Home' Future Building: The Australian Infrastructure Review : Volume 5 Number 1 Contents 28 futurebuilding Volume 5 Number 1
Peter Harris AO
Productivity Commission (PC) Chairman
Peter Harris AO re ects on the PC's recently
released Inquiry Report into Public Infrastructure,
with a particular focus on the negative impacts
that can accrue when governments announce
projects before proper analysis is undertaken.
Last year, the newly elected Abbott Government, as
well as the state governments, with strong support
from industry groups, were talking up the prospects
of infrastructure investment replacing mining and
lique ed natural gas (LNG) capital investment
programmes, as these areas slowed cyclically.
Over the last 12 months, governments have
generally attempted to live up to this image, which
is very positive; however, the lessons that we have
learnt in the past decade suggest that we should not
• Political government should resist the
temptation to announce infrastructure
projects in advance of sound analysis.
• Infrastructure funding is ultimately
sourced only from taxpayers, or from
infrastructure users through user
• Transport funding and congestion
challenges, together with technological
improvements, mean that reformed
road user charging is inevitable.
• Skills remain a challenge for
infrastructure, and must remain a
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