ACT Treasurer Andrew Barr will be releasing guidelines to assist investors who want government support on Thursday. Photo: Rohan Thompson
Proposals for taxpayer help to establish technology hubs, office towers, theme parks or gondolas will be assessed under new guidelines designed to help attract major business investment to the ACT.
ACT Treasurer Andrew Barr will on Thursday release the guidelines to assist investors who want government support.
The new investment proposal guidelines will be used when the government receives proposals from companies seeking assistance, such as land grants or tax waivers.
They are partly designed to help reduce the risk of ministers being accused of making unfair decisions when they choose some projects over others. ''It streamlines it very clearly and outlines the process, demystifies it really and allows for a consistency of treatment,'' Mr Barr said.
''Everyone knows how we will go about assessing their proposal, what will be required and how you can get a project through.''
The government frequently receives unsolicited proposals seeking support for a range of developments, including office and residential towers, theme parks and eco-tourism accommodation.
Mr Barr will also release the framework that will be used for major public-private partnership projects, including the new University of Canberra Public Hospital and Capital Metro light rail network.
He said the investment guidelines were designed to show the government was serious about attracting private sector investment to the territory. ''It gives an opportunity - together with the PPP framework - to send a signal to the market,'' he said.
A consistent methodology should be used to assess proposals put to the government. ''Or else you run the risk of it's who can get the best access to a minister or those sorts of things.''
The government wants to attract investment in priority areas, including: defence and security; digital economy and e-government; health and sports science; innovation and higher education; space, satellite and spatial science; and tourism infrastructure.
Under the guidelines, proponents who lodge concept submissions will receive timely decisions on whether the government wants to consider the idea in detail. Proposals will be assessed using public interest, public value and feasibility criteria.
Mr Barr said the new frameworks would help deliver major projects, such as a new convention centre. ''You can see it being delivered by a combination of ACT government land and ACT government-financed infrastructure-enabling works, possibly a grant from the federal government and a private partner,'' he said.