Section 1: Entity overview and resources
Infrastructure Australia (IA) is a statutory authority established on 1 September 2014 following amendment of the Infrastructure Australia Act 2008. IA's primary role is to support the Australian Government's plan to build a strong and prosperous economy through the provision of high quality independent advice to the Australian Government, and in turn, all levels of government and industry on matters relating to nationally significant infrastructure.
In accordance with the outcome in Section 2 of this document, “Outcomes and Planned Performance”, IA is responsible for providing independent advice for the following:
- better assessment of infrastructure needs;
- improved decision-making on infrastructure matters;
- improved prioritisation of infrastructure projects; and
- promotion of best practice infrastructure planning, financing, delivery and operation.
The key priorities for IA in 2014‑15 are: delivering a comprehensive audit of Australia's nationally significant infrastructure (the Audit); developing a 15 year national infrastructure plan that identifies the infrastructure priorities required to increase productivity and support economic growth; and developing the corporate capabilities of IA as a new entity to support its role as an independent organisation that provides high quality advice.
The Audit considers demographic trends relevant to infrastructure utilisation as well as economic, social and environmental sustainability. The Audit's focus is on assessing Australia's current infrastructure to determine the adequacy and capacity of this infrastructure to meet future requirements. The primary function of the Audit is to inform the development of the National Infrastructure Plan.
Infrastructure Australia will develop a 15 year rolling national infrastructure plan which will assess the future requirements of our nation's infrastructure networks. The plan will be informed by the outcomes of the Audits and of any evaluations of infrastructure proposals undertaken and will clearly identify priorities at a national and state specific level.
The plan will be updated at least every five years and will both inform and be informed by the development of the infrastructure priority list.
The Australian Government is committed to realising the potential of northern Australia and will produce a White Paper on Developing Northern Australia. IA will also inform and contribute to the Australian Government's White Paper through a comprehensive audit of northern Australia's infrastructure asset base and requirements.
Infrastructure Australia must develop its corporate capabilities in 2014‑15 to support the new governance and corporate structures. This will include a review and implementation of systems, structures and processes that will enable the organisation to fulfil its duties as an independent body that provides high quality advice on infrastructure matters.
Additional priorities of IA in 2014‑15 include:
- Undertake evaluations on all infrastructure proposals where funding of more than $100 million is sought from the Commonwealth. This includes economic and social infrastructure proposals but excludes defence proposals.
- Regularly update and further develop the Infrastructure Priority List. This priority list will be informed by the other work of IA, in particular the National Infrastructure Plan and evaluation of infrastructure proposals.
- Undertake a review of the performance assessment frameworks utilised by jurisdictions in submitting proposals to IA for evaluation. The review will consider the adequate consideration of social, environmental and economic costs and benefits. The review will also consider the appropriate application of broader benefits (in addition to direct benefits) and provide guidance on how these should be measured and applied, if required.
- Promote best practice in the planning, funding and delivery of infrastructure through leadership on regulatory reform objectives.
- Through engagement with all levels of government and industry, facilitate the continual evolution of planning and procurement practices by building a repository of data, information and knowledge on the nation's infrastructure resources, requirements, delivery and practices.
- Establish productive working relationships with all levels of government and industry. This includes engaging closely with other Commonwealth departments, agencies and entities as well as states, territories, local governments, investors in infrastructure, owners of infrastructure and the public—as the end users of infrastructure.
The Entity resource statement details the resourcing for IA at Additional Estimates. Table 1.1 shows the total resources from all sources for the 2014‑15 Budget year, including variations through Appropriation Bills No. 3 and No. 4 and special appropriations.
Table 1.1: Entity resource statement—Additional estimates for 2014‑15 as at Additional Estimates February 2015
Table 1.2 summarises new Government measures taken since the 2014‑15 Budget. The table shows expense measures, with the affected programme identified.
Table 1.2: Entity 2014‑15 measures since Budget
There have been no measures taken since the 2014‑15 Budget for IA.
Table 1.3 summarises variations to appropriations since the 2014‑15 Budget.
The following tables detail the additional estimates sought for the IA through Appropriation Bills No. 3 and No. 4.
Table 1.4: Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2014‑15
IA is not seeking additional appropriation through Appropriation Bill (No. 3).
Table 1.5: Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2014‑15
IA is not seeking additional appropriation through Appropriation Bill (No. 4).