Consideration in Detail – Infrastructure Australia Amendment (Cost Benefit Analysis and Other Measures) Bill 2014
Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler) (10:45): I will indicate, for the benefit of the House, that in terms of timing we will not call a division on this, on the basis that the Deputy Prime Minister has indicated that he will give serious consideration to its support when we move these amendments through the Senate.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Vasta ): The question is that the amendments be agreed to.
Mr ALBANESE: by leave—I move amendments (1) and (8), as circulated in my name, together:
(1) Clause 2, page 1 (lines 7 to 9), omit the clause, substitute:
(1) Each provision of this Act specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, in accordance with column 2 of the table. Any other statement in column 2 has effect according to its terms.
|Column 1||Column 2||Column 3|
|1. Sections 1 to 3 and anything in this Act not elsewhere covered by this table||The day this Act receives the Royal Assent.|
|2. Schedule 1, items 1 to 7||The day after this Act receives the Royal Assent.|
|3. Schedule 1, items 8 to 10||Immediately after the commencement of Schedule 1 to the Land Transport Infrastructure Amendment Act 2014.|
Note: This table relates only to the provisions of this Act as originally enacted. It will not be amended to deal with any later amendments of this Act.
(2) Any information in column 3 of the table is not part of this Act. Information may be inserted in this column, or information in it may be edited, in any published version of this Act.
(8) Page 4 (after line 23), at the end of the Bill, add:
National Land Transport Act 2014
8 Subsection 16(1)
Before “Commonwealth funding”, insert “Subject to subsection (1A),”.
9 After subsection 16(1)
(1A) If an Investment Project involves capital expenditure of $100 million or more, Commonwealth funding may only be provided if the project has been evaluated by Infrastructure Australia under section 5AA of the Infrastructure Australia Act 2008.
10 After section 92
(1) The amount referred to in subsection 16(1A) of this Act is to be indexed at the same time, and by the same amount, as the amount referred to in subsection 5A(2) of the Infrastructure Australia Act 2008.
(2) Subsection 16(1A) is taken, on and from a day of indexation, to refer to the amount as indexed on that day.
Amendment (8) is an important amendment that makes Infrastructure Australia involvement integral to the approval of Commonwealth funding for major infrastructure projects. This amendment will amend the National Land Transport Act 2014, as it has been renamed. This latter act is the funding act. It is the means by which funds for major projects are authorised to be paid to state, territories and other entities for nation building projects. This amendment makes a cost-benefit analysis by Infrastructure Australia a prerequisite to funding road, rail and intermodal projects involving capital expenditure of $100 million or more. It requires Infrastructure Australia’s standard method to be used and ensures transparency via publishing of cost-benefit analyses. This ensures that the Infrastructure Australia process has real meaning and sequencing in project selection. It is consistent with Labor’s approach to the Building Australia Fund, where Infrastructure Australia assessment was an essential prerequisite to the funding of projects.
Amendment (1) amends the commencement provisions of the bill to include commencement of the changes made by Labor’s amendments to the National Land Transport Act 2014. At the time of drafting of these amendments, recent amendments passed by the parliament to this act had not commenced, and this is reflected in the proposed schedule. I commend the amendments to the House.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.