A Successful Infrastructure Australia should spell its demise*

Australia and the world need a mind-shift when it comes to infrastructure. It about services first, not just building assets.

Road Reform: Australia’s Last Frontier*

The Federal government’s willingness to debate the Harper Review recommendation to introduce cost reflective road pricing is an opportunity to move a difficult issue forward; provided it recognises the root and extent of the problem its seeks to fix. The roads sector has had a carte blanche operational model for the best part of twoContinue reading “Road Reform: Australia’s Last Frontier*”

What’s good for the goose, is good for gander: the case of China’s Infrastructure Bank

This article recently featured in Australian Financial Review on July 3, 2015. When the Australian Treasurer visits the Great Hall of the People in Beijing to sign up the nation to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) it could reap big dividends, but not as you might expect. Of course Asia needs more infrastructure and theContinue reading “What’s good for the goose, is good for gander: the case of China’s Infrastructure Bank”

Stop the infrastructure ‘boom bust’

The Australian Financial Review’s National Infrastructure Summit last week resonated with calls for reform to deliver better value for money, proclamations of broken procurement models, need for more rational risk allocation and furious agreement about importance of infrastructure to help rebalance Australia’s post-mining boom economy. No doubt these sober deliberations confirm once again that AustraliaContinue reading “Stop the infrastructure ‘boom bust’”

Infrastructure Australia Audit: first ‘listen’ to the people

Infrastructure Australia is under new management, and it shows in its first national audit report released today. Demographics, land use and infrastructure are all bundled together in the Audit, and its not a minute too soon. The mega trends in demographics and land use are the big drivers of infrastructure demand and recognition of ‘integrated infrastructure planning’Continue reading “Infrastructure Australia Audit: first ‘listen’ to the people”

Another budget of ‘reverse philanthropy’

Australia brought down its Federal budget tonight. Sure the Prime Minister was right, it had ‘no surprises’ and the flip side is ‘no aspiration’ either. While Europe and US have had an appetite for public debt for a prolonged period of time, and have enjoyed the favour of the capital markets, Australia should not bank on theContinue reading “Another budget of ‘reverse philanthropy’”

Customers first, infrastructure second

  Why are customers left out of infrastructure? The preferred language in infrastructure circles for the people that consume infrastructure services are ‘users’. And this says it all. Users are the anonymous and forgotten people that have no say in what is offered to them when it comes to our roads, trains, energy and waterContinue reading “Customers first, infrastructure second”

Taxes, till death do us part

Benjamin Franklin wrote anxiously while corresponding to his dear friend Jean-Baptiste Leroy in Paris during the peak of the French revolution about whether he was in fact still alive or had succumbed to the violence. Franklin wrote (as translated to English): “Are you still living? Or has the mob of Paris mistaken the head of aContinue reading “Taxes, till death do us part”

Is Demography Destiny?

Australia had a bonanza of major reports handed down in the past week commissioned by the Federal government on the challenges and opportunities for the nation to retain its position as one of the most liveable places on earth. The Intergenerational Report points to the extraordinary expenditure required to support an aging population; while theContinue reading “Is Demography Destiny?”

Asset Recycling, a smarter way for Australia?

Asset Recycling, a smarter way for Australia? This is my opinion piece that appeared in the Australian Financial Review today, 18 March 2015. I welcome your opinions and observations. The decision to sell poles and wires in NSW is extraordinarily straightforward. The real questions lie elsewhere. How to unlock the community’s permission to do assetContinue reading “Asset Recycling, a smarter way for Australia?”