Labor to reform Infrastructure NSW with stronger oversight of major projects

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A NSW Labor Government will undertake reforms to strengthen Infrastructure NSW (INSW) and give it a stronger role in planning and assessing infrastructure projects. 

Labor’s plan to strengthen INSW includes:

  • Making INSW fully independent removing the ability for the Premier to direct changes to reports;
  • Releasing the INSW business case & cost benefit analysis for each major infrastructure project;
  • Giving INSW oversight of infrastructure delivery ensuring value for money is achieved by giving INSW the responsibility of overseeing delivery of major infrastructure projects and enforcing governance standards such as the Major Project Assessment Framework.
  • Release a summary of all project documents and contracts immediately after the project’s financial close to ensure complete transparency for each major infrastructure project;
  • Placing representatives of Transport, Education & Health Departments on the board as they represent more than eighty per cent of the annual infrastructure spending by government sector agencies (ie. excluding state owned water & electricity corporations); and
  • Tasking INSW with control of Restart NSW with the power to withhold funds from projects which have not completed a full assessment, business case and cost-benefit analysis or deemed to be a priority by INSW.

“Infrastructure NSW is a good idea but it must be a genuinely independent organisation tasked with overseeing major projects and protecting taxpayers’ money,” NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley said.

“The Liberals before the last election promised to take the politics out of infrastructure by creating Infrastructure NSW. That was before plowing ahead with an $8 billion commitment to build the North West Rail Link with no business case and no oversight by their new infrastructure body.

“Mike Baird says that this is the way you build infrastructure in NSW – I disagree.

“Labor will make Infrastructure NSW a true champion for infrastructure in our state guided by world’s best practice when it comes to building road, rail, schools and hospitals.

“A Labor Government will expand the board and bring in representatives from the forgotten departments - health, education and ironically transport.

“Cash splashes on road and rail projects with no proven business case are not the way to deliver essential infrastructure and ensure value for money for taxpayers.

“If a major transport project doesn’t add up in a business case then it should not be at the top of the priority list.”