Category Archives: Infrastructure

OLIVER FRANKEL. Sydney second to Hong Kong in housing unaffordability

Demographia International’s latest (13th) annual International Housing Affordability Survey provides yet more evidence of the burning issue of housing affordability in Australia, particularly in our largest cities.  Sydney ranks second most unaffordable, and Melbourne is only a few places behind … Continue reading

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JOHN AUSTEN. Badgerys Creek – testing times

The new airport at Badgerys Creek will test national competition and state transport infrastructure policies and may reveal the latter to be gravely flawed. The usual Commonwealth-state funding fight spectacle should be treated as a trivial pantomime and not distract … Continue reading

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OLIVER FRANKEL. Short-term leases – salt in the wounds of unaffordability for long-term renters

An increasing number of Australians are being forced into long-term rental accommodation, unable to afford the prohibitive and ever-increasing cost of home ownership.  In the private rental market, heavily debt-laden, individual landlords are the norm. Their short-term investment outlook deprives … Continue reading

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GETHIN DAVISON & EDGAR LIU. Neighbours’ fears about affordable housing are worse than any impacts.

Housing affordability is a hot topic in Australia. Governments are increasingly recognising that more needs to be done to provide a greater range of affordable housing options, especially in the major cities. It is well documented, however, that proposals for … Continue reading

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ALAN MORRIS. Why secure and affordable housing is an increasing worry for age pensioners.

There is no doubt that an increasing proportion of older Australians on the age pension will be dependent on the private rental sector in coming decades. This is because of the housing affordability crisis and increasing divorce in later life, … Continue reading

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JOHN AUSTEN. Roads – another year of congestion-causing deficits

We are spending enormous sums on roads and increasing our national debt. Communities are being seriously disrupted and the congestion is increasing. When will we put a stop to this nonsense?  

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PETER DAY. Homelessness v houselessness

We need to change the way we do charity and welfare; we’re out of kilter: lots of giving and receiving of things, but too little giving of ourselves – we just don’t have the time. It hardly needs saying, “People … Continue reading

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SUSAN RYAN. Housing affordability requires immediate government action

The 2016 Intergenerational Report from Treasury predicted that by 2050 the numbers of people in Australia over 65, currently nearly a quarter of the population, will have doubled. Average age expectancy will be over 95 for women and men. Where … Continue reading

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LAURIE PATTON. Turnbull’s New Year resolution should be a fibre-based NBN for everyone

 As we all make our New Year’s resolutions, here’s one for Turnbull: build us a better broadband network. It’s time to allow NBN to dump copper and revert to a fibre-based model. The sooner the better.  

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OLIVER FRANKEL. Sharing our space (Part 2) – implications for housing affordability

Sharing our space undoubtedly makes accommodation more affordable for those willing to share, albeit with some sacrifice in privacy. 

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OLIVER FRANKEL. Sharing our space (Part 1) – the sharing economy and beyond

Part 1 – Part 2 will be published tomorrow. Space sharing is an important part of the fast-growing sharing economy. New co-living paradigms are emerging which could have significant implications for the way we live and the type of housing … Continue reading

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OLIVER FRANKEL. Exploiting our under-used housing capacity – a way to ease the affordable housing crisis

The substantial under-used capacity within our existing residential built environment offers a quick, and capital light, opportunity to ease the affordable housing crisis. … There are an estimated 90,000 properties empty in Sydney and 83,000 in Melbourne. 

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LUKE FRASER. Good, bad and ugly of congestion charging in Melbourne.

Attention to Stockholm’s congestion charging system should be seriously studied in Australian cities. … In roads, we have a pricing crisis rather than an infrastructure crisis.

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OLIVER FRANKEL. When does housing become unaffordable?

Affordable housing has become one of the most hotly debated social problems of our time, yet there is no consensus on how to identify when it exists, let alone its root causes and how to fix it.

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JOHN AUSTEN. Sydney, metro again: $10billion more to ‘build something later’?

John Austen suggests that the NSW government’s approach to railways is at least back-to-front and probably misconceived. 

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LAURENCE TROY. Sydney needs higher affordable housing targets.

  The release this week by the Greater Sydney Commission of city-wide draft plansmandating some measure of affordable housing in new developments is a step in the right direction. However, the target of 5-10% on rezoned land is too low … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Donald Trump – a false prophet and implications for Australia.

  Trump prides himself in being a change-agent, but he really wants to restore the past and protect privilege. He will also do a great deal of social damage. Analysis of the US election tells us that many American ‘working … Continue reading

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JOHN AUSTEN. Sydney Metro – a disaster in store.

The public has been given no serious justification for why Sydney needs a separate, distinct and very expensive new rail system like Metro. All we have is a very big bill and more on the horizon. Sydney could spend almost … Continue reading

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Why Trump should work with China on a massive infrastructure partnership

This is an extract from an interview on CNN on the 10th November 2016 with Kishore Muhbubani, Dean of the Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.  Trump will have to make some painful … Continue reading

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SUSAN RYAN. Affordable housing and inclusionary zoning.

  There are recent signs that governments are belatedly starting to move on the urgent problems created by the lack of affordable housing. A variety of data sources shows that increasing numbers of people, especially older women, face homelessness. Based … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Privatisation and the hobbling of Newcastle Port.

  The downsides of privatisation are becoming clearer. A recent example, which has received little publicity in the mainstream media is the hobbling of Newcastle Port for the benefit of Port Botany. In this blog on 5 September 2016 ‘JOHN … Continue reading

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LAURIE PATTON. Essentially, our NBN is just not good enough (but please don’t say so!)

  … And don’t tell Malcolm Turnbull, who was Minister in charge of the NBN. This week’s Essential poll found that dissatisfaction with the National Broadband Network is both widespread and pretty even across the political spectrum. Only 22 percent of … Continue reading

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ROSS GARNAUT. The economics of the future energy system.

  How can we provide a high degree of energy security in Australia at the lowest possible cost, while contributing our fair share to the global effort to contain the costs of climate change? I take as my starting point … Continue reading

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GILES PARKINSON. Coalition’s stunning hypocrisy – and ignorance – on renewable energy.

  The Coalition appears to have abandoned all pretence that it supports renewable energy, now contradicting assurances by the grid owner and market operator – and now the biggest generator in the country – that the source of energy was not at … Continue reading

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GILES PARKINSON. Dumb politics means we may be stuck with an even dumber grid

  It was just six years ago when Malcolm Turnbull, then deposed Liberal Party leader, attended the launch of the Beyond Zero Emissions Zero Carbon plan for 2020, which suggested Australia should and could attain 100 per cent renewable energy by 2020. … Continue reading

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JOHN AUSTEN. Urban rail projects: property developers should be servants not masters

There is plenty of advice on how to plug the supposed infrastructure gap in Australia’s big cities. One popular idea is for passenger rail projects to be led and funded by property development. [1] The idea has intuitive appeal. The … Continue reading

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GILES PARKINSON. Coalition launches fierce attack against wind and solar after blackout.

  The Coalition government launched a ferocious attack against wind and solar energy after the major South Australian blackout, even though energy minister Josh Frydenberg and the grid operators admit that the source of energy had nothing to do with catastrophic … Continue reading

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DYLAN McCONNELL. Was the SA blackout caused by wind or wind turbines?

  It has everything to do with wind – because that’s what blew over the transmission lines. But it has nothing to do with South Australia’s wind turbines. Transmission lines are large power lines that take electricity from generators to … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. ‘Faster economic growth demands better chief executives’.

  There was a revealing heading in a recent article by Ross Gittins, the economics editor of the SMH, ‘Faster growth demands better chief executives’. He concluded his article by pointing to the need for business leadership to seize the … Continue reading

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LUKE FRASER. Roads: Minister Fletcher will need a good nose for bullshit to deliver genuine reform a la Paul Keating.

  Both the Grattan Institute [i] and Ross Gittins [ii] have lauded Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher for his hard talk on road reform. Gittins compared him to Paul Keating. Fletcher is setting out with a reformer’s zeal. Like … Continue reading

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