Timely Information on Infrastructure Projects
Governments seek to keep the community informed of proposed new infrastructure projects, often from the time of inception. There is public interest in community impacts, benefits, costs and delivery timetables. An early announcement of intent naturally creates questions, and, in the case of small and simple projects, those questions can often be answered from the beginning. However, in the case of larger and more complex projects, the level of reliable detail about community impacts, costs, benefits and delivery program increases over time and project stages. Confidence in project details grows as options are considered, concepts are refined, site conditions are investigated, designs are progressed and construction contractors are engaged in the process.
The Guide document for Timely Information On Infrastructure Projects explains the stages of project development and the level of detail that may be confidently provided to the public at each stage.
The Guide is also the subject of a Department of Premier and Cabinet Circular (C2020-22) and applies to all agencies and State Owned Corporations.
The guiding principles for providing reliable project information are as follows:
- Confidence in cost and delivery timeframe increases as project progresses.
- Where specific detail is not yet available, there is still useful information that can be provided to the public.
- In early stages, Government can clearly communicate its intent to address a need and the steps it proposes to take to provide a solution.
- Premature provision of detail on solutions, scope, costs and timeframes may lead to disappointment in the community and counterproductive pressure on project delivery teams.
- By contrast, effective communication as stages proceed provides confidence that decision making is sound, that public funds are being well managed and that project benefits will be delivered.