Home' Future Building Australian Infrastructure Review : Issue 1 Contents "Traditionally, much of the funding for infrastructure has
come from federal and state governments, but federal and state
purses are getting stretched thinner and thinner by escalating
healthcare and education costs and escalating spending on
issues like security, law and order and social welfare. How does
government continue to meet its growing obligations, and on
the other hand meet the challenge of infrastructure spending?
"We need to be more inventive about how we think about
Many state governments have turned to public private
partnerships to get major projects off the ground. Examples
include CityLink, EastLink and the desalination plant in Victoria,
the Sydney harbour tunnel and the link to Brisbane airport.
Sir Rod says the PPP model is a "broad church" and
governments need to consider it carefully. "We have seen
examples of where this idea works and where it doesn't," he
says. "The issues are who takes what risks when. Who takes the
construction risk, who takes the patronage risk and what sort of
returns do infrastructure investors get?
"The private sector will step up to infrastructure investment
as long as it sees it as a reasonable investment opportunity.
There is no shortage of investment funds looking for long term
stable returns. The question is on what terms."
Another innovative approach, he says, is developing
infrastructure bonds for the public to invest in big projects, and
get good returns.
In the end, however, it will require some creative and
lateral thinking from Australia's political leaders. "Governments
sense," he says.
Sir Rod Eddington
and Chairman of
Educated as an engineer at the University of Western
Australia and then Oxford University as WA's 1974 Rhodes
Scholar, he has demonstrated his acumen and expertise on
the national, regional, and international stages. Sir Rod's
career began in transport and aviation in 1979 when he
before retiring in late 2005 to return to Australia.
In 2005, Sir Rod was awarded a knighthood by the
British Government for services to civil aviation. In Decem-
ber 2006, he completed a study for the British Government
on the links between transport and the economy, before
conducting in 2008 a similar investigation and report for
the Victorian Government, the 'East-West Link Needs As-
sessment' transport study.
and talents. In addition to maintaining non-executive di-
rectorships with News Corporation, Rio Tinto PLC, CLP
(China Light & Power) Holdings and John Swire & Sons
Pty Ltd, Sir Rod also serves as chairman of Victorian Major
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