Charis Palmer and Marion Terrill write in The Conversation (4.4.16) about a new Grattan Institute report arguing that governments need to be more rigorous and transparent in how they select and finance new transport infrastructure projects.
‘Governments should open up their transport project funding decisions to greater scrutiny, including tabling an independent cost-benefit analysis in Parliament, recommends a new report from think-tank the Grattan Institute.
‘The report’s author, Marion Terrill, argues poor project selection is undermining economic growth in Australia. The report shows of the projects receiving Commonwealth funding since June 2012, 58% of that funding, or $3.7 billion, was spent on projects without a published project evaluation. This includes the controversial East-West Link, which was ultimately canned by the Victorian government.
‘The report argues governments should not only build transport infrastructure where the benefits outweigh the costs – they should build all such infrastructure, regardless of where it is based in Australia. This could help address the bias identified in the report towards projects in states with more swinging seats.’