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I thought it was interesting how the different states deal with infrastructure spending in completely different ways.

Reading today, the Western Australian premier has announced that the new 72km $1.5 billion Metrorail line will be completely paid off and thus owned by the state before it is completion. So by the time it is up and operational it will not be creating any interest rate debt, only generating revenue.

Now compare this to the other side of the spectrum where you had a very pro-private sector NSW premier Bob Carr. One who proudly proclaimed that the Sydney Cross City Tunnel did not cost the tax pay a single cent! Well unless you actually wish to use the thing, and then those poor people will be paying the cost of construction to a private consortium many times over for many years (until 2030 when it reverts to public ownership).

Now I know WA is going through a economic boom atm, but so was NSW not that long ago when it signed off on many of these newer privately funded motorway projects.

So we have two projects that were both designed to easy traffic congestion. One was rail based the other was car. One is publically embrassed, the other is publically shunned. One promotes patronage with service and speed while the other tries to force patronage with contracted road closures and intentional traffic snarls. One will create economic prosperity for the areas it services (increased property values etc) while the other was designed to create economic prosperity for it's financiers and owners. One is publically operated and owned, one is privately funded and owned.
 

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The state governments got into the (rail & other) transport markets here because it was the only way essential infrastructure would be provided. The same still holds.

Regarding the level of public involvement, I'm not sure there's really a difference, state to state.
 
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