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Peak business group calls for better infrastructure spending

24 October, 2008

NSW’s leading business group, the NSW Business Chamber, has released its submission to Infrastructure Australia on the development of a National Infrastructure Priority List.

The NSW Business Chamber’s submission looks at principles that need to underpin the development of the Infrastructure Priority List. The key recommendations of the NSW Business Chamber are:

- The Infrastructure Priority List should be underpinned by a set of principles that ensure the investment serves infrastructure users well and strengthens Australia’s competitiveness.

- Infrastructure investment needs to contribute to economic growth and development.

- Infrastructure projects should be aimed at developing connectivity between regions (and economic centres).

- Funding mechanisms and public planning require the development of innovative responses to capacity constraints

- Infrastructure planning should prioritise increasing connectivity to reduce congestion and improve accessibility

 - Infrastructure development must be within the context of a national assessment of value and impact that includes coordination, planning and forecasting mechanisms that are transparent and accountable.

- Public Private Partnerships should be used to achieve appropriate levels of infrastructure. However, they must be underpinned by increased transparency – price and risk – to ensure the market operates efficiently

- In providing infrastructure, government agencies and other relevant parties need to consider the potential impact on other critical infrastructure.

- Infrastructure planning should involve consultation throughout all levels of government, public and private infrastructure stakeholders, infrastructure users and the community in general with the objective of creating an integrated transport system across the whole of NSW.

- In choosing infrastructure financing all alternative sources of finance should be assessed. Public private partnerships need to be supported by a clear regulatory and institutional framework.

NSW Business Chamber’s submission includes a priorities list for each region within NSW.

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