Anthony Albanese is Infrastructure Investor’s Minister of the Year for 2012. He becomes the fourth winner of our annual award, following in the footsteps of India’s then-Roads Minister Kamal Nath in 2009, Mexican President Felipe Calderon in 2010 and Canada’s Finance Minister James Flaherty last year.
Albanese is a colourful character, rarely shying away from a dispute. For example, this year Australia’s Minister for Infrastructure and Transport in the Labor government has been involved in a lively exchange over plans for a A$2 billion (€1.6 billion; $2.1 billion) freight hub in south-west Sydney.
In pushing his own plan for the so-called Moorebank Intermodal Terminal, Albanese put himself in opposition to his own government’s Treasury and statutory body Infrastructure Australia – both of which supported a rival proposal from a private sector consortium led by businessman Chris Corrigan.
But at least the dispute served to highlight the independence of Infrastructure Australia, which was established by the government’s Infrastructure Australia Act 2008 on Albanese’s watch and will form an important part of his legacy.
Among the achievements we have noted about Albanese: his skill and tenacity in overseeing infrastructure development in one of world’s most active and mature infrastructure markets; his passion about infrastructure and its role in economic growth and job creation; and his recently launched $A6 billion Regional Infrastructure Fund to unlock investment in mining communities.
Others mention his role in kick-starting major rail projects and the way he has involved the federal government in urban infrastructure, where it has not traditionally been particularly influential.
For more on the reasons behind Albanese’s award, please click here.