Home' Future Building: The Australian Infrastructure Review : Issue 1 Contents Th
"We have 60-plus ports around the
country, we need to ensure that we have
an understanding of the holistic picture of
our ports and how they work and how they
contribute to the economy.
"There are also issues about the
connectivity of the ports through surface
infrastructure, road and rail being key
pieces of the jigsaw, and how all our ports
are linked in.
"We are also looking at the demands
on the national electricity grid, challenged
as it is by things like the commitment to
renewable energy and renewable energy
"The current electricity grid is built
primarily around fossil fuelled power plants,
a world where renewable energy also has
an important role, the question is what you
need to do to the grid to accommodate
these new energy sources."
But doesn't global warming create
issues for road transport? In a low carbon
many because of its relatively high output
of greenhouse gas emissions.
Sir Rod concedes it is an issue but insists
the planning needs to be realistic.
"My view is quite simple," he says. "This
not about road or rail, it's about road and
rail. If you look at freight for instance, one
of the things we are focused on is rail freight
and the capacity of the network to carry
more of the freight burden, particularly for
long haul freight.
"Now, freight comes into its own over
a long distance. But a lot of things that get
moved in a freight sense end up at your
front door and they are not going to make
the last piece of that journey by rail. We
need to recognise the importance of the
road network to freight as well. Not instead
of the rail network but as well as."
When all is said and done, however,
there can be no infrastructure growth
without the private sector. "To be frank if it
doesn't happen, the infrastructure won't get
built," he says.
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