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Andrews appoints big name to Transport Infrastructure Board

Les Wielinga Photo Transport Victoria UNSW

The Victorian Government has named the new chair of its Major Transport Infrastructure Board – the body tasked with the delivery of the state’s $15 billion in planned infrastructure spending.

Les Wielinga, formerly the director general at Transport for NSW, will chair the board.

“The delivery of the Andrews Labor Government’s unprecedented transport infrastructure program will be overseen by an expert board, to ensure all projects are delivered in a coordinated and cost-effective way,” the Victorian Government said last Friday.

Wielinga, who has also in the past been chief executive of the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority (what is now Roads and Maritime Services), will be responsible for governing the delivery of the Melbourne Metro Rail Project, the Level Crossing Removal Project, and the Mernda rail extension.

Minister for public transport Jacinta Allan said Wielinga’s appointment was a valuable move by the new government.

“With $15 billion of new transport infrastructure being planned and delivered by the Andrews Labor Government, it is critical that we secure the very best leaders in project delivery,” Allan said.

“Mr Wielinga’s experience will be invaluable in overseeing the governance and delivery of the Andrews Labor Government’s multi-billion dollar transport infrastructure program.”

The announcement of Wielinga’s appointment was made just days after Allan, and premier Daniel Andrews, announced the preferred alignment for the Melbourne Metro rail project.

“The Major Transport Infrastructure Board will work closely with the new project delivery authorities to ensure the projects this state needs are delivered on time and on budget, in partnership with local communities.”

In his time at Transport for NSW, Wielinga oversaw the development and planning of projects including the North West Rail Link and the Sydney Light Rail Project.

The Andrews Government will now work with Wielinga to make additional board appointments, “with a focus on securing highly skilled members with expertise in different project delivery disciplines”.

Wielinga retired from his role at Transport for NSW in September 2013, with sincere thanks from NSW’s then-minister for transport Gladys Berejiklian.

“Few people have ever made such a contribution to transport and infrastructure,” Berejiklian said in June 2013. “Les has left a lasting legacy for the people of this state.”

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