Finance players feature in Infrastructure Victoria board


Inaugural board to be leavened by top state bureaucrats

Finance players feature in Infrastructure Victoria board
Daniel Andrews says he is keen to see politics out of infrastructure decisions.

 

A mix of financial experts and senior bureaucrats are in Infrastructure Victoria’s inaugural board.

Infrastructure Partnerships Australia deputy chairman and former Macquarie Capital director Jim Miller is the chairman.

Miller "has extensive experience in the infrastructure sector, having worked in the areas of regulated assets, transport, energy, utilities and resources and social infrastructure", the state government says.

Franklin Templeton Investments Australia managing director Maria Wilton, whose firm has an infrastructure investment advisory arm and who is also a and Financial Services Council of Australia director, supports him in the Infrastructure Victoria deputy position.

They are joined by president and vice-chancellor of Monash University Professor Margaret Gardner and former Westpac New Zealand and the Bank of Melbourne CEO Ann Sherry, who is cruise firm Carnival Australia’s long-term CEO, amongst several other posts.

The board will also include the secretaries of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, the Department of Treasury and Finance and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

"These statutory members will ensure Infrastructure Victoria is able to coordinate infrastructure planning with the public service and its agencies," the government says.

"The body will ensure that Victoria’s immediate and long-term infrastructure needs are identified and prioritised based on objective, transparent analysis and evidence."

The idea is that Infrastructure Victoria will be required to publicly release a 30-year ‘infrastructure strategy’ detailing short, medium and long-term needs and priorities.

The government will be required to develop a five-year ‘infrastructure plan’ outlining its priority projects and funding commitments, and Infrastructure Victoria will assess the government’s progress against this plan.

The expert body will also independently assess the economic, environmental and social merits of major projects, and publish research on a range of infrastructure issues.

Both Premier Daniel Andrews and Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings emphasised the non-partisan aspect of the body and its board with Andrews saying the board will provide "expert advice that is independent of politics and focused on our state’s priorities" and Jennings that it will "help take the politics out of infrastructure and ensure that our state gets the projects that we need ".

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