Home' Future Building: The Australian Infrastructure Review : December 2010 Contents 58 futurebuilding DECEMBER 2010
The good news is that the Council of Australian Governments
(COAG) appears to be making solid progress in advancing
Australia’s infrastructure approach at a multi-government level.
Clearly, there are many infrastructure challenges. But the
potential is obvious: both sides of parliament and all levels of
government turning a stronger consensus about the need for
infrastructure into actual projects.
There is no shortage of worthy infrastructure projects that
can begin: the Melbourne Metro and Brisbane Cross-River
rail projects; completing ring-road systems for capital cities;
upgrading ports; and renewing hospital and university buildings.
Evaluation and planning of longer-term projects, such as an east
coast high-speed rail link and improved north-south rail freight
link, could dramatically reduce urban congestion and improve
overall transport systems.
The consensus for action is there; what is needed now is
real delivery to ensure that this period of Australian history does
not go down as another squandered opportunity to develop
nationally signifcant infrastructure projects. n
Tony Featherstone is a former managing editor of BRW
magazine. The views expressed are his own.
Who's who in Canberra
Key infrastructure players in the Federal Government
The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, and Leader of
the House, he has led signifcant infrastructure reform, notably the
formation of Infrastructure Australia.
The senator is Minister for Broadband, Communications and
the Digital Economy. He is an architect of the government's most
ambitious infrastructure project: the $43 billion National Broadband
Moves to Finance and Deregulation from the contentious
Climate Change portfolio. Has a key role in ensuring that the
government appropriately uses the Commonwealth balance sheet
to fund new projects.
Long-time Chair of the Parliament’s Standing Committee on
Infrastructure prior to her appointment as Parliamentary Secretary to
Albanese; well regarded as a future minister.
Key infrastructure players in the Opposition
The Leader of the Nationals and Shadow Infrastructure and
Transport Minister; His background as Transport Minister in the
Howard Government gives him a good understanding of the
The former Opposition Leader and high profle businessman has
been charged with attacking the Government's broadband proposals
as Shadow Minister for Communications and Broadband.
Former Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and a Minister in
the Howard Government; A key player in the Opposition's policy
formulation, Robb will lead debate on new fnancing mechanisms for
infrastructure development within the Coalition as Shadow Finance
The Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Roads and Regional
Transport has an important role in the development of vital transport
Continued on page 60
Federal election: Australia's infrastructure opportunities must not be squandered
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