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Dominic Perrottet MP
Minister for Finance, Services & Property

NSW Government Positions Public Works For The Future

The NSW Government today announced a series of reforms to NSW Public Works in order to optimise the delivery of the State's public infrastructure, more effectively leverage private sector partners and ultimately secure the future of the organisation.

Minister for Finance, Services & Property Dominic Perrottet said the growth of contestable markets and decisions by cluster agencies to use the business community for large infrastructure projects has significant implications for the sustainability of the NSW Public Works business model.

"The Baird Government is repairing Labor's $30 billion infrastructure backlog with our world class $60 billion infrastructure agenda," he said. "While NSW Public Works has and will continue to provide invaluable expert strategic advice on this program of work, primary responsibility for project delivery lies with the business community."

"As agencies increasingly opt for private sector expertise, the already declining revenue of Public Works is forecast to fall by up to 40%, causing a $300 million budget black hole over the next 10 years. The Baird Government is now taking action to guarantee the future of NSW Public Works."

Mr Perrottet said Public Works would leverage its history of overseeing the State's infrastructure to now re-position as a 'smart buyer' of infrastructure services, particularly for agencies and councils.

"Over the next two years, Public Works will shift its core focus to providing expert strategic advice and commissioning capabilities," he said. "This will ensure market sourced construction-related services are risk managed and provide value for money."

The Engineering Emergency Management role will continue unchanged, with a dedicated full time Engineering Services Coordinator. Regional and Rural services also remain unaffected. Some services currently provided by NSW Public Works that can be obtained from mature private sector markets will be transferred, sold, or progressively discontinued. Affected employees, clients and other stakeholders will be consulted before business unit plans are finalised. Client contracts will not be impacted by these changes.

Mr Perrottet said that the NSW Government was committed to the strongest, most cost-effective and responsible approach to providing and maintaining public infrastructure.

"For the last 150 years, NSW Public Works has played an important role in public infrastructure and I want that to continue," he said. "These reforms will ensure we will retain expert knowledge within government, save taxpayer dollars and cease crowding out the private sector.

"NSW Public Works will be geared for the future and continue its enduring role in infrastructure development and maintenance for the long term benefit of the people of NSW."

The transition to the new business model will commence from 1 July, 2015. More information can be found at www.publicworks.nsw.gov.au.