Thursday 30th Mar, 2017

Government announces board of Infrastructure Victoria

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Victoria’s government has announced the board of its new transport planning body, Infrastructure Victoria, with members selected from industry, academia and the public service.

It is expected the new entity will resemble the federal body Infrastructure Australia and the government claims it will be independent and remove politics from infrastructure planning.

Ex-banker Jim Miller has been appointed to chair the body, having previously been an executive director with Macquarie Capital during his time with that business between 1994 and 2015.

According to the government statement, Miller has extensive infrastructure experience, having worked in fields such as regulated assets, energy, transport, energy, utilities and resources and social infrastructure.

He is currently deputy chair of Infrastructure Partnerships Australia.

Maria Wilton has been appointed as his deputy.

Wilton is currently the managing director of Franklin Templeton Investments Australia, a director of the Financial Services Council of Australia and the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Also joining as board members are current president and vice chancellor of Monash University, Professor Margaret Gardner, and former chief executive of Westpac New Zealand and Bank of Melbourne Ann Sherry.

Also joining the board are the secretaries of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, the Department of Treasury and Finance, and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. The statutory members are expected to ensure IV coordinates effectively with the public service and agencies.

The new body is to ensure Victoria’s immediate and long-term infrastructure needs are identified and prioritised based on “objective, transparent analysis and evidence”.

Infrastructure Victoria is expected to publicly release a 30-year infrastructure strategy detailing short, medium and long-term needs and priorities.

The state government is expected to develop a five-year Infrastructure Plan outlining priority projects and funding commitments, with IV to assess the government’s progress.

Premier Daniel Andrews said while governments “come and go”, long-term infrastructure priorities should remain. “That’s why we’ve appointed a board to give us clear, expert advice that is independent of politics and focussed on our state’s priorities,” he said.

Special minister of state Gavin Jennings welcomed Miller’s appointment.

“Jim and the other board members come with great experience and will provide the needed leadership for this new body,” he said.

“They will help take the politics out of infrastructure and ensure that our state gets the projects that we need.”