Hawker Britton Occasional Papers and Media

Infrastructure Implementation Corporation

December 2005

blue bar

Infrastructure Implementation Corporation

The Infrastructure Implementation Corporation Bill was passed by the Parliament of NSW on 29 November 2005.

The Bill’s purpose is to bring the development and maintenance of infrastructure back to the core of the NSW Government’s central agencies, facilitating a renewed focus on infrastructure project monitoring and delivery.

The Government has established the Office of Infrastructure Management within Treasury and the
Infrastructure Implementation Group within the Premier’s Department to facilitate the new regime.

Infrastructure Implementation Group

The Infrastructure Implementation Group will be led by Professor David Richmond (best known as the former head of the Sydney Olympic Coordination Authority). The Government has identified delivery and coordination of facilities and projects for the Olympic Games as its benchmark for success.

The key focus of the Group is infrastructure project delivery. It has a facilitation role and will work closely with planning and proponent agencies on complex infrastructure projects which often involve multiple State agencies and public authorities.

The Infrastructure Implementation Group has the role of helping to overcome bottlenecks by assisting projects through the planning approval process, their preconstruction
phase and construction phase. The Group will ensure the timely and costeffective delivery of high priority projects.

The Group is already performing this role, assisting with major infrastructure projects like the Port Botany expansion, the metropolitan freight strategy, the Royal North Shore Hospital redevelopment, and the Kurnell desalination plant.

In most cases, the Infrastructure Implementation Group’s facilitation role will be fulfilled through participation on CEO groups, steering committees and project control groups.

However, where a project is of high strategic importance, the Premier may direct the Group to take over either the entire project or a specified part of a project. It is for these cases that this legislation is required.

Infrastructure Implementation Corporation

This bill establishes a new statutory corporation, the Infrastructure Implementation Corporation. This will be the vehicle through which the Infrastructure Implementation Group can be directly involved in carrying out major infrastructure projects.

The Infrastructure Implementation Corporation will be managed by the Director General of the Premier’s Department and subject to the control and direction of the Minister. It will have all the inherent powers of a body corporate, including the power to enter into contracts and establish subsidiaries.

The Bill will operate through the Premier, with the concurrence of the Treasurer, issuing project authorisation orders for the Infrastructure Implementation Corporation to take over responsibility for carrying out a nominated major infrastructure project. A project authorisation order may be made for either new projects, or for existing projects which the Corporation takes over from another public authority.

In the case of the Corporation taking over an existing project, the Premier may decide to transfer the ownership of the project assets, rights and liabilities to the Corporation.

Otherwise, the project can continue to be owned by the public authority but the Infrastructure Implementation Corporation will have the power to exercise the functions of the authority and to direct the authority in relation to the project. The authority will be unable to exercise its functions relating to the project without the consent of the Corporation.

Depending on the terms of the project authorisation order, the project may be transferred after the planning phase back to the relevant agency for the construction phase of the project.

This bill applies not only to government agencies but also to Stateowned corporations.

When directly delivering projects through the Corporation, the most appropriate funding mechanism will be established in consultation with Treasury.

For the purpose of the bill, a major infrastructure project is defined as a project to which Part 3A of the Environment and Planning Assessment Act 1979 applies. All the normal environmental planning and assessment processes under the Act will still apply to projects controlled by the Infrastructure Implementation Corporation.

It is anticipated that the powers conferred by this bill will be required only rarely.

hawker britton