Most viewed recently
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Author Archives: John Austen
The Grattan Institute’s recent condemnation of high-speed rail is fair enough. However, its further speculations on ‘renovating regional rail’ and urban commuting need questioning.
Governments made dramatic responses to challenges posed by Covid-19. New ideas are being sought in many areas of public policy. However, transport infrastructure is a lamentable exception – instead of a reassessment of plans in light of the new realities, … Continue reading
In the past few years Pearls etc carried posts on how road spending vastly exceeded road related revenue even though road use had not much increased – a perversion of public policy helping the infrastructure lobby at the expense of … Continue reading
Infrastructure Australia’s 2020 priority list doesn’t recognise – let alone address fundamental problems.
Are recent developments with Sydney’s Metro railway straws in the wind or embers heralding an infrastructure inferno?
Recently the question of road charges for electric light vehicles – cars – hit the headlines. Opinions split into: those who want such charges to collect funds for road building; those opposed to such charges because they might slow the … Continue reading
The Sydney Metro saga continues, with renewed – and still unrealistic – promises of a $20bn west Metro giving travellers a 20-minute trip from Parramatta to the CBD. Talk of this, and progress with tunnelling under the CBD, must be … Continue reading
Ongoing urging of infrastructure proposals for Commonwealth funding exacerbates already high moral hazard. Yet nothing is done to discourage the possibility of illegal behaviour costing Australia dearly.
Last week saw media coverage of Infrastructure Australia’s 2019 infrastructure audit. The hype was short lived. The audit was another analytically deficient step towards a transport policy abyss into which the infrastructure club wants to throw vast amounts of your … Continue reading
The NSW and Federal 2019 elections saw the return of Coalition Governments. My perspective – from western Sydney – is: Coalition infrastructure policies have been dreadful, Labor’s offerings weren’t any better.
A recent post said politicians should not ‘bite the bullet’ on high speed rail – but apologise for money wasted; unrealistic expectations fanned; incompetence. It suggested a start with Newcastle – a city dudded by bureaucrats. Better still would be policy … Continue reading
Readers of Pearls and Irritations may have followed the transport infrastructure fiasco in NSW under conservative governments led first by Mr O’Farrell, then Mr Baird and now by one-time Transport Minister and Treasurer, Ms Berejiklian. Several reports last week put an … Continue reading
The Federal Opposition recently got media attention for high speed rail by exhorting Australia to ‘bite the bullet’. Australians should indeed ‘bite the bullet’ on high speed rail – by demanding public apologies for failures: large amounts of public money … Continue reading
NSW faces an election in March. This note – to help an incoming government – draws on transport matters identified in Pearls etc. It won’t be in the incoming government’s briefs. Never mind – people who matter read Pearls!
The Parliamentary inquiry into WestConnex is the type of thing that should happen before any major infrastructure project starts. However, it let the project off too lightly.
The former NSW Opposition Leader proposed a judicial inquiry into WestConnex and Sydney Light Rail. The new Opposition Leader wants public inquiries into major infrastructure projects. The NSW Transport Minister called this a ‘hairbrained idea’ saying projects are already subject to … Continue reading
NSW Premier Berejiklian says her Government will ‘deliver a fast rail network slashing travel times across the State.’ Work will commence in the next term of Government and won’t wait for the Commonwealth – NSW will go it alone!
A recent report on outer urban public transport by IA provides some interesting information .But much better understanding and analysis is needed before more resources are wasted and communities made worse off .
The NSW Government says there is an ‘amazing’ light at the end of the tunnel with the closure of the Epping-Chatswood line that is part of the Metro project. The analogy is apt. An approaching light in a railway tunnel … Continue reading
Only a public inquiry can cut through the nonsense surrounding Sydney Metro and advise on what to do.
We are told Sydney Metro will overcome capacity constraints on Sydney’s rail network. This is false. Only a public inquiry can reveal the truth and advise on what to do. This is the first of two articles following-up John Menadue’s … Continue reading
Instead of turning sods at Badgerys Creek airport, the new Prime Minister should order a public inquiry into Sydney Metro and the mess it will create.The newly helmeted Prime Minister recently appeared in the media turning first sods at the … Continue reading
Mr Shorten has the right intentions about Western Sydney Rail but he needs to read Pearls and Irritations more carefully!
Here are some starters for the Sydney Metro inquiry.
A recent report on freight and supply chains leads Governments astray. This is the last of three articles seeking to put them back on course.
A recent report on freight and supply chains leads Governments astray. This is the second of three articles seeking to put them back on course.
A recent report on freight and supply chains leads governments astray. This the first of two articles challenging its view that more bureaucracy and data is needed to deal with a supposedly ubiquitous task.
Infrastructure Australia should be made a Commission and do its work in public.
Instead of handwringing politicians should act to reverse the outrageous restriction on Newcastle port.
The mixed reception for the infrastructure works of NSW Premier the Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP continues. It is mostly bad news punctuated by the odd piece of what the NSW Government considers good news.