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8 INFRASTRUCTURE AUSTRALIA APRIL 2013
Realising the value in investment
by Dr Tim Kannegieter
IT IS INCREASINGLY recognised that good infrastructure
can have a transformative e ect on cities and regions,
essentially paying for itself over time through increased
vitality of the a ected communities. ere is no shortage
of organisations advocating for smarter, better integrated
investment decisions and the need for intelligent investment
is generally recognised by government at all levels.
NSW Infrastructure released a 20-year plan late last
year with a major shi away from big ticket infrastructure
items, such as a major new railway lines, in favour of a wider
spread of smaller but smarter solutions that better integrate
key transport hubs. e aim is to stimulate economic and
urban growth around such hubs.
SKM sustainable design practice leader Phillip Roös
presented a paper to the International Urban Design
Conference in Melbourne last September on transforming
railway stations into sustainable urban centres. e paper
discussed how master-planning for stations must "focus
on place as well as product to respond to the multiple
opportunities presented by sustainable urban centres,
making them destinations and drivers of local economies".
e paper re ected on the case study of the station
master plan of the Tottenham Hale Station in London,
where consultancy SKM Colin Buchanan applied
opportunistic urban design principles and created a new,
signi cant urban square for north London and a local
destination for leisure and investment.
Governments across Australia are now taking this
philosophy seriously, exempli ed by the $8 billion Green
Square urban renewal development in Sydney, centred
around the Green Square railway station that was built to
link Sydney Airport into the rail network.
Consult Australia chief executive Megan Motto has called
on the federal government to refocus its infrastructure
policy on such growth within our cities.
Commenting on the State of Australian Cities 2012
report, Motto said: "Governments must wake up to the fact
that planning and funding the infrastructure our cities need
to grow and prosper is not a luxury to be indulged only
during a budget surplus."
One of the biggest trends in infrastructure recently
has been the drive towards private sector development
of infrastructure. e Australian Infrastructure Statistics
Yearbook 2012 said there had been an increase in private
sector investment in infrastructure from 28% of all
infrastructure investment a decade ago, to 44% today.
is trend has primarily been driven by investors
seeing an opportunity to meet the demands of industry,
particularly in the resources sector which has seen a
signi cant increase in infrastructure to facilitate their
operations, such as ports, power and rail.
An infrastructure construction survey carried out by
Davis Langdon, an Aecom company, last year found that
"60% of private sector authorities expect a rise of investment
of at least 10% over the next three years, whereas only
20% of those in the public sector expect to see this level of
ere is a huge variety in approaches to procurement
of infrastructure, and Australia continues to develop
novel applications. e recent opening of the $655 million
Peninsula Link freeway in Victoria is one of the rst to be
delivered in Australia under the availability public-private-
partnership (PPP) model, according to Abigroup acting
managing director David Saxelby. He said: " e project
has been of immense importance and interest not only to
the organisation, but also to the Victorian government and
OECD - Total
Australia invests more in its infrastructure than almost every other major advanced economy, according to the latest gures produced
by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Compared to the OECD average of 18.3% of GDP, total
public and private infrastructure spending in Australia stands at 26.5% of GDP, second only to South Korea.
GRAPHIC: OECD GRAPH OF THE GROSS FIXED CAPITAL FORMATION, BY VOLUME (NATIONAL ACCOUNTS AT A GLANCE 2013 -- HTTP://GOO.GL/VAXDG)
Percentage of GDP (2011)
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