Category Archives: Infrastructure

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

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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

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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.

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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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RICHARD DENNISS. Our regulators fail to protect the vulnerable from the greedy. Let’s find out why.

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 | 1 Comment

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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LAURIE PATTON. auDA reveals new governance model following government review.

auDA – the body overseeing the management of our Internet domain names system – has released the details of a new governance model. This follows a review by the Department of Communications and the Arts that saw communications minister Mitch Fifield give the organisation three months … Continue reading

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JOHN WHITE, PETER FARLEY, DAVID GILLETT, CHRIS STOLTZ.- Wasted Capital in Major Project Development.

The establishment of the Australian Public Service (APS) Review Panel is a powerful opportunity to examine the state of play of project development at the federal government level and kick-start a positive step change in performance. This will apply pressure … Continue reading

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DUNCAN GRAHAM. The Bush Drivers Lament.

Thousands of escapees from chilly southern cities are currently cruising northern Australia in search of warmth, wildflowers, new friends and a little adventure. The grey nomads prefer caravans, some so lavishly equipped they’re really villas on wheels with solar panels, … Continue reading

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QUENTIN DEMPSTER. ‘Because it’s wreck-able’: Anger mounting at decision to end Fairfax.

The proposed end of Fairfax Media as an entity governing the editorial output of The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian Financial Review and regional newspapers has provoked mounting anger by some of Australia’s most prominent journalists.

Posted in Infrastructure | 5 Comments

LAURIE PATTON. Public servants, political appointments and good government.

Earlier this week what was widely perceived as two highly political appointments to plum roles in the federal public service highlighted a need to re-examine government administration in the 21st Century. Not because these appointments were necessarily inappropriate, but because … Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure, Politics | 4 Comments

JOHN AUSTEN. Bill Shorten and Western Sydney Rail.

Mr Shorten has the right intentions about Western Sydney Rail but he needs to read Pearls and Irritations more carefully!  

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JOHN AUSTEN. Sydney Metro: the $60billion dollar deception

Here are some starters for the Sydney Metro inquiry.

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LAURIE PATTON. Domain names issue closer to resolution.

Next week the group attempting to oust board directors at Internet domain names authority auDA will have an opportunity to explain in detail the reasons for their concern and their solutions.

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DORINA POJANI, IDERLINA MATEO-BABIANO, JONATHAN CORCORAN, NEIL SIPE. Freeing up the huge areas set aside for parking can transform our cities.

Parking may seem like a “pedestrian” topic (pun intended). However, parking is of increasing importance in metropolitan areas worldwide. On average, motor vehicles are parked 95% of the time. Yet most transport analysis focuses on vehicles when they are moving.

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JOHN MENADUE. 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, Politics | 5 Comments

JAMES FERNYHOUGH. Telstra’s bombshell announcement is ‘huge’ news for consumers.

Telstra’s bombshell announcement that it will split in two is “huge” news for consumers, resulting in cheaper, faster internet. But experts say it comes 15 years and $40 billion too late.

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DAVID JAMES. Academics tangle with managerial oppressors.

The imposition of what is termed ‘managerialism’ or ‘marketisation’ on universities is almost entirely disastrous. 

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