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Restoring Australia’s productivity
growth – panel discussion
National policy needs to focus on coordinated action on infrastructure, across industry and the tiers of
Rigorous analysis and thorough planning is the best way to depoliticise infrastructure.
Australia must remain ‘pro investment’ – including foreign investment.
► Marika Calfas, Chief Executive Officer, NSW Ports
► Dr Stephanie Fahey, Chief Executive, Austrade
► Peter Harris AO, Chairman, Productivity Commission
► Brendan Lyon, Chief Executive Officer, Infrastructure
Brendan Lyon (BL): Australia is facing a lot of investment
challenges right now. How do you see the current political,
infrastructure and wider economic debate?
Marika Calfas (MC): I live in a world of ports and freight,
which will form the basis of my contribution to the panel. Ports
and freight underpin our national economy; however, public,
political and regulatory recognition around the importance
of ports and freight to the national economy is lacking. Ports
and freight are vital to our global competitiveness in terms of
exports, and in managing the cost of goods for consumers and
From NSW Ports’ perspective, there are a few core areas
that require more attention if we are to continue to cater for
the trade needs of New South Wales and Australia over the
long term. The first key area is infrastructure. We need to grow
road and rail capacity to ports, and we need to address issues
around urban congestion, as well as improving productivity
through better access to and from ports.
Fundamental to this is the need to optimise utilisation of
existing infrastructure, and to grow the capacity of ports. This
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