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The Forum > Article Comments > Infrastructure: the new hot topic > Comments

Infrastructure: the new hot topic : Comments

By Lindsay Tanner, published 11/7/2005

Lindsay Tanner argues Australia is at a turning-point on infrastructure and we need serious reform to avoid future problems.

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I'm not terribly surprised that there hasn't been a rush of comments for Mr Tanner to enjoy. Let's be honest here, it was very boring, wasn't it?

It is also a masterpiece of Nothingspeak, a very close relative of George Orwell's Doublespeak, and equally corrupting. If you have the patience to wade through all the statistics on spending, and the red herring of PPPs, you find that we are provided with no real information, no insightful observations, and no proposals for meaningful action that we can get on and agree or disagree with. Just another pollie-on-the-make, I'm afraid, building up his word-count ahead of some personal career move. When's the next leadership spill scheduled?

The key issues are at the front of the article. There is, we are told, "anecdotal evidence suggesting that Australia’s infrastructure is crumbling", a statement that few of us could find fault with. A couple of reports are wheeled out (are these anecdotal too?) for inspection - "there is increasing evidence of an emerging infrastructure deficit in Australia" - and just as quickly rushed away out of sight. Mr Tanner then rambles around the plot, a bit on investment figures here, a gentle swipe at porkbarelling there.

Where's the fire in your (supposedly Labour) belly, Mr Tanner? Where's your visceral disgust that the government is failing to deliver a reasonable services infrastructure for this country, even when augmented by private enterprise who extract even more cash from our pockets in exchange for the assets - our Australian assets - that you and yours have so negligently handed over to them?

More and more of our money will pass into the pockets of investment managers who oversee growing portfolios of "infrastructure projects" such as toll roads, airport shopping malls etc. and less and less will go into meeting the true infrastructure deficit.

I used to think we get the politicians we deserve. But surely we deserve better than this?
Posted by Pericles, Tuesday, 12 July 2005 4:24:43 PM
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Lindsay Tanner’s article on infrastructure is just another case of a long waffle from a pollie on a fishing expedition. Fresh ideas may come from an advisory council but I reckon it depends on who you put on it. In the end we are all governed by lobbies.

Perhaps the whole Labor Party is bereft of ideas at this point. Bob Carr is likewise floundering in water or lack of it. A late call for a desalination plant for Sydney’s diminishing water supply must cause us to look again for energy and that will take money away from our roads in the country or rails in the city and so on.

Meanwhile our federal government is trying to blow their gas (greenhouse) underground while they quicken flow through our coal ports.

Somebody must have had their collective infrastructure head in the sand for ages. It’s a byproduct of economic rationalism and things we had to have.

But down the road everybody is still hammering round on their own in their big 4x4. We do get what we deserve
Posted by Taz, Thursday, 14 July 2005 3:37:30 PM
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