Sep 24, 2014

Consideration in Detail – Infrastructure Australia Amendment (Cost Benefit Analysis and Other Measures) Bill 2014

Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler) (10:42): by leave—I move opposition amendments (4) and (5):

(4) Schedule 1, item 3, page 3 (line 21), omit “may”, substitute “must”.

(5) Schedule 1, item 3, page 3 (line 26), omit “6”, substitute “12”.

Item 4 requires Infrastructure Australia to approve a standard method for requiring assessments of proposals. This allows for costs and benefits of competing or alternative projects to be compared. This maintains the status quo in the existing act. The government’s amendment makes standardisation optional for Infrastructure Australia. Labor’s amendment will make a standard method a requirement, as is currently the case, and as is critical if we are examining where taxpayer dollars should go to which project where there are multiple bids for infrastructure projects. Given that there are many more bids for projects than will ever be funded, this is an important amendment. Amendment (5) is a minor amendment providing for better spacing of the first review of Infrastructure Australia’s standard assessment method. This amendment requires the first review to occur by next September rather than March. I commend the amendments to the House.