Hockey attacks ‘corporate and middle class welfare’ as he outlines G20 agenda

In this article in The Conversation, Garry Bowditch argues:

There are a number of factors required to improve the attractiveness of infrastructure as a long-term investment for private funding

These include high design and construction costs, low asset utilisation owing to poor demand management and a reliance on a narrow revenue base such as user charges.

Read the full piece here.

Why It’s the Last Chance for Infrastructure Australia

By Garry Bowditch, for The Financial Review.

In the modern life cycle of government agencies, Infrastructure Australia (IA) has done well to secure a second life with the Abbott government. The challenge now is to deliver more tangible results, as it might be its last chance to do so.

IA has witnessed in its lifetime a dramatic escalation in the cost of infrastructure in Australia, making it one of the most expensive jurisdictions in the world to build mega-projects. As a result taxpayers have suffered poor value for money for each dollar spent. Surprisingly there has been little focus on this by IA.

Read the rest at The Financial Review.

Should users pay the toll for Australia’s infrastructure problem?

Garry Bowditch writes for The Conversation:

By Garry Bowditch

Australia spends more on infrastructure today than at any stage in its history. Yet governments are unable to meet demand and don’t expect ever to do so. What can governments do to keep up with escalating demand and community expectations for infrastructure?

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Australia’s Infrastructure Cost Conundrum

Garry Bowditch writes for The Conversation:

Infrastructure is about the long-term growth and prosperity of a nation, but Australia will get very little of this benefit if the cost of building it continues to rapidly escalate.

Australia is becoming increasingly uncompetitive in design and delivery of major projects. This is an unacceptable situation, and a newly commissioned multi-state inquiry by the SMART Infrastructure Facility will identify the key causes and make recommendations to help secure better value for taxpayers’ money.
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Driverless cars light the road to Sydney’s future

Writing in the Australian Financial Review, Garry Bowditch says jurisdictions that can adapt quickly to innovation and technology benefit their communities greatly with new jobs, a better investment environment, great universities and more resilient futures.

One hundred and fifty years ago next month, multiple time zones were implemented for the first time anywhere in the world. Then, the US railway system – through the great logic of Sir Sandford Fleming and the sheer power of logistical demands – divided the continent into four different zones, east to west, so every 15 degrees of longitude equalled one hour of difference.

Fleming’s time zones solved a very practical problem: national timetables could be written for the great east-west train journeys from Chicago to San Francisco. The new railroads demanded legislative changes to create time zones that allowed the full benefit of new technology to operate with efficiency and enabled the US to operate as a single coherent economy for the first time. The rest of the story is “modern” history.

Infrastructure and technology are very powerful forces of change.

Read the full article here.