Release infrastructure strategy: McGowan

06/04/2009 - 09:49

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The state government has 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.

Release infrastructure strategy: McGowan

The state government has 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, which had been compiled by government and business "over many years", has been sitting on Treasurer Troy Buswell's desk for the past six months.

"The fact that Mr Buswell has not released the strategy shows a complete lack of concern for proper process and decent planning in Western Australia," Mr McGowan said.

"The State Infrastructure Strategy was meant to be a blueprint for business in Western Australia - not a paper-weight for the Treasurer's office.

Mr McGowan added it was crucial the strategy was released so business could plan with some certainty.

"Business needs to know what the State's infrastructure priorities are and approximate timelines for construction," he said.

"They are currently operating in a vacuum thanks to this Government's planning ineptitude."

In response to questions raised in Parliament on Friday, Upper House MLC Barry House confirmed the government would not release the plan, claiming Cabinet confidentiality.

"The economic and fiscal parameters, combined with the suite of election commitments of the new government, render the previous government's infrastructure strategy grossly outdated," Mr House said.

"Substantial reforms are currently underway to the planning and delivery of public infrastructure.

"The need for a separate state infrastructure strategy will be considered as part of these reforms.

"Furthermore, it is my understanding that the previous government considered the state infrastructure strategy as part of its budget formulation and cabinet processes.

"As such, it would be inappropriate for the newly elected government to release the document."

 

 

Mr McGowan's announcement is below:

 

The Barnett Government's refusal to release the State Infrastructure Strategy will do little to stop Western Australia's declining level of business confidence, Shadow Planning Minister Mark McGowan said today.

Mr McGowan said the Strategy, compiled by government and business over many years, arrived on the Treasurer's desk six months ago following the election.

However last week in Parliament, Upper House MLC Barry House confirmed the Barnett Government would not release the plan, claiming Cabinet confidentiality.

"The fact that Mr Buswell has not released the strategy shows a complete lack of concern for proper process and decent planning in Western Australia," Mr McGowan said.

"The State Infrastructure Strategy was meant to be a blueprint for business in Western Australia - not a paper-weight for the Treasurer's office."

Mr McGowan said it was crucial the strategy was released so business could plan with some certainty.

"Business needs to know what the State's infrastructure priorities are and approximate timelines for construction," Mr McGowan said.

"They are currently operating in a vacuum thanks to this Government's planning ineptitude."

Mr McGowan said the refusal to release the strategy compounds Minister John Day's announcement during the week that the Perth foreshore development will be reviewed by another committee with the view to significantly scaling it back.

"The Government's refusal to release the strategy is an indictment on the Premier's claim of being open and accountable," he said.

"This follows on from the Government's refusal to release its economic audit report, compiled at a cost to taxpayers of some $1.6million."

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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