Category Archives: Infrastructure

SAM VARGHESE. Flashback: Only bipartisan NBN policy switch can save us

Last year former Internet Australia Executive Director Laurie Patton suggested the Government and the Opposition work together to find a solution to the serious problems afflicting the NBN. His arguments still stand.

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JOHN MENADUE. Media catch-up on Newcastle Port.

Drawing on a report from Deloitte yesterday, Matt Wade in several Fairfax newspapers breathlessly told us that restrictions on privatised ports was adding to Sydney’s gridlock.  He added that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is now investigating the secret … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Infrastructure, Politics | 2 Comments

ANDREW HAMILTON. Clerical culture produces poor fruit.

In a recent ‘Eureka Street’ article, I remarked that in the Catholic Church clericalism is a pejorative term. I tried also to identify some of the attitudes and behaviour associated with people regarded as clericalist. The article sparked a lively … Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure, Religion and Faith | 7 Comments

JOHN AUSTEN – More on the Sydney transport mess-the Western Sydney dud ‘deal’

Announcement of a Western Sydney ‘city deal’ by the Prime Minister and Premier was touted as securing a rail line through Badgerys Creek airport. It does not. In fact, it merely committed to yet another review about what to do. That may … Continue reading

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QUENTIN DEMPSTER. Positions vacant: NBN Co’s ‘death seat’.

After Mike Quigley and Bill Morrow, who’s next for NBN Co’s CEO ‘death seat’?  It can be called an executive death seat because the NBN’s business plan to start recouping the cost of the Turnbull government’s mis handled $49billion multi-technology … Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure, Politics | 2 Comments

JOHN AUSTEN. Immigration and infrastructure.

While immigration – and a big Australia – is presented as the cause of infrastructure woe the real culprit is policy failure: deficient planning, bad structural arrangements and absence of road congestion pricing.  

Posted in Infrastructure, Refugees, Immigration | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Cars, not immigration, are killing our cities.

This week on Four Corners many commentators blamed immigration for many of our ills. It was a diversionary tactic.  I think that immigration is Australia’s great success story. Many of the problems that immigration cause are the result of policy failure … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Housing, Infrastructure, Politics | 3 Comments

ANNE HURLEY. Questions should be asked about the Coalition Agreement and its potential impact on the NBN rollout in rural Australia?

Over the last few weeks we have been inundated with reports of the Barnaby Joyce saga. One aspect of the saga has involved a call for transparency in the provisions of the agreement between the Liberal Party and Nationals – … Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure, Media | 2 Comments

JOHN AUSTEN. We need a Metro public inquiry in NSW to sort out the railway mess

A recent opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Heaald effectively called for a stop to criticism of the NSW Government’s approach to Sydney railways – in particular Metro – and for everyone to get onboard the transport ‘revolution’. I can’t … Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure | 1 Comment

HYLDA ROLFE. Summer of our disconnect. (Part 1 of 2)

Some National Parks in New South Wales are taking a beating. On occasion, it’s difficult to distinguish the businesses that are officially sanctioned in them from the activities usually undertaken in normal commercial venues. Should they be there at all? … Continue reading

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JOHN AUSTEN. The roads club is having a great spend.

Overspending on roads may be already damaging national productivity as well as adding to debt burdens of future generations. 

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JOHN AUSTEN. NSW needs an inquiry into Sydney transport

A dreadful start to 2018 for Sydney transport made NSW Minister Constance the unwelcome centre of attention.  The spotlight will turn to the Premier who was formerly the Minister for Transport.

Posted in Infrastructure | 4 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Infrastructure, rent-seekers and lobbyists.

As our mining boom has receded, Australia has seen unprecedented sums flow to transport infrastructure projects -mostly in our two biggest cities. But we have a real mess on our hands.

Posted in Infrastructure, Politics | 1 Comment

JOHN AUSTEN. Newcastle port – some progress in undoing a privatisation fiasco

Pressure is mounting to overcome the ridiculous anti-competitive constraints on Newcastle port.

Posted in Infrastructure, Politics | 2 Comments

LAURIE PATTON. Supporting call for innovation push – highlighting the need for a focussed approach including a national smart cities and communities strategy

We need our national innovation strategy to be targeted at solving identifiable problems and assessed according to its contribution to social benefit as well as economic outcomes.  

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GEORGE RENNIE. The Revolving Door at the Infrastructure Club

The revolving door of politics represents a particularly difficult problem for modern democracies. And when senior public servants leave their positions to work as lobbyists for the infrastructure industry – an industry that takes a lion’s share of government spending, … Continue reading

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. Defence policies and alliances have become a new religion. Part 5 of 5 : White Papers, Strategic Reviews, Papal Bulls and Encyclicals

Government pronouncements in Australia, especially in the fields of Strategy and National Security, it is claimed, are determined by scientific rationality and definitely not configured according to religious belief. This is both fraudulent and a dangerous conceit: religion, has not … Continue reading

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JOHN AUSTEN. Roads – another year of inaction and congestion-causing deficits

Spending on roads continues to vastly outstrip road revenues, increasing our national debt. This easy access to funding is why we spend too much on the wrong roads and has stopped road reform – as stated in a post in … Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure | 1 Comment

ANNE HURLEY. The Government just doesn’t get it when it comes to the NBN debacle

As I was writing this article in response to Paul Budde’s speculation about life following the NBN roll-out in 2020, the Government released its response to the first report of the Joint Standing Committee on the NBN. Sadly, if predictably, … Continue reading

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DYLAN McCONNELL. A month in, Tesla’s SA battery is surpassing expectations.

It’s just over one month since the Hornsdale power reserve was officially opened in South Australia. The excitement surrounding the project has generated acres of media interest, both locally and abroad. The aspect that has generated the most interest is the battery’s rapid response time in … Continue reading

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ANNE HURLEY. Bad advice: why Mr Turnbull’s NBN is such a failure

These days you can’t buy a new car without airbags and ABS brakes. The Internet of Things is transforming the way we live our lives, run our businesses and grow the crops that feed the world. We’re developing autonomous vehicles … Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure, Media, NBN | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The Ausgrid decision and the growing power of security and intelligence agencies. A REPOST from August 2016

  The Ausgrid decision on Chinese investment raises two important issues. The first is how do we get a proper balance between security concerns and the wider benefits of the relationship. Our major strategic ally the US sees China our … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Infrastructure, International Affairs, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

LUKE FRASER. Is Sydney in thrall to an infrastructure cargo cult? (Part 3 of 3)

In the first two posts, the vast scale of Sydney major transport projects was estimated at $85 billion – a figure larger than all European spending on transport public private partnerships for the last five years; the posts also examined … Continue reading

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

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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OLIVER FRANKEL. House prices are not necessarily correlated with changes in supply and demand

A recent research report, Regional Housing Supply and Demand in Australia, by the ANU’s Centre for Social Research and Methods, has reignited the debate about the relationship between house prices and imbalances in the supply of and demand for housing. … Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure | 1 Comment

JOHN AUSTEN: What will it take to kick off a serious enquiry into the Sydney transport mess?

While readers relax over the Christmas break, Commonwealth advisers and politicians should be asking about the Sydney infrastructure mess.  

Posted in Infrastructure | 1 Comment

LAURIE PATTON. Setting the Record Straight – The Australian newspaper publishes rebuttal to Internet Australia attacks

For former journalist and media executive Laurie Patton, spearheading Internet Australia’s campaign for #BetterBroadband meant becoming accustomed to the occasional sledge from the pro-NBN Co forces. However, a series of false and defamatory newspaper articles led to an out-of-court settlement … Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure | 6 Comments

LUKE FRASER. Is Sydney in thrall to an infrastructure cargo cult? Part 2 of 3

This is the second of three articles considering transport infrastructure spending levels, shortcomings in transport governance and strategy and the potential for doing better. 

Posted in Infrastructure, Politics | 1 Comment

GRAHAM HAND. No, Gladys, build it and they will not come

The NSW Government has announced it will knock down and rebuild Allianz Stadium at Moore Park at a cost of $700 million and the Olympic Stadium at Homebush, only 17 years old, at a cost of $1.6 billion. However, there … Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure, Politics | 3 Comments

LUKE FRASER. Is Sydney in thrall to an infrastructure cargo cult? (Part 1 of 3)

This is the first of three articles considering transport infrastructure spending levels, shortcomings in transport governance and strategy and the potential for doing better.

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