Home' Future Building: The Australian Infrastructure Review : Volume 5 Number 1 Contents futurebuilding 15
Volume 5 Number 1
'I think Australia is not doing too badly,
but it's a matter of degree. One idea is to
set up specialised instruments to allow for
a separate way of reporting infrastructure
projects, giving them greater transparency and
visibility so that funds can invest in them.
'Another idea is to stimulate greater foreign
investment, as there's no question that China
is looking for big projects, so it would be a
question of how to facilitate that flow of funds.'
Australia's infrastructure scorecard
Assessing Australia's performance, Deeper Insights
panellist and Hastings Funds Management Chief
Executive Andrew Day agreed.
'Australia has been a pioneer in private
sector investing in infrastructure, but these
are long-term investments that need a
highly disciplined approach. With multiple
states running concurrent sales processes,
it is important that governments and their
appointed transaction teams allow time
for the extensive due diligence needed to
balance price and risk,' Day said.
'On a relative basis, Hastings is a leader in
dealing with privatised infrastructure. We have
also been a pioneer of managing and being a
source of funding for Australian infrastructure
assets. One of the biggest challenges now
is matching up the strong demand from
institutional funds from Europe, North America
and Asia for Australian assets, while balancing
the needs of our Australian clients.
'At the moment, Australia has a robust
pipeline of opportunities, and there is a
growing awareness that privatising mature
infrastructure assets brings tangible benefits
-- in the form of readily available sources of
capital for continued capital expenditure;
and for the broader economy in promoting
efficiencies and growth.
'Infrastructure is a community asset
requiring local political and community
support, and, as such, successful investments
should have bipartisan support and strong
'If the G20 can help promote the benefits
of disinclined private sector investment in
infrastructure, it could bring tangible benefits
to the Australian economy.'
Similarly, fellow panellist and IFM
Investors Global Head of Infrastructure Kyle
Mangini also believed that the political
environment is a major variable that needs to
be taken into consideration when embarking
on new projects.
'The challenge is incredibly aspirational,
because politically, it's very difficult to do
these things as, while politicians like cutting
ribbons, they don't like telling people that
they have to move out of their houses.
'If a politician tells voters that assets need
to be privatised, they'll say no, but if, instead,
they say we will sell the port and build
schools, voters will say yes.
'It's all about contextualising the
message wherever you are, and making
it understood that what's been done will
benefit the general population.'
Putting this in the context of local
development milestones, panellist and
WestConnex M5 Project Director Chris
Swann observed that success in this regard
has been achieved in recent years in New
'In the last three years, after previously
underperforming in infrastructure, New South
Wales has taken a number of positive steps,
including the establishment of Infrastructure
NSW with its priority list of projects that will
grow the economy.
'The number-one recommendation from
the list was the WestConnex M5 project,
which stands head and shoulders above any
other project in terms of growing the New
South Wales economy.'
Summing up, B20 Infrastructure and
Investment Taskforce Coordinating Chair
David Thodey made sure to place the focus
firmly on the vast potential upside of closing
the projected infrastructure investment gap.
'If you were to be able to really unleash
this incredible opportunity, it would generate
at least one per cent to 1.5 per cent of gross
domestic produce (GDP) growth over the next
five to 15 years.
'That's an enormous stimulant for growth;
but, more importantly, if you get it right, it
will create 100 million jobs globally, and just
look at what's happening here at Barangaroo
-- the number of people working creates this
energy, which is very important for the city
and the nation.
'This is a tremendous opportunity and,
if we can just move it forward a little bit, it
will be good for the world economy, good for
Australia, and good for institutional investors.
'We want to stimulate growth and
investment, because, personally, I am sick of
cutting costs, and I like growing,' Thodey said.
The Deeper Insights Series is a Westpac
Institutional Bank thought leadership
event. These events provide customers with
access to industry thought leaders, and an
opportunity to discuss current economic
issues and their impacts on business.
This year's event focused on the B20
Infrastructure and Investment Taskforce
recommendations to the G20. Speakers
included David Thodey, B20 Coordinating
Chair, and Chief Executive Officer, Telstra
Corporation; Kyle Mangini, Global Head of
Infrastructure, IFM Investors; Andrew Day,
Chief Executive Officer, Hastings; Chris
Swann, M5 Project Director, WestConnex;
Pippa Crawford, Head of Westpac
Institutional Bank Victoria and Head of
Energy and Resources, Corporate and
Institutional Banking; and Michael Pascoe,
Finance and Economic Commentator (as
master of ceremonies).
Asia Pacific Public
(PPP) 2013 Deal of the Year
Sydney Convention Centre1
2013 Deal of the Year
Best Debt Finance
House in Australia 20133 Best Debt House
in Australia 20144
Source: 1. Project Finance International Awards 2013, Darling Harbour Live -- (Sydney Convention Centre). 2. Infrastructure Journal and Project Finance
Magazine Awards 2013, AquaSure. 3. FinanceAsia Achievement Awards 2013 -- Australia and New Zealand. 4. Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2014.
Westpac Institutional Bank is a division of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 ("Westpac") ASFL 233714. DW_WBC594D1_AIR
'Merely creating a pipeline of
bankable projects is not sufficient;
the pipeline must be supported by all
sides of politics and the community'
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