Posted on June 7, 2011 by Stuart Simington
Infrastructure NSW – Co-ordination, monitoring and delivery of infrastructure in NSW
The Infrastructure NSW Bill 2011 has been introduced into the NSW Parliament.
The Bill proposes to establish Infrastructure NSW to co-ordinate, oversee and monitor the delivery of and in some cases carry out and take over responsibility for major infrastructure projects in NSW.
Major infrastructure projects will be projects that have a capital investment value of more than $100 million or as nominated by the Premier.
Infrastructure NSW will be subject to the control and direction of the Premier with a Board comprised of
- a Chairperson appointed by the Premier,
- up to five (5) private sector members appointed by the Premier,
- the CEO,
- the D-G of the Department of Premier and Cabinet,
- the Secretary of the Treasury,
- the D-G of the Department of Trade and Investment, and
- the D-G of the Department of Planning and Infrastructure.
Strategies and plans
To co-ordinate the delivery of major infrastructure projects, Infrastructure NSW will be required to prepare various infrastructure strategies and plans including:
- a 20 year State infrastructure strategy to be reviewed every five (5) years,
- a five (5) year infrastructure plan to be reviewed each year,
- sectoral State infrastructure strategy statements and other infrastructure plans as the Premier directs.
If the Premier amends a strategy, plan or statement submitted by Infrastructure NSW, the Board may publish advice that it does not agree with the amendment. Given the make-up of the Board, this will presumably be an unlikely eventuality.
Project implementation plans
To facilitate the oversight and monitoring of major infrastructure projects, Infrastructure NSW may decide that a project implementation plan is required for a particular major infrastructure project. Project implementation plans are intended to be prescriptive plans that set out details such as the funding and procurement models for the project, the project delivery method, the role of private sector, the responsibilities of government agencies and the timeframe for delivery of the project.
Government agencies (including local councils) will be required to co-operate with Infrastructure NSW in the exercise of its functions including by providing information. The Bill allows Infrastructure NSW to arrange for the use of use of the services of any staff or any facility of government agencies to exercise its functions.
Infrastructure NSW will replace the current Infrastructure Implementation Corporation constituted under the Infrastructure Implementation Corporation Act 2005 and in certain circumstances be able to:
- carry out a major infrastructure project, or
- if that project is carried out by another government agency (excluding local councils), be declared responsible for that government agency’s functions in relation to the project.
The ‘step-in’ powers will only be triggered if the Premier makes and publishes in the Gazette a project authorisation order in relation to a major infrastructure project.
The order may also provide for the transfer of assets, rights and liabilities of the government agency to Infrastructure NSW. However, this does not apply to local councils.
The Bill was introduced to the Legislative Assembly on 26 May 2011. We will provide a further update as it progresses through the Parliament.