VECCI backs infrastructure inquiry

VECCI welcomes government inquiry into delivery of infrastructure projects

By Ruza Zivkusic | September 29, 2011

The Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) has welcomed a government inquiry into the delivery of infrastructure projects.

Calling for an infrastructure plan for the next 30 years, VECCI spokesman Christopher James says the inquiry is a "positive step in recognising that some projects have been badly damaged in the past".

Treasurer Kim Wells requested the inquiry, which the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee will conduct.

"We knew that this area would be examined and we knew that this was a priority for the government and referring to an inquiry to get industry input and community input is a sensible way to go," James says.

RMIT University senior lecturer in transport planning Paul Mees is not convinced by the government’s decision, saying "it’s an inquiry into nothing".

"I think it shows that infrastructure planning in Victoria is continuing its passage away from reality," Mees says.

"The reason why the Victorian Government did not put any mega funding infrastructure projects for funding from Infrastructure Australia this year is because it already received the largest share of transport funding in Infrastructure Australia’s first round for the regional rail link."

The Federal Government established Infrastructure Australia to act as its infrastructure advisory body. States must submit infrastructure funding proposals to the group, which recommends projects that should be funded based on need and the benefit to the nation.

Mees has also taken a shot at the VECCI and says it is obvious why it is welcoming the inquiry.

"They seem to be like little children who think that if you squawk and demand, the more you’ll get of your fair share and somehow the Federal Government will give it to you," he says.

"But they don’t seem to understand that this funding is supposed to be distributed across Australia on the basis of need and Victoria has already received a disproportionally great share of funding that’s been handed out to date."

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