feThe twelve members of the recently established Infrastructure Australia advisory council have held their first meeting to develop a blueprint for the nation’s infrastructure.
The Infrastructure Australia Act 2008 came into effect in April this year, with $20 million allocated over the next four years to provide support for upgrading transport, water, energy and communications infrastructure.
Federal infrastructure minister Anthony Albanese said the government’s expectations of the council were to develop nationally consistent Public-Private Partnership guidelines by this October, finalise the National Audit by the end of the year, and compile and deliver to COAG the first National Priority List by March 2009.
Mr Albanese said the council would also consider environmentally sustainable strategies to develop and use infrastructure networks.
“We know that infrastructure has a long lifespan and can impact on efforts to tackle environmental challenges such as climate change. Accordingly, as well as social and economic factors, I’ve asked Infrastructure Australia to be mindful of our environmental responsibilities when conducting all its deliberations,” he said.
“Under the leadership of Sir Rod Eddington, this group has the capacity to cut through and identify the critical issues, as well as the proven abilities to find innovative solutions to the infrastructure challenges Australia faces.
“The Rudd Labor Government is serious about bringing national leadership and new thinking to the planning, financing and building of economic infrastructure.
“We are getting on with the job of nation building,” Mr Albanese said.