Category Archives: Infrastructure

JOHN AUSTEN. Transport for an incoming NSW Government.

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! 

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RICHARD DENNISS. Our regulators fail to protect the vulnerable from the greedy. Let’s find out why. ( A repost from 19 September 2018)

Neoliberalism’s best trick was convincing us that ‘empowering’ citizens to shop around would deliver better services at a lower cost. 

Posted in Economy, Infrastructure | 4 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. We are paying an enormous price to keep Christopher Pyne in Parliament

The Coalition Government ended our car manufacturing industry which had an Effective Rate of Protection of 8%. It employed 200,000 people. We are told by the Government that the void in SA will be filled by building the new French … Continue reading

Posted in Industrial relations, Infrastructure | 4 Comments

LUKE FRASER. The roads that ate the Australian economy – Part 1 of 2

Australia’s current approach to road spending will soon generate up to $20 billion every year in new public sector debt – making it impossible for any new Commonwealth government to benefit from much-needed tax reform and revenue increases.  This also … Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure | 3 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. We are paying to protect an industry that no longer exists.

We see it almost every day in the media; rent-seekers extracting benefits for themselves through political influence and lobbying at the expense of the broader community. It has very little to do with markets. It is about political favours for … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Infrastructure | 7 Comments

JOHN AUSTEN. WestConnex inquiry report.

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.

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ROSS GITTINS. Don’t assume more expressways and trains will fix traffic jams. (SMH 1.12.2018)

When Marion Terrill, of the Grattan Institute, set out to find out how much commuting times had worsened in Sydney and Melbourne, she discovered something you’ll find very hard to believe. But it would come as no surprise to transport … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Infrastructure | 3 Comments

LUKE FRASER. Best of 2018: Canberra has abandoned roads to inflationary spending and policy chaos.

Botched State road projects, toll road fee hikes and congestion grab big headlines and make good sport for critics of State governments. 

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JOHN MENADUE. The Best of 2018: Sydney Metro: A Forty Billion Dollar Deception?

Like all our big cities, Sydney needs better public transport. The Government’s responsibility is to secure this with the best system, for the best price. But as a minimum, new investments cannot be allowed to threaten the productivity and growth … Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure | 7 Comments

JOHN AUSTEN. Public inquiries into NSW infrastructure projects.

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

Posted in Infrastructure | 4 Comments

GILES PARKINSON. Coalition energy and climate policies hit rock bottom at year’s end.

The federal Coalition government has achieved what most would have assumed impossible at the start of 2018: its position on climate and energy policies has worsened and shifted even further to the right. 

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TONY SMITH. The unacceptable road toll.

We should not accept that it is inevitable that people will die on our roads. While drivers must behave responsibly, governments need to take actions which might seem radical in a society obsessed with cars. 

Posted in Infrastructure, Politics | 1 Comment

LUKE FRASER. Canberra has abandoned roads to inflationary spending and policy chaos

Botched State road projects, toll road fee hikes and congestion grab big headlines and make good sport for critics of State governments. 

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JOHN MENADUE. Newcastle Port – another botched privatisation -A repost from 5 September 2016

 The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission  has taken legal action over the terms  on which the NSW Coalition Government in 2013 privatised Port Botany and Port Kembla and imposed severe restrictions on Newcastle Port. Our mainstream media has shown scant … Continue reading

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STEPHEN LEEDER. Private-public partnerships – the good, the bad and the ugly.

Partnerships between public agencies and private providers demand unusual degrees of vigilance of both parties to ensure that the contract between them explicitly states – in great detail – their individual expectations and accountabilities.  Values will differ.  The agreement should, … Continue reading

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JOHN AUSTEN. NSW farce rail

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! 

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JOHN KERIN. Phasing out the Live Sheep Trade.

It is now nearly 60 years since the accelerated live sheep trade commenced from Australia to the Middle East. Early opposition to the trade came from the meatworkers union (AMIEU) in the 1970s, but has increasingly come from animal welfare … Continue reading

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JOHN AUSTEN. A report by Infrastructure Australia on outer urban transport.

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 . 

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LAURIE PATTON. Planning for smart cities – Code of Practice released

“Enhanced telecommunications connectivity, data insights, digital planning practices and innovation districts” will underpin the creation of so-called ‘smart cities’. That’s the theme of a Code of Practice released this week as part of Smart Cities Week Australia. Developed by leading smart … Continue reading

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JOHN STAPLETON. The fiasco of Australia’s telecommunications.

Complaints against the troubled broadband network have risen yet again with the latest Telecommunications Ombudsman’s Report, released this week, showing significant increases in complaints over the last year.

Posted in Infrastructure, NBN | 5 Comments

STEPHEN HOWES. Bringing in backpackers is not the right way to get more workers onto farms.

Suddenly, getting workers onto farms is a top political priority. Over the weekend, and again in parliament on Monday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced plans to get more backpackers working on farms.

Posted in Infrastructure | 3 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Immigration is not the problem in NSW- it is Premier Berejiklian infrastructure mess

Premier Gladys Berejiklian wants to halve Australia’s immigration intake. It is a diversionary tactic to disguise her infrastructure policy failures. Road and rail policies are in melt down   Immigration  does present  challenges but it is Australia’s great success story. Some … Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure, Refugees, Immigration | 1 Comment

JOHN AUSTEN. Pain before more pain and then no gain in Berejiklian’s growing Sydney transport mess

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

Posted in Infrastructure | 5 Comments

RON GARDINER. Brisbane City Council’s Metro Madness

To address busway-congestion problems in central Brisbane, City Council plans to introduce, in 2023, a new and ‘distinctive’ form of public transport. Priced at approximately $1 billion, the project has the inappropriate name Brisbane Metro  (common definition: a railway system, usually underground). Three … Continue reading

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LAURIE PATTON. Common sense prevails in battle over Internet domain names service.

Despite a nasty and at times irrational campaign by a small dissident group, the future of Australia’s Internet domain names system was secured last week. A meeting of members overwhelmingly approved a new constitution and consequential governance changes to auDA … Continue reading

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GREG BAILEY. On Lobbyists And the System That Sustains Them.

Lobbyists are increasingly being recognized as a blight on the political landscape and as one of the negative forces in the progressive weakening of democratic processes in government. That they have come to form a distinct component in creating and … Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure | 4 Comments

JOHN AUSTEN – A public Inquiry into Sydney Metro is essential (Part 2)

Only a public inquiry can cut through the nonsense surrounding Sydney Metro and advise on what to do.

Posted in Infrastructure | 4 Comments

JOHN AUSTEN – Inquiry into Sydney Metro (Part 1)

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

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JOHN AUSTEN. Sydney’s transport mess will now envelop Badgerys Creek Airport

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

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CHRIS MILLS. Electrifying News: Power From The People.

Now that the Coalition (should that be COALition?) Government has announced that it will abrogate is duty to formulate and implement a national energy management policy, it is up to the Australian people to do so.  We can express our … Continue reading

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