Infrastructure plan needs work: Buswell

15/05/2009 - 15:17

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Treasurer Troy Buswell has again defended the government's decision to not release the State Infrastructure Strategy, saying its framewok needs to be revisited.

Infrastructure plan needs work: Buswell

Treasurer Troy Buswell has again defended the government's decision to not release the State Infrastructure Strategy, saying its framewok needs to be revisited.

Addressing a post-budget breakfast today, Mr Buswell said he would not release the strategy, which was completed under the previous government, just for the sake of it.

The comment followed calls by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA for the paper's release, after it was developed over a number of years between industry and government.

"We need to be assured that every single one of the projects committed to in this budget .... is subject to rigorous cost-benefit analysis to guarantee the tax payers hard-earned dollars are being spent where they will deliver the greatest benefit to the state," CCIWA chief executive James Pearson said.

"That is why we are calling on the state infrastructure strategy ...to be released to provide a transparent framework to assess the future infrastructure needs of our state."

The state government yesterday revealed in its budget it would spend a record $8.3 billion on infrastructure in 2009-10, which is included in an overall capital works allocation of $23.8 billion over the next four years.

"I have the state infrastructure strategy; my view is that we need to revisit the framework in which it was set," Mr Buswell said in reply to questions from the floor.

"I don't see it as being a dynamic enough process that delivers a vibrant state in terms of where we want to head.

"I don't want us to be the sort of government that accepts a document simply for the sake of accepting a document.

"When we adopt a strategy around infrastructure it will be a strategy that has outcomes that can be measured against and held accountable to.

"At this stage I don't think the state infrastructure strategy in its current form is at the point where I would proceed with it."

Last month the government claimed Cabinet confidentiality in its refusal to release the State Infrastructure Strategy despite the opposition's claims it will cause business confidence to continue to drop.

Shadow Planning Minister Mark McGowan said the strategy had been sitting on Mr Buswell's desk for the past six months.

 

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