The State Government, often with joint investment from the Commonwealth Government, invests billions of dollars each year in major projects to build roads, hospitals, schools, prisons and other government infrastructure for the people and economy of Western Australia. Despite this significant investment of public money, Parliament and the public cannot easily access information on the progress of these projects.
My Office has commented on this lack of transparency in a number of previous reports. Similarly, the Western Australian Government’s 2018 Special Inquiry into Government Programs and Projects recommended that government ‘provide information about major projects in an accessible and transparent way to the public.’
It is my view that Government should provide regular public reporting on the status of major projects to Parliament and the public. Public reporting will serve to satisfy public interest, promote accountability, and build community trust and confidence around the management of these major public investments. It is my intention to periodically report and track a selection of major projects until Government fills the gap.
Many State government entities have reprioritised their resources in 2020 to focus on supporting the State Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In recognition of this, my Office placed this review and a number of other audits on hold.
I am pleased to have been able to recommence this review and to now report to Parliament and the public on the status of a selection of major Western Australian projects. Where relevant, any impacts of COVID-19 on project costs and delivery timeframes are included in the project summary sheets within this report.
I thank the staff at each of the entities for their cooperation and assistance in completing this work, and strongly encourage entities to publicly report on the progress of projects on a regular basis.