SkyscraperCity Forum banner
1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
BCA issues infrastructure warning


Congestion ... Peak-hour traffic in Sydney

Australian business leaders have warned of a looming economic crisis because of failing infrastructure and urged governments to get their act together on a number of key fronts.

In a report released on Saturday, the Business Council of Australia said export bottlenecks, chronic water shortages, worsening road congestion and inadequate energy supplies would become the norm unless the problems were addressed.

The BCA's initial estimates showed that repairing and boosting our vital infrastructure could result in a $16 billion increase in Australia's economic growth.

BCA president Hugh Morgan said a new federal-state body was urgently needed to find solutions and prevent the shifting of blame from one level of government to another.

Mr Morgan said Australia's infrastructure problems were endemic and that there was no coordinated plan to ensure Australia's infrastructure kept pace with the economy.

"The result is a system in widespread disrepair," he said.

"No one else can resolve these strategic and policy issues but government. It is governments' job to get resolution and direction without delay."

Federal Labor's infrastructure spokesman Stephen Smith said the crisis could only be addressed if both levels of government worked together.

"It's not a matter of a higher tax take," Mr Smith told reporters in Perth.

"It's a matter of - in a financially responsible way - doing an objective assessment of our infrastructure needs and then funding those needs either publicly, privately or a combination of the two."

The Reserve Bank of Australia had made it clear that infrastructure bottlenecks and a neglect of infrastructure had been factored into its recent decision to lift official interest rates, he said.

The BCA report, Infrastructure Action Plan for Future Prosperity, found Australian ground water systems were under serious stress and demand for water in the nation's growing cities would soon outstrip supply.

The report found the gap between the demand for energy and the available supply would be 53 per cent by 2020 and that the investment required in new energy supplies was at least $30 billion.

Road freight movement would grow by 65 per cent by 2020 and the total cost to the economy of traffic congestion would blow out to $30 billion a year.

The BCA estimates that repairing and boosting Australia's infrastructure could lead to $16 billion worth of economic growth.

Mr Morgan said it was time for a new approach to infrastructure and called for governments to draw up an infrastructure reform agenda, to set firm targets for action and to publish an annual state of the nation infrastructure report.

Prime Minister John Howard has commissioned a taskforce to examine bottlenecks holding back Australian exports, in particular Queensland's Dalrymple Bay.

But Mr Morgan said the problem was much broader, with water, energy, road and rail systems now requiring attention.

The report said increased charges for high water consumption and use of roads during peak traffic times could be introduced to help address the problems.


_______________


Current taxes can fund infrastructure needs: ALP


Grim outlook: The report predicts water shortages and traffic congestion in urban areas. (ABC Online)


The federal Opposition says the recommendations of the Business Council of Australia (BCA) report into the country's infrastructure requirements can be met without the need for higher taxes or charges.

The Infrastructure Action Plan for Future Prosperity report says infrastructure problems are not confined to export bottlenecks at ports such as Queensland's Dalrymple Bay.

It says the problems also affect rail and road transport, energy and water systems.

The report warns that major urban centres face ongoing water shortages, worsening road congestion and inadequate energy supplies if the issue is not tackled.

The council is calling for a coordinated intergovernmental effort to tackle the problems.

The opposition's infrastructure spokesman, Stephen Smith, says the crisis can only be addressed if both levels of government work together.

"It's not a matter of a higher tax take," Mr Smith said.

"It's a matter of in a financially responsible way doing an objective assessment of our infrastructure needs and then funding those needs either publicly, privately or a combination of the two."

The council estimates that repairing and boosting infrastructure could add $16 billion to Australia's economic growth.

Council president Hugh Morgan believes the nation's economic prosperity is on the line.

"It requires government to give the direction and the strategy," he said.

"It is not a function of money. The money is available to do these things.

"What's really lacking is policy and strategy."

The council has set out a number of goals for a cooperative government effort, including an audit of current needs and an annual state of infrastructure report.

___________________

BCA says infrastructure is in disrepair
March 26, 2005 - 10:54AM


Australian business leaders say the country's infrastructure is in disrepair and could threaten future prosperity unless governments act now.

The Business Council of Australia (BCA) has released a report that flags problems with energy, water and transport infrastructure and calls for the creation of a new federal-state body charged with finding solutions.

BCA president Hugh Morgan said Australia's infrastructure problems were endemic and that there was no coordinated plan to ensure Australia's infrastructure kept pace with the economy.

"The result is a system in widespread disrepair," he said.

"No one else can resolve these strategic and policy issues but government. It is governments' job to get resolution and direction without delay."

The BCA report, Infrastructure Action Plan for Future Prosperity, found Australian ground water systems were under serious stress and demand for water in the nation's growing cities would soon outstrip supply.

The report found the gap between the demand for energy and the available supply would be 53 per cent by 2020 and that the investment required in new energy supplies was at least $30 billion.

Road freight movement would grow by 65 per cent by 2020 and the total cost to the economy of traffic congestion would blow out to $30 billion a year.

The BCA estimates that repairing and boosting Australia's infrastructure could lead to $16 billion worth of economic growth.

Mr Morgan said it was time for a new approach to infrastructure and called for the state and federal governments to draw up an infrastructure reform agenda, to set firm targets for action and to publish an annual state of the nation infrastructure report.

Prime Minister John Howard has commissioned a taskforce to examine bottlenecks holding back Australian exports, but Mr Morgan said the problem was much broader and water, energy, road and rail systems needed urgent attention.


_____________________

Australia Could Boost Economy 2% on Better Ports, Rail Systems

March 26 (Bloomberg) -- Australia could boost gross domestic product by A$16 billion ($12 billion), or 2 percent, by repairing and improving its ports, water, energy, road and rail systems, the Business Council of Australia said.

The federal and state governments need to work together to draw up a coordinated policy to ensure infrastructure keep pace with the economy and supports economic growth, the council said today in a faxed report. The governments need to form a separate body responsible for specific plans and targets to address the problem, it said.

Surging coal demand from Asian buyers has caused congestion at ports in Australia, the world's biggest exporter of the fuel, with Prime Minister John Howard this month ordering an inquiry to solve port and rail delays.

As much as A$35 billion of investment is required in energy to meet growing demand by 2020, while by 2025, Sydney and Melbourne, the nation's two most populous cities, will be using more water than is currently available, the report said.

Australia's infrastructure ``is a system in widespread disrepair,'' Hugh Morgan, president of the council and former chief executive of WMC Ltd., said in the statement.

``Commonwealth, state and local governments need to act to fix existing problems with the nation's infrastructure and develop new infrastructure to support growth,'' Morgan said.

The Business Council of Australia has more than 100 member companies with total annual revenues of about A$340 billion, representing 31 percent of the nation's exports. Its board includes Wesfarmers Ltd. Chief Executive Michael Chaney, Qantas Airways Ltd. Chief Executive Geoff Dixon and Commonwealth Bank of Australia Chief Executive David Murray.

Productivity

Australia's economy has been growing at an average annual rate of 3.8 percent since the mid-1990s. Without reforms that improve the nation's productivity and competitiveness, growth is likely to slow, the report said.

``One of the most significant and inter-related risks for the economy is the adequacy and capacity of Australia's economic infrastructure to support continued growth and productivity as international competition and trade increases,'' the report said.

In a study included in the report, Port Jackson Partners Ltd., a Sydney-based business consulting firm, said preliminary estimates of the economic benefits of further reforms in the energy industry amount to 0.41 percent of gross domestic product, while rail investments and reforms would add 0.3 percent. Water industry reforms in rural areas could boost GDP by 0.5 percent, while reforms in urban areas could add 0.35 percent. Urban transport reforms would boost GDP 0.38 percent, it said.


______________________

New approach needed to 'endemic' infrastructure problems


The Business Council of Australia says infrastructure problems are not confined to export bottlenecks at ports such as Queensland's Dalrymple Bay. (ABC TV)

The Business Council of Australia (BCA) is calling on the federal and state governments to form a joint body to address the infrastructure problems it says are limiting Australia's prosperity.

The council has released its Infrastructure Action Plan for Future Prosperity, which says that Australia's infrastructure problems are endemic.

It says the problems are not confined to export bottlenecks at ports such as Queensland's Dalrymple Bay, but also apply to rail and road transport, energy and water systems.

It warns that major urban centres face ongoing water shortages, worsening road congestion and inadequate energy supplies if the issue is not tackled.

Council president Hugh Morgan says it is clear that a new approach is needed.

"Australia as a whole has no plan and no coordinated policy to make sure the country's infrastructure keeps pace with the economy and meets our higher standards of living," he said.

"The result is a system in widespread disrepair."

Economic boost

Mr Morgan says the nation's economy could increase by $16 billion if governments combine to boost infrastructure development.

"This is not the blame game, not interested in the past," he said.

"What we're interested in doing is making sure there is a coordinated, rational and immediate attention given to make sure that we have a community where the infrastructure is well planned and sufficient."

The council is calling for the Council of Australian Governments or a new intergovernmental body to be formed to address the problems.

"No-one else can resolve these strategic and policy issues but government," Mr Morgan said.

"It is governments' job to get resolution and direction without delay."

Mr Morgan says the cooperative body would ideally draw up national reforms for water, energy and transport infrastructure, define the roles of each level of government in the provision and maintenance of infrastructure, and agree on a timetable for improvements to be made.

He says it would also publish an annual national infrastructure report.



_______________________
_______________________

This could mean more buildings, roads, rail, etc getting built .. good news?
 

·
Its a sleepy little town
Joined
·
5,177 Posts
Weve heard of the rail plans/discussions to upgrade rail between major port cities.

the Port of Brisbane (& The Airport) are, as everyone knows, undergoing major development. Hopefully this will help solve the problem a bit. An extra 16 billion would be great :)
 

·
Watch my Chops
Joined
·
11,520 Posts
Goes to show how backward our government is
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
574 Posts
The story on coal ports in QLD being congested:

5 years ago everyone is saying doom and gloom in coal industry as China is ramping up cheap coal exports and we need a lean mean industry.
China surprises everyone by growing concrete consumption faster than coal exports and switches to being a huge growing importer.
Everyone is clammering for as much coal as they can get. But infrastructure like rail and ports in particular takes a few years to upgrade. By that time China may have finished its boom, putting the industry into another slump and making all the expensive investments to increase capacity a serious waste of money.
The govt regulates the revenue infrastructure providers can charge through the QCA. This means red tape delays as no one will invest until they have gotten permission from QCA to charge enough to recover their investment.
The owner of one of the large coal ports has a major expansion close to planned out and ready to roll. However the QCA say they can only charge 1.50 a tonne and the owner claims they need much more to be viable.
Economists make doom and gloom claim of lost revenue, when the real situation is that we are making lots and lots of extra money, but just not quite as much extra money as we'd be able to make if we did have all the extra infrastructure in place and the boom continues indefinitely.
Some politicians think it would be fun to score cheap points by criticising the situation, whilst not providing any real solutions.
 

·
Like whatever....
Joined
·
13,706 Posts
Dalrymple Bay is a privately owned port so there is no way the government can step in and build more infrastructure there - that is up to the owners.

It was announced just the other day that the Queensland Government is spending over $1 billion to fastrack infrastructure in Central Qlds Coal belt including a $208 million upgrade of port of Gladstone and an upgrade of Abbot Point Port near Bowen. The plan also included filling 'missing links' in rail infrastructure.

Central Queensland is booming at the moment with houses in outback towns going for Sydney prices and ordinary mine workers snapping up luxury european cars, property and other goods.

Thanks China:D
jt
 

·
Like whatever....
Joined
·
13,706 Posts
OzAsian said:
Nothing wrong with Australia's biggest port Melbourne as the $500 million dredging of the Bay to keep it #1 is certain to go ahead and without the Howard governments financial support.
As usual states have to pay for their own infrastructure. At Australia's fastest growing port, port of Brisbane, the Qld state government has been keeping up with development and growth quite well.

$1bn bid to get exports flowing
By Malcolm Cole and Matthew Franklin
23mar05

GROWING public pressure over the export bottleneck at the Dalrymple Bay coal terminal has forced the Queensland Government to fast-track more than $1 billion in port and rail infrastructure in north Queensland.

Premier Peter Beattie yesterday announced the Government would fund a $25 million feasibility study into a proposal to more than triple the capacity of the Abbott Point Coal Terminal, and for a new railway line linking Abbott Point to the Dalrymple Bay terminal near Mackay.

The government move follows criticism from federal Treasurer Peter Costello about the impact the bottleneck was having on exports.

If the export upgrade is to proceed, it must be funded by the private sector.

Queensland Coal Industry Group chairman and Macarthur Coal chief executive Ken Talbot said the time for excuses about poor operation of the port was past.



"We are running out of patience," Mr Talbot said yesterday."We think as a private operator, Dalrymple Bay should at least have been able to match the efforts of the Queensland Government in expanding the Gladstone Port.

"Instead, they can't meet their contracted tonnage and have been slow to finalise expansion plans."

Mr Talbot said the port was not operating at a level needed to shift the contracted 56 million tonnes of coal a year, and the owners had dragged their feet in expanding the port.

He said some of the impacts of the slow operation of the port included a queue of 51 ships at the port at the moment, $500 million a year in demurrage (delayed shipment) charges from the shipping companies to the miners and disruptions to the shipping industry.

Mr Talbot said he understood the problems faced by Prime Infrastructure, which floated the coal terminal after investment bank and major shareholder Babcock and Brown bought it from the Queensland Government in 2001 for $630 million.

However it was no longer acceptable for the company to hide behind regulatory reviews or low statutory charges to postpone expansion plans.

The body accused of causing a 20-month delay in correcting the bottleneck at Dalrymple Bay has refused to defend itself or explain the reason for the delays.

Queensland Competition Authority boss Daryl McDonough had no comment yesterday.

Meanwhile, Mr Beattie said like proposed upgrades at Dalrymple Bay, the Abbott Point rail and port upgrade would only go ahead if coal exporters were prepared to pay for them.

Under the plans announced yesterday, the capacity of the Abbott Point terminal, near Bowen, would be boosted from its current level of 15 million tonnes to 25 million tonnes, at a cost of about $100 million.

The second stage, which would be dependent on demand from coal exporters, would further increase capacity to 50 million tonnes per year, at a cost of $400 million.

At the same time Queensland Rail would build a 78km rail line - referred to by coal companies as "the missing link" - between the Goonyella rail network, which currently services the Dalrymple Bay and Hay Point terminals near Mackay, and the system which services Abbott Point.

The $600 million project would also include conversion of the Newlands system from diesel to electric, so trains can easily switch between the systems and the ports, increasing access to export facilities.

Transport Minister Paul Lucas said that by funding the feasibility study into the projects, the Government was "collapsing" the construction time. But Mr Beattie warned the coal companies they would need to pay for the upgrades if they went ahead.
http://www.thecouriermail.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,12631991%5E421,00.html

jt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
574 Posts
JayT said:
Dalrymple Bay is a privately owned port so there is no way the government can step in and build more infrastructure there - that is up to the owners.

jt
Dalrymple bay is privately owned, but tightly regulated by the govt. The owner has plans to expand, but the Queensland Competition Authority have limited them to charging $1.53 per tonne. The owner reckons its not worth expanding at that price and that they should be charging something over $2.

The government then puts $20 million into a feasibility study to linking Goonyella to Newlands to get around this issue, and release a press release about how good a job they are doing 'getting on with the job', when it was government regulation that was part of the problem in the first place.
 

·
Its a sleepy little town
Joined
·
5,177 Posts
^ Probably saying with a bit of bias.

But the massive expansion of the PoB, and its location on the mid-east coast would make it more likely to move to #1?

Melbourne is in an unfortunate position geographically, IMO. Not as bad as poor Adelaide tho :p. Darwin would have to be on one of the best positions, to bad no one is funding that. Rail lines from darwin, a massive port. Great city it would be then.
 

·
Its a sleepy little town
Joined
·
5,177 Posts
Because its further south, and sort of 'under' australia.
Same reason Adelaide is in a worse position. Its under, then back up.
Just seems like it would be far cheaper for shipments to come in at Perth, Darwin, Brisbane, or even Sydney.
Not to mention the many smaller ports.

Melbourne has the best infrastructure to support it (Rail etc), but that can be changed in other ports. One thing that cant be changed it gegraphical location.
In that, it is disadvantaged.

Understnad what i mean?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,661 Posts
Malt said:
Because its further south, and sort of 'under' australia.
Same reason Adelaide is in a worse position. Its under, then back up.
Just seems like it would be far cheaper for shipments to come in at Perth, Darwin, Brisbane, or even Sydney.
Not to mention the many smaller ports.
Newcastle for one is in a position to become of even greater importance as an east coast port.
 

·
Champagne Socialist
Joined
·
16,889 Posts
Malt said:
Because its further south, and sort of 'under' australia.
Same reason Adelaide is in a worse position. Its under, then back up.
Just seems like it would be far cheaper for shipments to come in at Perth, Darwin, Brisbane, or even Sydney.
Not to mention the many smaller ports.

Melbourne has the best infrastructure to support it (Rail etc), but that can be changed in other ports. One thing that cant be changed it gegraphical location.
In that, it is disadvantaged.

Understnad what i mean?
one word: industry.

Melbourne shats on all other capitals & is the prime reason why Port of Melbourne's status is what it is: #1 in the country & why Melbourne has large amount of service industries nestled just to the east of the port.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,478 Posts
Malt said:
^ Probably saying with a bit of bias.

But the massive expansion of the PoB, and its location on the mid-east coast would make it more likely to move to #1?

Melbourne is in an unfortunate position geographically, IMO. Not as bad as poor Adelaide tho :p. Darwin would have to be on one of the best positions, to bad no one is funding that. Rail lines from darwin, a massive port. Great city it would be then.
I agree. The ports of Darwin, Newcastle. Fremantle & Brisbane should be the top 4 ports of Australia, in terms of gross tonnage. Their locations are far superior to other major existing ports. Infrastructure needs to support this, and even introducing one of them as a free port, like Hong Kong, may do our economy more good in the long term.
 

·
Unacquainted Acquaintance
Joined
·
1,981 Posts
Q-TIP said:
I agree. The ports of Darwin, Newcastle. Fremantle & Brisbane should be the top 4 ports of Australia, in terms of gross tonnage. Their locations are far superior to other major existing ports. Infrastructure needs to support this, and even introducing one of them as a free port, like Hong Kong, may do our economy more good in the long term.
Naturally the NSW government is doing it's part to make sure Newcastle declines in importance (ie cutting the passenger rail line which'll hurt freighters too due to more traffic being on the roads)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
574 Posts
From http://www.abs.gov.au/Ausstats/[email protected]/0/f49771da3cb0567dca256c750079144a?OpenDocument

Total trade (% increase 98/99 to 01/02)

Melbourne 47.7 million (32.3%)
Sydney 38.2 million (24.8%)
Brisbane 18.3 million (42.2%)
Newcastle 6.1 million (21.2%)
Hay Point 5.3 million (55.6%)
Port Adelaide 6.6 million (44.3%)
Fremantle 9.4 million (13.8%)
Gladstone 4.5 million (41.8%)
Townsville 3.3 million (24.3%)

By gross weight:
Newcastle 72.8 million (1%)
Hay Point 69.4 million (29.2%)
Port Headland 68.3 million (13%)
Gladstone 41.3 million (32.2%)

and if you want more look it up yourself.

As far as I know most freight through a port basically goes by rail or truck to nearest port and then by ship to wherever. There have been some attempts to landbridge, such as ship to darwin or Brisbane and then rail to say Victoria, but they haven't really come to anything significant yet.
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top