John Fitzgerald has been appointed as the interim Acting Australian Government Infrastructure Coordinator, pending the appointment of a new chief executive officer as part of the government’s reforms to mould Infrastructure Australia to its own liking.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss announced he had approved the interim appointment, as recommended by former Infrastructure Australia Chair Sir Rod Eddington and the new chair Mark Birrell.
“Mr Fitzgerald is held in high regard across both the public and private sector and has significant experience in both sectors in senior infrastructure and finance leadership roles,” Mr Truss said.
“As the Acting Infrastructure Coordinator, Mr Fitzgerald will assist the Australian Government to identify nationally significant infrastructure projects and the economic and procurement reforms needed to enable Australia’s governments to fund these projects.
“The Australian Government is committed to enhancing the independence and scope of Infrastructure Australia, entrenching its role as a key adviser to government.”
Mr Truss said Mr Fitzgerald had been employed at KPMG as the Specialist Infrastructure Adviser since August 2011 and would take a leave of absence from his current role in order to work in Infrastructure Australia.
“Mr Fitzgerald chaired the New South Wales Government Steering Committee for the Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct Project and has experience as a director on the Boards of Port of Melbourne Corporation,” he said.
“He also served as a deputy secretary at the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance where he was responsible for the provision of strategic commercial, financial and risk management advice to the Victorian Government.
“I look forward to working with Mr Fitzgerald to build the infrastructure of the future and thank the previous Acting Infrastructure Coordinator Rory Brennan for his work ahead of Mr Fitzgerald’s appointment.”
The Australian Parliament is currently considering the Infrastructure Australia Amendment Bill, which, once passed, will abolish the position of Infrastructure Coordinator and establish the new chief executive officer.
Mr Fitzgerald will be the Acting Infrastructure Coordinator until this legislation is enacted.
Mr Truss also announced the extension of the terms of the Infrastructure Australia members, namely Mr Anthony Kannis, Ms Elana Rubin, Mr Jim Hallion, Dr Martin Parkinson, Mr Phil Hennessy, Cr Nicole Lockwood, Dr Kerry Schott and Professor Peter Newman.
Along with member Dr Ian Watt, whose appointment has not expired, they will continue as members of Infrastructure Australia under the chairmanship of the Hon Mark Birrell.