The Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) issued a statement to welcome the re-appointment of Darren Chester as Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and Paul Fletcher as the Minister for Urban Infrastructure, following the Australia federal election and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s allocation of portfolios.
“Both Ministers are experienced in the portfolios and understand the significant economic and social contribution of infrastructure,” said AIPM chief executive Yvonne Butler. “We look forward to working with them to drive improvement in the delivery of infrastructure projects across Australia.”
However the Institute questioned the change of Fletcher’s portfolio from Minister for Major Projects, Territories and Local Government to Minister for Urban Infrastructure. Turnbull explained the new title clarified Fletcher’s role in delivering infrastructure projects in urban areas across Australia.
Butler urged the government not to lose sight of the role of good governance in project delivery. “Too many projects in Australia still fail to deliver the required value and benefits anticipated in business cases. This is in no small part due to the fact that there is insufficient focus on the governance of the projects.”
She added that high performing projects require competent project managers and recommended the Federal Government hire “independently assessed project managers” to help improve the performance of projects.
About 10% of the Australian workforce is involved in project management and major infrastructure projects contribute “in excess of 30% of Australia’s GDP,” Butler noted. “We must be relentless in safeguarding that policy implementation and social outcomes are delivered as efficiently and effectively as possible. Government leadership in this area is critical.”