Home' Future Building: The Australian Infrastructure Review : Volume 4 Number 1 Contents 24 futurebuilding Volume 4 Number 1
be undertaken, to the liability or equity side. In other
words, how are the preferred projects funded? What's
the role between government and the private sector?
How do you determine which of the projects needs
full government backing, which projects warrant full
private sector backing, and what's in between? I think
that's what's most exciting at the moment -- people
are starting to talk about these issues meaningfully,
probably for the rst time.
James Stewart OBE: When I was here [the
Partnerships Conference] last year, everyone was
rather depressed and downbeat. This year, the
whole atmosphere is completely different, and
there are a signi cant number of mega-projects
that need to be delivered. I think that the job of
the Federal Government is to provide some sense
One of the issues going forward is going to be
capacity, and that's a nice problem to have. By this, I
mean capacity on the public sector side to deliver all
of these projects, and capacity on the private sector
side to respond.
One of the big changes is that suddenly the
international developers are coming to bid for these
projects, so coordinating the program as a whole and
making it an attractive proposition for both domestic
and international developers is going to be a priority
for the Federal Government.
Dr Kerry Schott: To pick up Lindsay's point,
governments are going to have to get much more
ef cient with expenditure to be able to free up some
money for all of these things. While the private sector
is going to be very important, the public sector is
going to need to chip in on some of these projects,
as we've seen.
MB: A Commission of Audit is one of the other
plans that the new Australian Government needs to
implement to get a sense of its nancial position.
Kerry, you were involved heavily in the New South
Wales Commission of Audit -- what observations
would you make?
KS: The states would probably ask that the
Commonwealth look at its expenditures, particularly
in the areas of education and health, and make sure
that the roles and responsibilities and accountability
for different layers of government are well laid out.
I can tell you that in those two big spending areas,
they are not. I sense that there's an enormous amount
of saving to be made at the Commonwealth level.
Across the jurisdictions, if they just have a good
look at trying to get more ef cient in those two areas,
then we can better spend that money on other things.
MB: James, you've obviously been watching both
the British and American markets intensely, the way
that they've looked at their taxation base and their
funding base. Have you got some thoughts?
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