Over the line: the right way to get major infrastructure on track

Construction of road infrastructure

If a department is fixed on a significant community project, an inflexible approach could lead to many roadblocks. More strategic thinking is needed.

Governments promoting major projects could reduce anxiety and criticism in impacted communities by adopting a more strategic approach to assessment and approval processes.

A key issue is that governments are often committed to a project well before these consultation procedures are undertaken, yet the community expects that there will be no decision to proceed until this is all completed.

The approvals stage of a project, where environmental and community impacts are assessed and attempts to mitigate them are made, can impact design and routes, blow out costs and change procurement.

This is a key risk that needs to be managed halfway through the process from idea to action, says Patrick Ibbotson, Maddocks partner and sector leader for the firm’s NSW government practice.

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