As Infracom undertakes its work, it’s useful to see how infrastructure bodies (i-bodies) operate elsewhere. The following organisations develop infrastructure strategy, with varying levels of independence nationally and locally.
In Australia, Infrastructure Australia(external link) was formed in 2008, followed by state government i-bodies, New South Wales(external link) in 2011, and Victoria(external link), Queensland and Tasmania in 2015. All Australian states now have an i-body.
Project prioritisation is a common function of all these organisations, with many producing pipelines. Apart from Infrastructure Tasmania(external link) (also known as the Department of State Growth), they all undertake project evaluation, funding and financing as well as infrastructure policy, reform, research and advice. Building Queensland(external link) is the only Australasian i-body which does not prepare an overarching strategy. None of the groups have responsibility for project delivery, although New Zealand’s Infrastructure Commission, Infrastructure New South Wales and Infrastructure South Australia(external link) all provide project procurement support.
A National Infrastructure Commission(external link) (NIC) operates in the United Kingdom. It provides a National Infrastructure Assessment once in every Parliament, setting out the NIC’s assessment of long-term infrastructure needs with recommendations to the government. The NIC does not have independent powers.
In Asia, the governments of Singapore, Hong Kong and China have a single-minded focus on infrastructure. They pursue a national development model for planning, funding and delivering infrastructure, based on spatial plans. Notably, while each of the three Asian systems supports varying degrees of democratic decision making, none are democratic in the western sense.
Singapore’s Urban Regional Authority (external link) develops a 40-50 year Concept Plan which identifies the city-state’s land requirements. A 10-15 year Master Plan takes the land allocations from the Concept Plan, applies a strategic framework and produces a detailed land use plan which departments of central government deliver on, sequencing delivery to meet market needs.