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Infrastructure Funding for Queensland

As part of its response to the Queensland State Infrastructure Plan the Property Council (PCA) engaged Integran to undertake an assessment of infrastructure funding and loan programs from Commonwealth, State and International jurisdictions.

Chris Mountford - Queensland Executive Director of the PCA recently launched the report and findings to engender the debate around how Government funds and delivers infrastructure.  Read more here

The aim of this research, was to investigate;

  •  The range of funding and grant approaches that currently exist between the levels of government within Australia
  • The elements of existing infrastructure bid programs from selected interstate and overseas examples identifying the varying processes and assessment frameworks
  • Determine a recommended approach to the State government to better leverage the infrastructure spending within the forthcoming State Infrastructure Plan and to unlock more jobs and economic growth as it finalises the infrastructure plan and moves forward with delivery.

Key recommendations of the review include:

  •  Government should clearly set out different expectations and requirements for long term and short term infrastructure grant funding
  • Long Term grant funding should exist to meet strategic, agreed infrastructure planning priorities.  It should be aligned to the land use planning system and pooled to ensure the best use of existing funds.
  • Short term infrastructure grant funding should be used to support projects that arise from unexpected events such as natural disasters (for example, National Disaster and Relief Recovery Arrangements) or opportunities not identified by strategic land use planning (such as to service unforeseen major export opportunities) subject to criteria established through an expedited assessment process
  • Governments at all levels should review governance arrangements and the organisational structure and culture that currently drives infrastructure investment.  This also requires creating a process for involving stakeholders in achieving these reforms.  Few, if any, of the other recommendations set out here will be fully achieved without involving relevant organisations in achieving these political and cultural changes first.
  • Government at all levels should review the multiplicity of infrastructure funding programs and identify opportunities to reduce duplication and improve efficacy.  This should include reviewing the costs to government of existing administrative arrangements.
  • Prioritisation processes should be driven by alignment with strategic objectives and selected metrics that reflect economic, social and environmental benefits and costs as part of a broader approach to benefits realisation.  They should use external assurance processes in line with existing best practice.
  • Government should prioritise the post-implementation evaluation of infrastructure grant funding investments to determine whether they have delivered value for money and benefits realisation.  This would also help to refine and improve business care and assessment processes for future funding programs.  These evaluations need to be subject to open reporting.

These findings further support the work undertaken by the Australian Infrastructure Audit by Infrastructure Australia and the Public Infrastructure, Enquiry Report by the Productivity Commission.  Without real reform in the system of planning, prioritising, funding and procuring infrastructure Governments will successively fail to make the necessary gains through leveraging the infrastructure investment. These recommendations are set to focus, facilitate and drive real economic growth and deliver greater gains to the National and State economies through better governance and process certainty.

Integran is pleased to be involved with the Property Council in undertaking this research and aims to further add to the debate and legislative and regulatory frameworks as the plan is finalised and implemented.

 

Latest Posts.

Integran Reviews Effectiveness of Infrastructure Grant Programs

September 14, 2018 | Nadine Moore [divider] [/divider] Following the Property Council’s extensive advocacy highlighting the antiquated approach to local government grant funding, the Queensland Government has committed to develop a new model for local government grant funding. The new model will require councils to demonstrate how funding aligns with State priorities and responds to council strategies. Six program streams will be established under the new framework:
  • Security of essential services
  • Safe and efficient road and transport network
  • Resilient communities
  • Sustainable natural resource management
  • Community well-being
  • Jobs and economic growth.
A greater focus will be placed on growing business investment and opportunities. In 2016, the Property Council commissioned Integran to examine the effectiveness of infrastructure grant programs in Queensland.  Integran found that many funding grants do not require any benefit to be realised in order for a project to be funded.  Other grants provide funding regardless of the approach to financial management as they are assessed on an ‘effort neutral’ basis. In an era of limited funding and budget constraints, governments at all levels need to ensure that funds that are available are allocated to projects that best support economic growth. The Property Council will continue to engage with the Government to ensure that this new framework achieves greater value from the investments made in local infrastructure.

Proposed Refinements to LGIPs: Amendments to the Sustainable Planning Act 2009

November 6, 2014 | Louise Beaton THE QUEENSLAND HERITAGE AND OTHER LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL 2014 At Integran’s July and August presentation roadshow, we highlighted some key issues about the operation of the Sustainable Planning (Infrastructure Charges) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2014 that required review and, in our view, amendment. Our provision of feedback to the Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning (DSDIP) has been ongoing to seek clarification for the new provisions and their implementation for Local Government Infrastructure Plans (LGIPs). There are some key changes which will be enacted in the coming weeks by the Queensland Heritage and Other Legislation Amendment (QHOLA) Bill 2014, having passed through Parliament on the 29th October 2014. (The Bill will not take effect until it receives Royal Assent.) The Bill addresses many of the provisions that were unclear at the time of our roadshow presentation. We have not sought to cover all of the changes here but aim to provide some further clarity around some of the more complex operational provisions and the impact of the change.  The following table seeks to explain the existing provisions under SPA or SP(IC)OLA and proposed amendments under QHOLA. Read more here. If you have any queries regarding the effect of the new provisions, do not hesitate to contact the Integran team on (07) 3227 0500.  

LGIP Reviewer Panel: Integran on-board

October 28, 2014 | Shonnay Integran is pleased to announce that we have been appointed to the State government’s panel of pre-approved LGIP reviewers. The Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning (DSDIP) has established this panel so that Local governments can select a pre-approved consultant with suitable qualifications and experience to undertake the review of draft Local Government Infrastructure Plans (LGIPs) in accordance with Statutory Guideline 02/14 – Making and amending local planning instruments, and Statutory Guideline 03/14 – Local government infrastructure plans. Integran has a track record in successfully preparing all aspects of LGIPs (formerly PIPs) and is well aware of the processes, issues required to prepare the documents to the required standard. Under the Statutory Guideline 03/14 a consultant who prepares the LGIP for the Local Government can also act as an appointed reviewer. As an approved LGIP reviewer Integran can both prepare the LGIP and undertake the review. For more information on the LGIP review, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Infrastructure Charges Reform- Roadshow Wrap-up

August 29, 2014 | Shonnay The ‘Infrastructure Charges Reform - Implications & Tactics’ seminars held by Integran around Regional Queensland have had a tremendous turnout. The seminar provided Integran with the opportunity to further understand the issues faced by Local Councils in interpreting and implementing the new legislation and to share experience from Regional Areas with other Councils around the State. Some Councils have already been very proactive in responding to the mandatory changes that came into effect on 4 July 2014 by:

- Updating their Infrastructure Charges Notices (ICNs) to state the details of any offsets and refunds, including timing of refunds;

- Amending the development approval conditions templates to specify the section of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 under which a condition about infrastructure is imposed; and

-Preparing a template for the Information Notice that will now accompany the ICNs.

With 2014 quickly disappearing Councils have commenced replacing their existing Adopted Infrastructure Charges Resolutions (AICRs) with charges resolutions that comply with the amended Act.  Although not due until  30 June 2015, new compliant charges resolutions are recommended to be put in place as soon as possible to replace the ‘default’ provisions that apply under Statutory Guideline 03/14 – Local Government Infrastructure Plans.  These default provisions include trunk infrastructure criteria and a method for determining infrastructure costs. Overall some of our findings from the seminars which still require further consideration and clarity from the State include:

-Ability to condition trunk infrastructure not identified in the LGIP and outside the PIA;

-Methodology problems for calculating the value of refunds where the cost of necessary trunk infrastructure identified in a condition is greater than the levied charge;

-Refunds to reflect actual costs solely at the discretion of the applicant through a recalculation notice.

As briefly mentioned in the seminar, Integran is working hard on finalising its CORR software – a user friendly model to meet the growing and complex need to manage infrastructure charges regimes in a responsive and auditable system.  The model will reflect the desired outcome of the legislation which aims to bring together all facets of local government business, including land use planning, capital works, asset management and financial sustainability. Thanks for all of those people who have attended the seminars. We look forward to continuing the discussion on our website as we all work through implementing the new legislation.  

Event | Infrastructure Charges Reform- Implications & Tactics

July 1, 2014 | Shonnay With the enactment of the Charges Reform Legislation on the 4th July, 2014 now is the time to take stock of the implications and new direction required on the management of charges. Find out how these changes will affect you and your Council and what steps can be taken to help mitigate the impacts of these changes. Don’t miss out on finding out how Council will be affected by registering your interest now. To secure a seat please email Integran and don't forget include your preferred location.

DETAILS
18  July, Friday, Bundaberg, 1pm – 3pm  Bundaberg Administration Building, 190 Bourbong Street, Bundaberg

24  July, Thursday, Mackay,1pm – 3pm Sir Albert Abbott Administration Building, Gordon Street,   Mackay

28 July, Monday, Townsville, 1pm - 4 pm TCC Administration Building, 103-141 Walker Street, Mayoral Reception Room, Ground Floor

5   August , Tuesday, Cairns, 1pm - 4pm Civic Reception Room, Cairns Regional Council

15  August, Friday, Yeppoon, 10 am - 2 pm Shoreline Room, Rosslyn Bay Resort and Spa, Rosslyn Bay

19  August, Tuesday, Hervey Bay, 12pm - 3pm Council Chambers, Tavistock Street, Torquay

21  August, Thursday, Lockyer Valley, 1pm - 3pm Lockyer Valley Cultural centre, 34 Lake Apex Drive, Gatton     See the Event Flyer

Utility Model

June 30, 2014 | Phil Mann From the 1st July 2014 the approval process for water and sewer connections in South East Queensland (SEQ) are changing. This new process is a requirement of Section 137 of the Water Supply Services Legislation Amendment (WSSLA) Bill 2014 and is designed to streamline approvals.  SEQ service providers must adopt the connections policy component of a Water Netserv Plan (WNP) by 1 July 2014 as an interim connections policy. The complete Connections Policy must be in effect with the Water Netserv Plan by 1 October 2014. From 1st July service providers will be required to receive assess, approve, provide advice and deliver connection services to development and other customer independent from Council. The applicant will need to make two applications; one to the local Council and the second to the Utilities provider. At this stage there is not a lot of clarity around how this new process will function. The utility providers awaiting further direction from the State. Queensland Urban Utilities have made their draft policy available online. For more information on how these new arrangements will affect you, please do not hesitate to contact us.  

RICS, PIP… and now the LGIP

June 20, 2014 | Shonnay 140717_Tab_LGIP_Gantt project planner   The State has outlined that Local Governments need a new LGIP by mid-2016 in order to collect infrastructure charges or condition trunk works from 1 July 2016.  New Adopted Charges Resolutions also need to be in place by 30 June 2015. Under the amended Sustainable Planning Act, if Local Government wants to collect infrastructure charges or condition trunk works they will need to prepare and adopt a LGIP by 1 July 2016.  Sounds like plenty of time right?   With State Interest Checks (SIC) and Council resolutions required the length of time it takes to prepare a LGIP quickly grows. Did you also know that Councils intending to impose infrastructure charges on and after 1 July 2015 will need to prepare and adopt a new AICR? From 1 July 2015 any Council wanting to impose infrastructure charges on development approvals will also need to have prepared a new resolution to comply with the new legislation and Statutory Guideline 03/14 – Local Government Infrastructure Plans that became effective on 4 July 2014. For more information on how this will affect you, please do not hesitate to contact us.

New Brisbane City Plan commencement

June 13, 2014 | Phil Mann Brisbane City Council has announced the Brisbane City Plan 2014 will commence Monday 30th June 2014. The new City Plan can be viewed here. For more information on how the new City Plan will affect you, please do not hesitate to contact us.