Home' Future Building: The Australian Infrastructure Review : Volume 3 Number 2 Contents futurebuilding 59
Volume 3 Number 2
The Hon Warren Truss MP
Super funds will not take risks with members'
funds, and they expect solid returns on their
investments. Government and industry need to work
together to get the regulatory settings right so that we
can begin to ll this infrastructure de cit.
At the last election, the Coalition committed
to infrastructure bonds. There is no 'silver bullet'
and no one policy measure that will stimulate the
unprecedented levels of investment required to
provide the sort of infrastructure Australia needs
to continue to grow and be innovative about the
way in which we source the funding for important
projects. That approach must harness business and
governments to work more constructively to provide
Australians with a quality transport network that
represents value for money.
In June 2012, the Infrastructure Finance Working
Group's report was released. The Working Group
brought together Australia's major private investors
and their representatives to look at avenues for
regulatory reform to encourage investment.
This report addressed many of the hindrances
to private sector investment: high bid costs, the
lack of a clear project pipeline and risk allocation,
to name a few.
Given the task ahead of us, we need to look
at all the options and nd innovative ways of
structuring nancing and risk allocation to get
the maximum value for investment, and a larger
number of projects underway.
Earlier this year (2012), I held a meeting with
a number of private sector investors, super funds
and others, and while all were actively considering
potential infrastructure investments, none of this
investment was in Australia.
It seems strange to me that we have Canadian
pension funds looking at infrastructure projects in
Australia, but our own funds are looking for projects
in Canada and, for that matter, other parts of the
world. Maybe the grass is greener on the other side of
the fence, but we've got plenty of work that needs to
be done in this country.
There needs to be a political will to get projects
under construction. But the private sector should not
wait for governments to get projects underway.
Some time ago, I suggested that companies with
ideas and infrastructure projects in mind should
come forward and tell governments of their interest.
If they are prepared to make it happen, so are we.
New South Wales has taken some steps in
that regard. The New South Wales Government
is considering an unsolicited private sector offer
by Transurban to design and construct the F3 to
M2 link: a much-needed project that has been
languishing for some time.
A proposal to put tilt trains on New South Wales's
intercity and regional passenger routes has the
potential to put fast trains on existing tracks much
more affordably than a Very Fast Train.
As we all know, signi cant investment in
Sydney's transport network is long overdue, and
much of that investment will only be achievable
through partnerships between the private sector and
governments. From our perspective, our door will
always be open to talk to people who have innovative
projects that they're interested in being a part of,
to try to nd a way to make them happen. And in
cooperation with state governments, I think we can
move these projects along much quicker, and deliver
real results for Australia.
We are also looking at a number of innovative
ideas, including leveraging the government's AAA
credit rating to provide cheaper loans for projects on
Infrastructure Australia's priority list.
Signi cant investment in Sydney's
transport network is long overdue, and
much of that investment will only be
achievable through partnerships between
the private sector and governments
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