Home' Future Building: The Australian Infrastructure Review : Volume 4 Number 1 Contents 48 futurebuilding Volume 4 Number 1
Firstly, we need greater visibility and certainty
around the pipeline of projects.
This insight is critical to ensuring the right
planning, the timely mobilisation of skilled
workers, and the strategic and cost-effective
management of resources.
Secondly, we need bold decisions to maximise
Australia's competitive advantage.
And, last but not least, we need effective
partnerships for delivery of these projects.
Governments alone cannot be expected to fund
the entire backlog of infrastructure. Within the next
decade, we expect infrastructure construction costs
to be somewhere in the order of $400 billion, of
which as much as 15 per cent is to be delivered,
potentially, via Public Private Partnerships (PPPs).
We're all aware of the challenges that PPPs have
faced in recent times, but there are also many, many
examples of successful PPPs in our infrastructure --
both economic and social infrastructure.
Melbourne CityLink, EastLink, the Victorian
County Courts and the Royal North Shore Hospital in
Sydney are all good examples.
However, there is a need to nd alternative
funding models. One model does not t all, and
Thiess is actively exploring options, such as the
warehousing model, that offer government greater
ef ciency with the same risk transfer.
Governments can deliver infrastructure with the
intention of selling it to the private sector once the
project is complete and its revenue is known, in a
process sometimes described as capital recycling.
What it does, though, is give certainty to all of the
parties. Our analysis shows this to be a very ef cient
model. Materially, governments can achieve the same
risk transfer via design-build and maintain, or design-
build-operate and maintain, in their procurement
models as on a social PPP.
Underlying this whole value chain is a regulatory
environment that encourages investment in Australia
over the long term, so that a steady pipeline of capital
projects can be rolled out.
We welcome the new Federal Government's
commitment to reviewing regulatory processes that
are stalling the development of major infrastructure
projects, and its pledge to streamline project approval
processes, at both the state and federal levels.
Importantly, governments and industry need to
stop gold-plating major infrastructure projects, in
order to drive the costs down. Over-engineering
these projects is expensive, and in this environment
it is imperative that we get the best value for
There is more to be done and more that we can
all do. Weathering the current storm, which I think is
fading over the horizon, will take foresight, and it will
need some endurance and belief in our own vision
of the future. It will require resourcefulness and an
industry that is prepared to look at new technologies
and new ways of doing things.
If we can overcome some of the problems of the
past, particularly with our cost base, then Australia's
construction future is assured.
Bruce Munro, Managing
Bruce Munro was appointed Thiess
Managing Director in September 2011 after
joining the Thiess Group in 1986.
A civil engineer with 36 years'
experience in the construction and mining
industries in Australia, South East Asia
and India, he has held a number of senior
positions within the company. These have
included President Director of PT Thiess
Contractors Indonesia -- a role he held for
eight years after his appointment in 1999.
Bruce was appointed Executive General
Manager in Asia in August 2007, and in
January 2010 he took on the role of Thiess's
Chief Executive Mining.
Bruce has a long history with Thiess's
parent company, Leighton Holdings,
having worked for both Leighton Asia and
He is a Non-Executive Director on the
board of Sedgman -- a leading provider
of minerals processing and associated
infrastructure solutions to the global
Bruce is also on the Boards of the
Minerals Council of Australia, Australian
Constructors Association, Roads Australia
and is the Queensland Chair of the Australia
Indonesia Business Council.
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