Infrastructure Australia (IA) legislation passes Senate

Infrastructure Australia

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The Australian Government is getting on with restoring Infrastructure Australia (IA), as the IA Amendment (Independent Review) Bill 2023 passes the Senate.

The Australian Government is getting on with the job of restoring Infrastructure Australia (IA) as the Commonwealth’s premier adviser on major infrastructure investment, with the Infrastructure Australia Amendment (Independent Review) Bill 2023 passed by the Senate.

Passage of this Bill by the Senate is an important step in delivering the Albanese Labor Government’s election commitment to restore IA’s crucial role as the Government’s independent infrastructure adviser.

Despite months of the Liberals and Nationals refusing to engage constructively and obstructing the passing of this critical legislation, the Government worked with minor parties in the Senate to ensure the Bill’s passage.

After being ignored and diminished under the Liberals and Nationals, the Government is empowering IA to deliver quality independent advice on infrastructure that supports the economy, builds the nation, and addresses the challenges and opportunities of the future.

The legislative changes define IA’s mandate, improve the evaluation of investment proposals, and refine the products IA delivers to better support government investment objectives, including ensuring a well targeted Infrastructure Priority List.

They also set up a new governance structure comprised of three expert commissioners, which replaces the existing board structure. The commissioners will be supported by an advisory council.

The legislation delivers on a critical part of the Government’s response to the recommendations handed down by the Independent Review of Infrastructure Australia, which was undertaken in 2022.

This legislation is part of a broader suite of reforms the Government is implementing to ensure the Commonwealth invests in properly planned and targeted infrastructure, including the recent release of the Infrastructure Policy Statement and the Government’s response to the Independent Strategic Review of the Infrastructure Investment Program.

Other recommendations from the Independent Review of Infrastructure Australia will be implemented through a revised Statement of Expectations issued by the Government to IA.

By underpinning sound infrastructure investment decisions, a revitalised, respected and trusted IA will support productivity, economic growth and opportunity.

With the Bill having passed the Senate, it will report back to the House of Representatives prior to passage.

Source: © Commonwealth of Australia 2023

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