Wider economic and productivity benefits associated with infrastructure spending are set to be given greater weight in terms of cost and benefit considerations under a fundamental overhaul of the way public sector projects are assessed for approval, as the government embarkes on its program to fork out more than $50 billion on infrastructure developments over the next six years.

Unveiling a 19-page discussion paper on Friday, Federal Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Jamie Briggs said the framework would place greater emphasis on the contribution of particular infrastructure projects to broader economic benefits such as improved productivity through reduced travel times and costs for freight and business passengers….