the risk between
government and the private sector to coax broader
support from business.
The Government hopes to reduce the amount
of time vital projects take, improve coordination,
reduce delays and identify new ways of funding or
financing. Infrastructure NSW is the culmination
of recommendations from Max Moore-Wilton AC,
a former Secretary of the Department of Prime
Minister and Cabinet, who undertook a review of
existing infrastructure delivery processes.
It also draws upon the experience of
Infrastructure Australia and Partnerships Victoria,
and global experience of groups like Partnerships
UK and Partnerships British Columbia, in Canada.
The proposals were drawn up in the aftermath
of the disastrous cancellation of the Sydney Metro
in February 2010, after more than two years of
planning, costing $500 million in fees to break
contracts with developers vying for work, including
Broad, who was the CEO of telecommunications
company AAPT for four years prior to joining
Infrastructure NSW, was named the advisory body’s
inaugural Chief Executive earlier this year. He is
teamed with long-time friend and former New South
Wales Premier Nick Greiner, who was appointed
Chairman of Infrastructure NSW in May.
Broad credits the Government for being ‘brave’
in setting up Infrastructure NSW, knowing it may
give a forum for dissenting opinion.
‘It’s brave of the Government to do that; Greiner
and I sitting at the table, interacting collectively
on all the major infrastructure.
‘This Government’s approach is different.
Previous governments would let the political
overlay shuffle around the priorities.’
ABOvE: Infrastructure NSW
Chief Executive Paul Broad
By Jeff Hutton
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