Home' Future Building Australian Infrastructure Review : Volume 8 Number 1 Contents futurebuilding
The things we agree on
huge benefit-cost ratio, allowing you to better utilise the asset
base of motorways – or whether it’s embedded sensors that
pick up maintenance issues, one of the things that struck me
(having worked in the telecommunications sector) is that there
are more opportunities than we presently take advantage of
in terms of integrating telecommunications and roads. I would
like to see a situation where, when we put out a contract for
a road, part of the contract should be laying optical fibre and
building a tower every 20 kilometres. There may be more
efficient ways to do it, but I think shared utilities, including
embedded technology, makes good economic sense and
offers new possibilities.
AA: The key is thinking in advance, so not just, ‘We’re going
to build a road’. How do we make it maximise sustainability
and linkages with active transport? How do we maximise
productivity through use of managed motorways technology?
How do we maximise output from that asset? We need to think
in advance. We’re towards the end of the panel, so we can
afford a little sledge.
BL: Go on.
AA: Smart cities aren’t built on a copper National Broadband
Network (NBN); they’re built on fibre and 21st-century
technology. To pay my fine, he knows that’s true.
BL: You can have a sledge now.
PF: I’m going to make the point that in four years, we’ve
got six million people who can connect to the NBN, up from
50,000 that were connected when we came into government.
That means for everybody on the fixed network, you can have
internet speeds of up to 70 or 80 megabytes per second.
AA: Really? How many people are on the new M4 and
M5 now? None. This is where infrastructure happens. They’re
experts. Of course, it accelerates when there are more people
in there now.
PF: When we came to office, $6 billion had been spent and
only 50,000 people managed to get connected. Sorry, we’re
back in the old way.
BL: I feel like I’m driving you both home and saying, ‘Come
on kids, you’ve had such a good day’.
I would like to thank Anthony and Paul. They’re people
I’ve known for a long time. We are well served by these two in
Canberra. When they’re sparring on infrastructure in Canberra,
they are fighting for things that we all agree on: like markets,
good interventions, good approaches and good relationships
with the states.
Despite the deeply divided and partisan nature of the
political debate, one of the things we should be happy about
as a sector is that we have two really strong champions in Paul
Anthony Albanese MP – Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development and the Shadow Minister for Tourism
Anthony Albanese was re-elected as Member for Grayndler at the July 2016 election, and is currently the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities
and Regional Development and the Shadow Minister for Tourism.
Mr Albanese has been a Member of Parliament since 1996 and believes strongly in the need for government to invest in local communities.
Following the election of the Federal Labor Government in November 2007, Mr Albanese became the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development
and Local Government, and Leader of the House of Representatives.
Mr Albanese was named Infrastructure Minister of the Year for 2012 by London-based publication Infrastructure Investor, and in 2010 was named Aviation
Minister of the Year for producing Australia’s first ever Aviation White Paper.
In June 2013, he became Deputy Prime Minister, and also took on additional responsibility as Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.
Mr Albanese is committed to growing our communities in regional and metropolitan areas, and believes infrastructure and transport have a crucial role to play
in achieving this.
Paul Fletcher MP – Minister for Urban Infrastructure
Paul Fletcher is the Minister for Urban Infrastructure in the Turnbull Government.
He entered Parliament in December 2009 as the Member for Bradfield, was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications in September
2013, Minister for Major Projects, Territories and Local Government in September 2015, and was appointed to his present role in July 2016.
Before entering Parliament, Mr Fletcher was Director, Corporate and Regulatory Affairs, at Optus; established a consulting firm serving the communications
sector; and in 2009 his book about broadband, Wired Brown Land, was published by UNSW Press.
He has dual first-class honours degrees in law and economics from The University of Sydney and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University
in New York, where he was a Fulbright Scholar.
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