Home' Future Building: The Australian Infrastructure Review : Volume 3 Number 1 Contents 16 futurebuilding Volume 3 Number 1
From missiles to motorways
than is required elsewhere. They say, "if companies
didn't want to bid they wouldn't." But the industry
response would be that the costs are embedded --
they have to be recovered somehow. That cost burden
also inhibits smaller players and so, to some extent,
Governments are also eager to push as many risks
as possible onto the private sector, including those
associated with approvals.
'When companies in the private sector embark
on major infrastructure projects, they have to liaise
with myriad government and regulatory authorities
who will often see this as an opportunity to plug
holes in their own budget,' he says. 'They inevitably
want to add something or change something that puts
on another $10 million here or $20 million there,
continually pushing up the nal cost.'
The mining boom is creating a pull on certain
skills, but Charlton believes that Australia still has
the capability to deliver. He says that getting the right
productivity and incentives around the workforce is
a central issue.
'It's not just one aspect causing a problem,' he
says. 'We have to pay much more for the whole
rolled-up process of delivering infrastructure than
any of our trading partners.'
Despite the challenges, Charlton believes that
many of our assets are as good as any in the world.
'Australia may be a small market, but it is home to
some very capable players,' he says.
And, for someone who spends so much time
on the move, a small market also brings personal
'I like the fact that everyone knows everyone
else,' he says. 'Travelling is a lot more fun when you
can't go to the airport without running into at least
one friend from the industry.'
The mining boom is creating a pull on
certain skills, but Charlton believes that
Australia still has the capability to deliver. He
says that getting the right productivity and
incentives around the workforce is a central
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