On 8 November at Sydney’s Intercontinental Hotel I will officially open the first in a series of conferences to be convened by Infrastructure Australia over coming months to continue to drive an informed public debate about what more needs to be done to make sure our nation has the infrastructure it needs.
Entitled Meeting the Big Challenges to Australia’s Infrastructure, the 2010-11 Conference Series will bring together industry players, academics and policy-makers to take stock of our nation’s long term needs, raise the big questions and debate the possible solutions.
The first of these conferences will discuss the ideas and reforms being put forward by the Infrastructure Finance Working Group.
Chaired by Treasury Deputy Secretary Jim Murphy, this body was established
to advise on the implementation of the new tax incentives contained in the 2011-12 Budget as well as to identifying further measures to attract even more private investment in public infrastructure.
By any objective measure there’s been real and substantial progress under this Labor Government, with total investment in Australia’s transport, water and energy infrastructure up 40 per cent in just the last two years.
However, all levels of government need to step up the pace of regulatory and institutional reform in order to further strengthen the way our nation plans, finances and builds infrastructure, a task given even greater urgency by the looming challenges of climate change and a growing, ageing population.
The following six conferences in the series will tackle a range of topics, namely:
- Joining the Dots: Indigenous Infrastructure.
- Ports and Cities.
- User Pays: Ideology vs. Economics.
- Do Australians Deserve Quality Drinking Water?
- Roads: Who Pays?
- Road Safety.
For more information about Infrastructure Australia’s 2011-12 Conference Series go to:www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au/conference_series.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.