Home' Future Building: The Australian Infrastructure Review : December 2011 Contents ABOvE: Nick Greiner
‘I love high speed rail. It is a wonderful concept
for dense populations. It’s hard to get the economics
to work when we are as spread out as we are and
have a relatively small population,’ Broad says.
The report indicates longer corridors to Melbourne
may be too costly for the next several decades.
Even so, with congestion costs for Australian cities
expected to top $20 billion a year before the end of
the decade, it’s a project that may be considered in
the future, Broad says.
‘If it’s the best thing to do with $100 billion then
we should look at it. We would need to define the
routes and advantages more clearly.’
‘You have to pick apart the economics [of high
speed rail] bit-by-bit to understand it, and we are at
the early stages of that,’ Broad says.
Broad says he is in regular, daily contact with
Greiner, whom he’s known for about 25 years. He
likens his relationship with Greiner to being part of a
‘It’s like a footy team. He plays a certain role and
I play a certain role.’
Broad admits he is wary of overstaying his
welcome, saying that on too many occasions bosses
will outstay their usefulness and ‘begin to believe
their own bullshit’.
The key to success, he says, is to maintain
consistency in planning and avoiding any sudden
Broad, who graduated from the University of
Newcastle with a Masters of Commerce, is Chairman
of the board of the Hunter Development Corporation,
as well as a Non-Executive Director of iiNet Ltd and
And it’s his love of telecommunications and the
possibility of interacting in a virtual world through
gadgets and other technology yet undreamt that
prompts Broad to wax lyrical.
Over the next two decades, Broad expects people
to choose where they want to work, perhaps using
transport more for personal reasons. His mission, as
Broad sees it, is to prepare minds for the transforming
power of technology and to bend infrastructure
planning around cutting-edge know-how.
‘I really hope we see the virtual world defined
in the reality of life. I hope people have a higher
quality of life so they’re not pressured by the two-
hour commutes,’ Broad says, summing up his hopes
for his legacy.
‘That they embrace technology. That they see
their community as the first port of call for foreign
investment,’ Broad says.
Government planning needs to include the
massive amounts of data that will be shared virtually
through cloud computing, potentially attracting data
centres and the ‘smarts’ that design them.
‘What is happening is we’re seeing the emergence
of data centres: smart, safe places for people to store
data. We want to be an attractive place for that type
of activity so that “smarts” come to life.
‘I hope [the people of this state] see themselves
as the intellectual powerhouse of the nation. If I can
create that – a mindset that embraces the technology
of tomorrow – then that would be success.
‘You don’t have to be physically located in parts
of the world you don’t want to be located. It’s hard
to imagine a more attractive place in the world than
Sydney. With that, I want to embrace the world of
A Broad mandate for reform
Volume 2 Number 2
Australian Rail Track Corporation
(ARTC) has invested $1 billion in a
range of projects to upgrade the
nation’s rail freight network.
The upgrade works on the North
South and East West rail corridors
are designed to increase the
efficiency and reliability of the rail
links as well as network flexibility.
ARTC has also invested $1 billion
to expand capacity along the rail
corridors connecting Hunter Valley
coal mines to the Port of Newcastle.
This $1 billion investment will more
than double the amount of coal being
transported to export markets from
97 to 200 million tonnes per year.
The ongoing investment in rail
infrastructure will deliver greater
efficiency, improved reliability and
more flexible access to the interstate
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