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Rudd details Infrastructure Australia: planning for our future.



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FEDERAL LABOR LEADER KEVIN RUDD MP

RUDD DETAILS INFRASTRUCTURE AUSTRALIA - PLANNING FOR OUR FUTURE

Federal Labor Leader Kevin Rudd today detailed his plans for Infrastructure Australia - a statutory authority to overhaul reform, planning, development and investment in the nation’s future.

Infrastructure Australia will be set up within 100 days of election - and will have a deadline of 12 months to produce its first Infrastructure Priority List - to set a clear agenda for government investment in infrastructure.

Infrastructure Australia’s first task will be to undertake a Nationwide Audit of Australia’s infrastructure - canvassing its current condition and its adequacy for the future.

Mr Rudd was speaking at Labor Business Roundtable on “Addressing Australia’s Infrastructure Needs” in Perth.

Infrastructure Australia will have three divisions:

• To deal with policy and regulatory issues, driving reform on legal, tax, planning and infrastructure finance matters; • To audit the adequacy of the nation’s infrastructure, identify weaknesses and prioritise projects; and • To evaluate the business cases of projects, project financing options including PPP

(Private Public Partnerships) and manage the probity process.

Australia needs national leadership on infrastructure.

According to ABN AMRO, the total infrastructure spending in Australia from both private and public sources could reach $400 billion over the next decade.

If Australia is to continue its economic prosperity and remain globally competitive and future challenges, we must have a coordinated plan for infrastructure planning.

Mr Rudd also said there was a legitimate role that Private-Public Partnerships (PPP) can play in infrastructure financing and procurement.

A Federal Labor Government will, through Infrastructure Australia, expedite the standardisation of tender processes and contract documentation between Commonwealth and State jurisdictions for the use of PPPs and other relevant procurement options.

Infrastructure Australia will develop best practice procurement processes to maximise value for money, transparency and public accountability when evaluating differing procurement options.

With the right planning processes, a pro-market approach to national PPPs as opposed to more expensive forms of public ownership, we can overhaul Australia’s infrastructure environment and ensure we have world class infrastructure for the future.

PERTH 2 AUGUST 2007

WALT SECORD 0412 234 827

FIONA SUGDEN (TRAVELLING WITH RUDD) 0422 880 737