Tag Archives: infrastructure

JOHN AUSTEN: The Commonwealth is ‘meddling’ in NSW rail – at last!

There are indications the Prime Minister wishes to modernise infrastructure policy.   Reports regarding rail to Badgerys Creek highlight the discomfort this causes to the NSW Government- and enormous benefits if the Prime Minister gets Commonwealth involvement right.  

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JOHN AUSTEN. Where to for Commonwealth infrastructure policy?

Legend has it that Charlton Heston flashed a Rolex wristwatch during a chariot race in the 1959 Ben Hur movie. Some recent Prime Ministerial comments could be considered flashes of a policy Rolex in an infrastructure discussion fitted to the … Continue reading

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LUKE FRASER. Good debt, bad debt: Poor infrastructure choices, no reform – and Lee Kuan Yew

In the Fairness, Opportunity, Security policy series and the resulting book, Dr Michael Keating AC and I wrote of Australia’s out-of-control transport infrastructure spending that: ‘It is scandalous that this investment escapes proper scrutiny, while at the same time the … Continue reading

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IAN MCAULEY. The budget – still tough on the young

The Commonwealth’s budget has a Keynesian boost for a sluggish economy, and is based on an optimistic, or even heroic, assumption that economic growth will deliver a fiscal surplus within a few years. We have heard similar claims from treasurers, … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KEATING. The 2017 Budget – A welcome change in direction. Part 2 of 2

Budget repair was never going to be easy. That is one reason why it has taken so long with quite a few false starts. While some of the individual decisions in this Budget are debateable, overall the quality of the … Continue reading

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JOHN AUSTEN. NSW rail projects – a lot of explaining to do

Yet more questions arise about projects set off by former NSW Transport Minister now Premier Ms Berejiklian. This time about light rail. As for the port privatisations and metro, real answers are yet to come. The sooner a Commonwealth inquiry … Continue reading

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JOHN AUSTEN. The Premier and privatisation; selling silverware for transport tupperware?

Commentators on Premier Baird’s years focussed on short term matters such as money from privatisations or inconvenience caused by infrastructure building. The most important question, the merit of infrastructure built with sale proceeds, may take years to answer. NSW will … 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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MICHAEL KEATING. Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, 2016

The Government’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) released yesterday contains few changes and no surprises. The critical question is whether the path back to surplus is actually credible, especially given the many failed promises in the past. This post … Continue reading

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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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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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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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Marion Terrill. Budget infrastructure spending serves mainly political gains.

Current Affairs Tony Abbott famously told Australians he wanted to be known as the infrastructure prime minister and in the 2013 election campaign committed to “retain and strengthen the role of Infrastructure Australia, to create a more transparent, accountable and … Continue reading

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Michael Keating, Luke Fraser. Infrastructure: Improvement or Impoverishment?

Fairness, Opportunity and Security Policy series edited by Michael Keating and John Menadue. To paraphrase Paul Keating, right now every galah in the pet shop seems to favour more infrastructure spending. The current Prime Minister wants ‘to be remembered as … Continue reading

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