Partial privatisation studies included in DB restructuring
The Next Federal Election and Passenger and Freight Rail
Transport and Logistics symposium to gauge railway link
Rail gets another CRC. Third time lucky?
Chinese high speed rail should confine the XPT to history
Hendy heads to NR
Urban rail news in brief - July 2015
Inland rail a trifecta for Toowoomba region: mayor
AUSTRALIA needs visionary leaders to champion investment in urgently need major rail and road projects, says the head of one of the nation's key business groups.
Business Council of Australia president Tony Shepherd said a failure to invest in infrastructure was costing Australia $4 billion-a-year in lost efficiency as congestion choked major cities.
Making his first public speech since taking up his role in November 2011, Mr Shepherd told a business lunch in Sydney on Wednesday that while China is investing $200 billion in rail and airports and London is spending $20 billion on rail, Australia has baulked at extending Sydney's major motorway, the M4, for 20 years.
"That's 14 years more than it took to build the Eurostar rail service between London and Paris that involved digging the second-longest undersea tunnel in the world," he said.
He said superannuation funds could invest in infrastructure projects instead of investing overseas.
Mr Shepherd, who is also chairman of engineering group Transfield Services, told reporters after his speech that he would "be like a needle stuck in an old-fashioned gramophone record" in lobbying government on the issue.
"I think successive governments have missed the boat on infrastructure," he said.
Infrastructure Australia had estimate the nation's construction shortfall at around $200 billion, he said, while Deutsche Bank priced it at $800 billion.
"For a country as wealthy as Australia to not be able to close that gap is a huge disappointment."
Mr Shepherd, whose organisation represents the nation's 100 biggest companies, said Australia lacks "somebody with a vision and true leadership qualities" at present and was losing confidence and productivity as a result.
He called on the Federal Government to do more than simply restate its ambition of meeting a two per cent per year growth target.
The government should outline a plan which included lower personal income tax and corporate tax rates, and a shift from direct taxes to an increased reliance on indirect taxes such as the GST.
He also called for changes to make the industrial relations system more flexible and warned that the regulatory burden on business was too great.
Mr Shepherd warned that the federal government should not pursue a surplus at any cost in the upcoming budget but said while manufacturing should also not be protected without question, there were strategic considerations.
"From a strategic point of view we fought very hard after the Second World War, having been caught short ... to build our industrial base so we would never have to completely rely on offshore supply in the event of a conflict," he said.
"Now we've had 60 years of peace but who knows? My personal point of view is from a strategic point of view we need to look at the core industries that we need to retain for self-sufficiency but we should look at trying to make them as globally competitive as we possibly can."
This article first appeared on www.perthnow.com.au
About this website
Railpage version 3.10.0.0037
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is © 2003-2020 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.