Category Archives: Infrastructure

A white flag moment on the NBN was inevitable.

This week’s capitulation – that’s what it is – by communications minister Paul Fletcher sets us on a course that hopefully will see Australia start moving in the right direction again as we head further into a digitally-enabled future. It’s … Continue reading

Posted in NBN, Politics, Top 5 | Tagged | 17 Comments

Infrastructure Stimulus: there are smart projects out there, if we care to look

Infrastructure spending is touted as the path to economic recovery, but our leaders can no longer afford to throw billions at programs with little economic merit or policy logic.

Posted in Infrastructure, Politics | Tagged | 1 Comment

Transport infrastructure: our States biggest waste

The Reserve Bank governor recently asked States to support jobs – by spending $40 billion more on infrastructure. Please don’t – at least not on the usual transport projects!

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NBN Debacle. Wherefore art thou, minister?

What has been described as the country’s all-time biggest infrastructure debacle – the National Broadband Network – is a financial and technological mess.

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JOHN AUSTEN. High Speed Rail – shooting a corpse?

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.

Posted in Infrastructure | 3 Comments

JOHN AUSTEN. Transport infrastructure in a Covid world

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

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QUENTIN DEMPSTER. Let ‘er rip!: Snowy 2.0 project now an integrity test for Gladys Berejiklian

The New South Wales Berejiklian Government now faces an integrity test over the fast tracking of final approval for the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro electricity project in Kosciuszko National Park.

Posted in Infrastructure | 10 Comments

MIKE SCRAFTON. Regulation, tariffs and reform of supply chains.

The political leaders that brought us global supply chains, hollowed out public services, and dwindling administrative capacity, are potentially about to find themselves in a series of contradictions.

Posted in Infrastructure, Politics | 2 Comments

JOHN AUSTEN. Another year of record waste on roads

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

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JOHN AUSTEN. Placating the Infrastructure Club

Infrastructure Australia’s 2020 priority list doesn’t recognise – let alone address fundamental problems.

Posted in Infrastructure | 5 Comments

JOHN AUSTEN. Sydney Metro developments

Are recent developments with Sydney’s Metro railway straws in the wind or embers heralding an infrastructure inferno?

Posted in Infrastructure | 4 Comments

LAURIE PATTON. My New Year’s wish – more collaborative technology policy development

A report released by communications minister Paul Fletcher has confirmed that so-called ‘Internet piracy’ declined dramatically following the arrival of Netflix and other online streaming services – debunking the need for ‘site-blocking’ laws controversially introduced following a well-funded lobbying effort … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Infrastructure | Leave a comment

JOHN AUSTEN. Electric Vehicle Charging

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

Posted in Infrastructure | 1 Comment

JOHN AUSTEN. Sydney and the mock Metro

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

Posted in Infrastructure | 1 Comment

JACK WATERFORD. Do harrowing inquiries deliver bang for the bucks?

The onion juice sometimes obscures the inconvenient, or unspeakable truths

Posted in Infrastructure | 2 Comments

JOHN KERIN. Dairy markets and regulation?.

 The dairy industry has been subject to plenty of government enquiries and more are in train,but is anything going to come of them?

Posted in Economy, Infrastructure | 2 Comments

TIM COSTELLO. Crown- a private company masquerading as a public one that is above the law?

The annual Crown Resorts AGM last week should have been a moment for admission to shareholders by the Board that they were in trouble and a moment to reassure investors that they had strategies to address a burning platform. Instead, they … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Infrastructure | 2 Comments

JACK WATERFORD. Soon we won’t recognise the face of Australia.

National government is becoming more authoritarian and much less accountable

Posted in Human Rights, Infrastructure | 4 Comments

JACK WATERFORD. ACT closes the books on how cops and lawyers failed David Eastman, and us.

The courts, DPP and justice officials agree to deny FOI access to trial transcripts. Criticism of their roles can thus be called ill-informed.

Posted in Infrastructure | 4 Comments

JOHN AUSTEN. Infrastructure Claims – Above the law?

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.

Posted in Infrastructure | 5 Comments

LUKE FRASER. A Repost: Congestion charging: – Stockholm, Melbourne and Turnbull’s legacy.

The Grattan Institute has just published a report on road congestion charging.  It argues that congestion charging is a better way to manage busy urban roads. It is right but Ministers  rejected the idea immediately. We waste far more money … Continue reading

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CHARLES LIVINGSTONE. Guns and money: How the pokies’ proponents channel the NRA image (Monash University 8-10-19)

Whenever Australians learn of a mass shooting in the US, we tend to feel relieved – and maybe a little smug – that our political leaders were sensible enough to restrict gun ownership after the 1996 Port Arthur massacre.

Posted in Infrastructure | 1 Comment

LAURIE PATTON. How Malcolm Turnbull missed his chance to fix the NBN

Internet access is now the most complained about telco service in Australia according to the Telecommunications Ombudsman’s latest report. While complaints about mobile phones have been on the decline recently, the state of our trouble-plagued NBN continues to see consumers … Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure, Technology, start-ups and new media | 2 Comments

YVES TIBERGHIEN. Belt and Road Summit in Hong Kong: Toward a BRI 2.0? (Australian Outlook, 5 Sep 2019)

From 11 to 12 September 2019, the fourth Edition of the Hong Kong Belt and Road Summit is due to take place at the Wanchai Convention Center. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is now in its sixth year since … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Infrastructure | Leave a comment

BOB DEBUS. Must Prisoner Numbers Grow Forever? (an edited version of a lecture given to the Law Society of New South Wales, 22 August)

We can all accept imprisonment as the appropriate response for serious and violent crimes. Nevertheless there is a plethora of studies confirming the common sense conclusion that prison is damaging for individuals at a psychological level, especially in the absence … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Infrastructure | 2 Comments

JOHN AUSTEN. Infrastructure Australia’s ‘believe it or not’ audit

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

Posted in Infrastructure | 2 Comments

SARAH ANN WHEELER, EMMA CARMODY. Was the Government’s irrigation cash splash worth it? (The Advertiser)

One of us was born on a fifth-generation irrigated dairy farm in NSW; the other in a country town in the Murray-Darling Basin.

Posted in Environment and climate, Infrastructure | Leave a comment

GEOFF GALLOP. Effective public servants need nuanced understanding of politics, what drives their minister and government. Geoff Gallop offers eleven theses on Australian politics in practice.

Geoff Gallop is a former premier of Western Australia. Your minister cannot avoid dealing with the politics, so you should understand the ideas behind it, and the policy compromises they must make to secure alliances.

Posted in Infrastructure, Politics | 4 Comments

KIM WINGEREI The NBN is wrecking a whole industry

NBNCo is not just a costly technological failure, but a policy debacle that has cost Australias taxpayers billions of dollars that should have been better spent, as well as contributing to the severe devaluation of a whole industry.

Posted in NBN | 1 Comment

CRISPIN HULL. Transport policy takes us on Argentine road (Canberra Times 7 June 2019)

Transport should not be a hostage to politics and ideology, but in Australia it has been since before the rival colonies of NSW and Victoria decided to have different railway gauges in the 19 th century and it is likely … Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure | 3 Comments