INFRASTRUCTURE SOUTH AUSTRALIA

If elected in 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will establish Infrastructure South Australia to combine the expertise of the public and private sectors in planning for and implementing our major infrastructure plans for the future.

The Problem

Infrastructure is central to everything a good government does.

Whether it’s growing our economy, building our schools, hospitals and roads, protecting our environment, or enhancing our cultural and sporting facilities, we must plan and provide for the long term.

This is important to each and every South Australian.

So we must make the most of the expertise we have, not only in government but in the wider community, to guide and implement our infrastructure planning.

Infrastructure costs a lot of money – taxpayers’ money.

The state spends well over $1 billion a year on the roads, ports and other infrastructure businesses need to get products to markets.

This spending also supports the health and education facilities we depend on in Adelaide and in our regions.

South Australia must have the right kind of economic and social infrastructure, in the right places, at the right time, to ensure that our economy can become more productive towards 2036 and beyond.

We have seen what happens when plans are short-sighted, ill-conceived, badly implemented and driven by short-term political motives rather than what is best for all of us now and into the future.

Under the State Labor Government, the new Royal Adelaide Hospital has cost much more than it needed to – more than $600 million over budget – and has been long delayed.

Through much higher water prices, we are still paying for the bad decision to double the size of the desalination plant at Port Stanvac when the expansion wasn’t needed and didn’t meet the cost-benefit test.

The Premier, Mr Weatherill, promised at least 6,000 jobs would be created from development of government land at Gillman as an oil and gas hub.

But his plan collapsed after independent inquiries and court judgments found that there had been maladministration and that the deal had been ‘unlawful’ and ‘irrational’.

A government should do much better than this. 

We must have better infrastructure planning to support long-term economic growth, more jobs and better, more affordable services.

The State Liberals' Plan

If elected in 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will establish Infrastructure South Australia to combine the expertise of the public and private sectors in planning for and implementing our major infrastructure plans for the future.

After talking to the community and industry, we believe Infrastructure South Australia will provide the strategic and productive approach to infrastructure planning and development that will help put South Australia on a path to prosperity by lifting the productivity of our economy.

Infrastructure South Australia will be an independent body that will develop a long-term State Infrastructure Strategy and ongoing infrastructure plans which prioritise major projects.

Specifically, Infrastructure South Australia will:

  • prepare and submit to the Premier a 20-year State Infrastructure Strategy
  • prepare and submit to the Premier 5-year infrastructure plans on a rolling annual basis identifying specific major projects (costing more than $50 million) to be undertaken as a priority
  • at the request of the Premier, prepare sectoral State Infrastructure Strategy statements
  • assess the risks involved in planning, funding, delivering and maintaining major projects, and the management of those risks
  • provide advice to the Premier on economic or regulatory impediments to the efficient delivery of major projects or infrastructure projects in specific sectors
  • provide advice to the Premier on appropriate funding models for infrastructure
  • review completed infrastructure projects at the request of the Premier
  • make an annual report to Parliament, including the disclosure of its strategies and plans and reporting on the progress of their implementation.

The work of Infrastructure South Australia will be directed by a board of not more than five members, including an independent chairperson and up to two other persons appointed because of their industry experience.

The Board will determine the general policies and strategic direction of Infrastructure South Australia.

If the Premier makes any amendment to the strategies and plans of Infrastructure South Australia the Board may advise the Premier that it does not agree with the amendment and make that advice public.

This will ensure full transparency and accountability.

Infrastructure South Australia will have a Chief Executive who will be a member of the Board. The second public sector representative on the Board will be the Chief Executive of the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Apart from establishment costs, Infrastructure South Australia will be funded from within existing resources and staffed by officers drawn from within the planning and major project units of existing government agencies.

A Marshall Liberal Government will give the highest priority to the establishment of Infrastructure South Australia.

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