Main Menu

WP_Query Object
(
    [query] => Array
        (
            [category_name] => transport
        )

    [query_vars] => Array
        (
            [category_name] => transport
            [error] => 
            [m] => 
            [p] => 0
            [post_parent] => 
            [subpost] => 
            [subpost_id] => 
            [attachment] => 
            [attachment_id] => 0
            [name] => 
            [static] => 
            [pagename] => 
            [page_id] => 0
            [second] => 
            [minute] => 
            [hour] => 
            [day] => 0
            [monthnum] => 0
            [year] => 0
            [w] => 0
            [tag] => 
            [cat] => 28
            [tag_id] => 
            [author] => 
            [author_name] => 
            [feed] => 
            [tb] => 
            [paged] => 0
            [meta_key] => 
            [meta_value] => 
            [preview] => 
            [s] => 
            [sentence] => 
            [title] => 
            [fields] => 
            [menu_order] => 
            [embed] => 
            [category__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [category__not_in] => Array
                (
                    [0] => 22371
                )

            [category__and] => Array
                (
                )

            [post__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [post__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [post_name__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag__and] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag_slug__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [tag_slug__and] => Array
                (
                )

            [post_parent__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [post_parent__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [author__in] => Array
                (
                )

            [author__not_in] => Array
                (
                )

            [ignore_sticky_posts] => 
            [suppress_filters] => 
            [cache_results] => 1
            [update_post_term_cache] => 1
            [lazy_load_term_meta] => 1
            [update_post_meta_cache] => 1
            [post_type] => 
            [posts_per_page] => 14
            [nopaging] => 
            [comments_per_page] => 50
            [no_found_rows] => 
            [order] => DESC
        )

    [tax_query] => WP_Tax_Query Object
        (
            [queries] => Array
                (
                    [0] => Array
                        (
                            [taxonomy] => category
                            [terms] => Array
                                (
                                    [0] => transport
                                )

                            [field] => slug
                            [operator] => IN
                            [include_children] => 1
                        )

                    [1] => Array
                        (
                            [taxonomy] => category
                            [terms] => Array
                                (
                                    [0] => 22371
                                )

                            [field] => term_id
                            [operator] => NOT IN
                            [include_children] => 
                        )

                )

            [relation] => AND
            [table_aliases:protected] => Array
                (
                    [0] => wp_term_relationships
                )

            [queried_terms] => Array
                (
                    [category] => Array
                        (
                            [terms] => Array
                                (
                                    [0] => transport
                                )

                            [field] => slug
                        )

                )

            [primary_table] => wp_posts
            [primary_id_column] => ID
        )

    [meta_query] => WP_Meta_Query Object
        (
            [queries] => Array
                (
                )

            [relation] => 
            [meta_table] => 
            [meta_id_column] => 
            [primary_table] => 
            [primary_id_column] => 
            [table_aliases:protected] => Array
                (
                )

            [clauses:protected] => Array
                (
                )

            [has_or_relation:protected] => 
        )

    [date_query] => 
    [queried_object] => WP_Term Object
        (
            [term_id] => 28
            [name] => Transport
            [slug] => transport
            [term_group] => 0
            [term_taxonomy_id] => 28
            [taxonomy] => category
            [description] => 
            [parent] => 0
            [count] => 316
            [filter] => raw
            [cat_ID] => 28
            [category_count] => 316
            [category_description] => 
            [cat_name] => Transport
            [category_nicename] => transport
            [category_parent] => 0
        )

    [queried_object_id] => 28
    [request] => SELECT SQL_CALC_FOUND_ROWS  wp_posts.ID FROM wp_posts  LEFT JOIN wp_term_relationships ON (wp_posts.ID = wp_term_relationships.object_id) WHERE 1=1  AND ( 
  wp_term_relationships.term_taxonomy_id IN (28) 
  AND 
  wp_posts.ID NOT IN (
				SELECT object_id
				FROM wp_term_relationships
				WHERE term_taxonomy_id IN (22364)
			)
) AND wp_posts.post_type = 'post' AND (wp_posts.post_status = 'publish') GROUP BY wp_posts.ID ORDER BY wp_posts.post_date DESC LIMIT 0, 14
    [posts] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Post Object
                (
                    [ID] => 28045
                    [post_author] => 670
                    [post_date] => 2017-09-15 12:29:39
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-09-15 02:29:39
                    [post_content] => 

Representatives from the rail industry came together to meet with Commonwealth ministers to discuss the need for a National Rail Industry Plan for the Benefit of Australia.

“Today is a significant day for the rail industry as we build momentum for a National Rail Industry Plan and meeting with Commonwealth ministers is our first step,” said Danny Broad, chief executive officer of the Australasian Railway Association (ARA).

“The rail industry makes a significant contribution to the Australian economy. Investment in rail by Australian governments will be in the order of $100 billion through to 2030. We are meeting with Commonwealth ministers today to say: we need a plan to coordinate this effort and we need your support.

“Through better coordination and long-term certainty, we can ensure the industry is well positioned to take advantage of all the lessons from the past and position ourselves for the future.

“The Commonwealth Government will be investing $89 billion in naval shipbuilding through to 2055. This investment will be supported by a Naval Shipbuilding Plan. Rail’s contribution to Australia is no less than shipbuilding.

“Next we will be meeting with state and territory governments, as well as opposition representatives to discuss our plan, seeking their support.

“To get this right we really need a combined effort by Commonwealth, state and territory governments, as well as industry support.”

The emphasis of any National Rail Industry Plan will need to include five key areas of focus, Mr Broad said:
  1. Recognising the importance of rail for Australia’s infrastructure development, urban planning and freight movements
  2. Harmonising standards, minimising regulations and maximising economies of scale
  3. Growing the capabilities of individuals and companies
  4. Maximising opportunities for rail companies
  5. Fostering innovation, research and development.”
Federal Government happy to help Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester, together with the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Senator Arthur Sinodinos and the Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Paul Fletcher, met with key rail stakeholders in Canberra to canvas ideas for growing Australia's rail industry. Mr Chester said engagement with stakeholders, including business and industry groups, was essential for securing a strong national transport system that meets the needs of our freight and passenger rail task in the future. “Rail plays a significant role in the productivity of our nation, and I am always keen to hear the views of industry on how we can ensure rail continues to meet the needs of both commuters and industry,” Mr Chester said. Mr Chester said rail was a core component of the Australian Government $75 billion infrastructure investment program, including a $20 million commitment to examine faster rail. “Through the 2017-18 Budget, the Australian Government committed $20 billion toward the delivery of rail projects, including the $10 billion National Rail Program, and the $8.4 billion Inland Rail,” he said. “This significant investment will not only support freight operators and commuters, but also directly invest in the rail industry by providing high-quality — and road-competitive — rail links. “Industry engagement will continue to play an important role in ensuring we get the policy and investment settings right.” Mr Chester said supporting the rail industry—including investing in major projects—had the potential to boost national prosperity. “The Inland Rail will deliver 16,000 direct and indirect jobs at the peak of construction,” he said. “It will stimulate complementary private sector investments, such as fleet upgrades, new metropolitan and regional terminals and integrated freight precincts. “I am looking forward to seeing the roll-out of the National Rail Program and projects like Inland Rail, Perth Metronet and the Victorian Regional Rail Package.”   [post_title] => Rail: $20 billion spending, 16,000+ jobs [post_excerpt] => The rail industry met with Commonwealth ministers to discuss a National Rail Industry Plan. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => rail-20-billion-spending-16000-jobs [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-09-15 12:30:46 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-09-15 02:30:46 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=28045 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27975 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-09-08 10:00:57 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-09-08 00:00:57 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_27976" align="alignnone" width="300"] The NorthConnex in Sydney is one of IA's projects.[/caption] In time for Julieanne Alroe commencing her role as the new chairwoman of Infrastructure Australia (IA), the organisation has begun the process of updating its Infrastructure Priority List (IPL), with the next full edition to be published in February 2018. Welcome Julianne Roe – and four more Chief executive of Infrastructure Australia Philip Davies welcomed Ms Alroe to her new position, who has been a member of the board since 2015. In turn, Ms Alroe welcomed three new board appointments — Deena Shiff, a former senior Telstra executive, Andrew Ethell, a former senior Toll executive, and Dr Peter Wood, a former Evans & Peck executive. They will be joined in January 2018 by Reece Waldock, the former Director-General of the Western Australian Department of Transport. Updating the IPL As part of this update, Infrastructure Australia is calling on Australian governments and non-government bodies to identify infrastructure problems and opportunities of national significance. The 2018 IPL will build on the current list, with new initiatives to reflect emerging infrastructure priorities across Australia, as well as update existing initiatives. Infrastructure Australia says it is open to submissions for all types of infrastructure, including programs of related works and programs for network optimisation. The submission period will close on 27 October 2017. Mind the framework Proponents should align their submissions with IA’s recently updated Assessment Framework. The Infrastructure Australia Act requires that the Assessment Framework be reviewed at least every two years. This ensures that it remains current, and consistent with similar frameworks used elsewhere in Australia and overseas. The Assessment Framework sets out the process Infrastructure Australia uses to consider initiatives and projects for inclusion on the Infrastructure Priority List. The Assessment Framework provides information about what Infrastructure Australia does and how initiatives and projects are assessed, to enable proponents to develop their submissions. The Assessment Framework was most recently updated in June 2017 with a focus on improving usability and readability. This included:
  • Merging the Assessment Framework overview and the detailed technical guidance into a single document.
  • Updating the existing templates, and developing new checklists, to simplify the submission process for proponents.
  • Providing better clarity on the role of Infrastructure Australia and the proponent at each step of the five-stage assessment process.
Proponents can make a submission via the Infrastructure Priority List—Call for submissions page.   [post_title] => Infrastructure Australia is open to new ideas [post_excerpt] => Infrastructure Australia has begun updating its Infrastructure Priority List. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => infrastructure-australia-open-new-ideas [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-09-08 10:22:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-09-08 00:22:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27975 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27979 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-09-08 08:27:47 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-09-07 22:27:47 [post_content] => Volkswagen has been ordered to publish a nationwide notice  concerning the class actions related to the global Dieselgate emissions scandal. The Federal Court has ordered that the notices be displayed on the VW, Audi and Skoda corporate websites and Australian Facebook pages, in what is believed to be first instance of Facebook being used in a federal consumer class action. Abridged versions of these notices are also to be published in major state and national newspapers from next week, clarifying key issues relating to the voluntary recall being undertaken by the manufacturers. Law firm Maurice Blackburn had requested Court orders that the notices be issued, in part to better inform those unwittingly caught up in the global diesel emissions scandal. In handing down judgment on the issue, presiding Judge, Justice Lindsay Foster, remarked that it was “necessary to put the record straight” on suggestions from Volkswagen that the Australian vehicle approval authority, the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development (DIRD) had said the voluntary recall work would have no impact on performance, fuel economy or service intervals of affected vehicles, when they hadn’t. Class action principal at Maurice Blackburn running the case Jason Geisker said ever since the emissions scandal broke VW has attempted to gloss over its failings and only ever provided a one-sided story to motorists. “A real issue needing clarification for VW, Audi and Skoda customers relates to controversial suggestions about the impact of the proposed voluntary ‘fix’ on the performance, fuel economy and service requirements of the vehicles – these class actions will determine whether these claims are accurate or not,” Mr Geisker said. “We think it is important for affected motorists to understand that any suggestion that Australian authorities have confirmed that the voluntary recall has no impact on these vehicles is simply not true. “These notices will help ensure that affected motorists are better informed about the issues being decided by the court through the class actions arising out of the diesel emissions scandal, including the controversies surrounding the voluntary recall.” Key aspects of the notices that will appear on the car manufacturer websites and pushed out to their social media accounts include the following: “The Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda software update does not simply remove the test mode. The software update will affect the manner in which the engine runs. It will:
  • Change the fuel injection settings, the number, timing and fuel quantity of injections used.
  • Increase the production of particulate matter (soot), which likely will lead to more frequent regeneration of the diesel particulate filter.
  • Increase the fuel injection pressure.
  • Increase the extent of exhaust gas recirculation into the engine.
  • In the case of Audi Q5 vehicles equipped with an SCR system, change its operation resulting in the use of a larger amount of AdBlue.
Further details will include telling customers that:
  • Having the recall work done is not compulsory. Your consent is required before any recall work is done. Contrary to what we know some VW customers have been told, people are still entitled to access servicing, repairs or spare parts for their vehicle whether or not they’ve chosen to have the recall work done.
  • In addition, there is no impact on existing warranties for those that have decided not to have the recall work performed on their vehicles and not getting the recall work is not a waiver of any of your rights in our class action or otherwise.
  [post_title] => Volkswagen ordered to come clean, even on Facebook [post_excerpt] => Volkswagen has been ordered to publish a nationwide notice on the Dieselgate emissions scandal. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => volkswagen-ordered-come-clean-even-facebook [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-09-08 10:22:53 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-09-08 00:22:53 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27979 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27939 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-08-31 15:12:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-31 05:12:30 [post_content] => Shannon Gillespie Today, everyone knows that an idea isn’t a good one until it ‘trends’. Last year, the City of Sydney’s Zero Waste marketing campaign featured the creation of an outdoor vinyl sticker campaign that made use of clever situational placement and optical illusions to highlight the problem of dumping household waste throughout the city. Designed for city dwellers to interact with, each piece was customised to its environment to amuse and educate people about the city’s free pickup service. One of the installations was a giant stack of household waste on the side of a building that increased in size every week for three weeks. As a by-product, the hashtag #freepickup and bookafreepickup.com site shot to stardom as people snapped and shared photos of themselves with old fridges, washing machines and the like in odd, but memorable, locations such as the middle of a cycle path. The result, the City claims, was “a virtual doubling of the number of calls to the free pickup service within a week of installation”. Imagine if we took the principles of this social marketing campaign and applied it to our engineering problems. How often do we spend megabucks on infrastructure projects, but do relatively little, if anything, to educate people about the right way to operate infrastructure or to change their behaviours when using it? The 2000 Sydney Olympics was hailed as “the best organised Olympic Games ever” and was the epitome of how an effective marketing and communications plan can solve complex problems. With a population of four million people and an expected influx of half a million visitors to Sydney for the Olympic Games, drastic measures were required to cope with the pressure on infrastructure. But instead of focusing on developing new transport infrastructure, a major public communications plan was executed to modify the travel behaviour of visitors and spectators. The message was simple – Olympic transport will be different but will work well. And it did! The Sydney Olympic Games achieved the first-ever 100 per cent spectator accessibility by public transport. As engineers, our natural response is to design highly sophisticated and intelligent infrastructure that automatically adapts itself to meet the demand. We design complex and expensive control systems to control infrastructures performance and operation. The infrastructure is designed to modulate in response to the variables which, in most cases, are people. But are we looking at society’s complex challenges through the wrong lens? The recent heatwave in South Australia put pressure on the state’s electricity network due to people turning on their air conditioning. As a consequence, 90 000 properties suffered a blackout during load shedding at the end of a 42 degrees Celsius day. While the problem appears to have been a technical one, could we not have modified the behaviour of the people? Experts say that in order to conserve energy in a heatwave, people should not lower their air conditioning below 26 degrees Celsius – this has nothing to do with the comfort of individuals but everything to do with avoiding a catastrophic power outage. Whilst it may not be a long-term solution, an effective marketing campaign would help solve the problem in the interim. We are living in a world where more than ever before, we need our facilities to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible  ̶  not only from an environmental perspective but also from optimising the use of capital. According to the World Economic Forum, global spending on basic infrastructure – transport, water and communications – currently totals USD 2.7 trillion a year, USD 1 trillion short of what is needed. The difference is nearly as large as South Korea’s GDP. As pressure on our natural and economic resources increases, so too does our ability to design effective infrastructure projects. If engineers treated marketing as another tool in their toolkit, how many of our complex infrastructure problems could be solved? How many millions of dollars could be saved on new infrastructure projects simply through marketing campaigns targeted at changing user behaviour? More and more, engineers should be telling their clients that a well-designed behavioural campaign should go hand in hand with a well-designed infrastructure project. In future, we might see Marketing Fundamentals become a standard feature of the Bachelor of Engineering curriculum. Shannon Gillespie is with Aurecon. [post_title] => Facebook and infrastructure [post_excerpt] => What does Facebook have to do with infrastructure? Everything, it would seem! [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => facebook-and-infrastructure [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-31 20:02:46 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-31 10:02:46 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27939 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27921 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-08-28 16:12:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-28 06:12:30 [post_content] => The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA), the Internet of Things Alliance Australia (IOTAA) and the Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand (SCCANZ) have announced they will collaborate to build the street of the future in Sydney’s CBD. The installation - The Future Street - is to be part of AILA’s national Festival of Landscape Architecture, a four-day event on conceiving, reimagining and transforming the outside world from streetscapes to parks and playgrounds, transport solutions to tourism strategies, to new suburbs and even cities. AILA CEO Shahana McKenzie said: “The Future Street is the culmination of numerous converging ideas around landscape, infrastructure and technology, that have resulted in a unique collaboration to help imagine the important role our streets can play in the future.” SCCANZ executive director Adam Beck described the event as a project that “provides us with the opportunity to show government, industry and the community the exciting outcomes from weaving the digital, natural and built environments together in this important public space: the street.” The idea behind The Future Street originated from an event run by AILA and SCCANZ in late 2016, where a number of planning and design professionals gathered to reimagine the role of streets under a range of disruptions, such as climate change, autonomous vehicles, and rapid technological change. The third partner of The Future Street, IOTAA, has joined AILA and SCCANZ to help deliver a showcase of the Internet of Things (IoT). IOTAA CEO Frank Zeichner said of the installation: “This project provides the opportunity to showcase the benefit of IoT to our cities, economy, and the community. IOT provides the opportunity to grow Australia’s competitiveness, innovation landscape and liveability, by connecting data, devices, people, processes and things to the internet. It helps people make better and more informed decisions to get the best possible outcomes.” The Future Street will be open for public viewing during the Festival of Landscape Architecture, from 12-15 October 2017, and showcase a range of landscape, IoT, utilities, transport and urban design and place-making features. The installation will be supported by a program of topical discussions and case studies. It is also planned that the installation will gather and report on real-time data, highlighting the capabilities of technology and the effectiveness of various deployed strategies. If you are interested in being part of the installation contact Shelley Kemp at shelley.kemp@aila.org.au.   [post_title] => Industry and government collaborate on streets of the future [post_excerpt] => The Future Street is the culmination of numerous converging ideas around landscape, infrastructure and technology. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => industry-government-collaborate-design-streets-future [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-28 16:14:13 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-28 06:14:13 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27921 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27904 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-08-24 21:20:52 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-24 11:20:52 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_27905" align="alignnone" width="300"] Artist's impression of Sydney Metro Waterloo station.[/caption]   Alok Patel Everyone’s talking about smart cities. Local councils are in the enviable position to make them a reality. Local government is the level of administration closest to the people, and councils are best placed to know what technologies are going to improve the lives of their constituents. In addition, local government areas can be mobilised far more quickly than they can be through the federal or state government to facilitate change. Now, here’s the rub. Councils are also among the worst to pitch to. They are mired in complex bureaucracy and often have outdated procurement processes that are no longer fit for purpose. We recently held a series of roundtables to examine the challenges and opportunities that smart cities present. Participants included experts in start-ups, communications, business, construction and local government. These experts, who were able to offer different perspectives on dealing with all levels of government, named local councils as the great hope of smart cities innovation. But they also pointed to reforms that are needed to realise them. To begin with procurement, current processes favour project delivery by big corporates (purely due to their financial ability to weather the cost of onerous government compliance and processes), typically resulting in a less innovative approach. Visionary start-ups may not even reach tender stage after being dissuaded by the abovementioned onerous procurement compliance burden. Dump the thin, bureaucratic straw In addition to this bottleneck, cutting-edge technology is not being deployed because there is still a central planning mentality rather than an iterative start-up mentality that could more effectively deliver solutions. Local council hierarchy and procurement processes can slow or even stymie progress. As one participant said, “the current council structure is one CEO, five departments and 2,000 staff, using procurement processes that go back 40 to 50 years”. While there is investment being made by the private sector in speculative technology,  there is little hope of any of this cash making it through what ends up being a very thin bureaucratic straw. The way forward is for councils to partner with private enterprise to develop cheap, small, proof-of-concept innovations that can be quickly altered or dumped with little cost in much the same way that John Maxwell recommends that you “fail fast, but forward” – or learn from your mistakes and use what you’ve learned in your next cunning plan. In this way the private sector can take the risk – meaning the lion’s share of the expense – while councils reap the benefits and no small kudos for improving the lives of their residents; and, importantly, saving them time and money. Councils already showing the way One way government could move more quickly would be to embrace the iterative approach discussed above, where technology is proven on a small scale, then picked up in other areas. This type of approach in turn lends itself to creative financing options: investments are no longer so massive that only large corporations can propose a solution. Instead, smaller players can bid for projects using models that break investments into funding parcels over a 12 to 24-month period, with returns coming within five years. Already, there are self-contained precincts already being built in New York City, The Hudson Yards, and Yeerongpilly Green in Brisbane, and on a smaller scale, the green space of the Finery in Waterloo, Sydney. None of these projects would have been possible without the blessing of far-sighted local council pioneers. All are built on top of or near railway stations - the new Waterloo Metro station for Sydney’s Finery and New York City Hall extending the 7-line train in Manhattan to service The Yards. These are just some examples of how the private sector is teaming up with local governments to create a prototype smart precinct for citizens – or in the case of The Yards, a city within a city with its own microgrid – with green spaces, pools or water features, and high levels of walkability. While the private sector is coming to the party and acknowledging the way forward to smart cities, it is up to government give a ‘big-picture’ commitment to ensuring quality of life and happiness of its citizens. Roundtable participants were also excited by the opportunity for smart cities to go beyond social cohesion and improve citizens’ connectedness to the government. Improving people’s lives today This call for a vision for the smart city and a commitment to the happiness of the people is a crucial element to come from our roundtables. This is achievable now. While we should not be daunted by undertaking tasks that will take years to complete, what matters is wellbeing, now. And the financing options outlined above show the way forward. With the technology we have available, Australia has the ability and the opportunity to build smart cities and improve people’s lives today. Our goal must be an improved urban space where people can be their best as they live, work, trade and play in comfort and safety. The avantgarde councils that will pave the way will reap rewards beyond savings, awards, recognition, swank and the glory of seeing scaled-up versions of their advances implemented around the world. They will improve the lives of their citizens. Alok Patel is the CEO of Azcende, a venture capital firm in the smart cities space. He is also the author of Habitats for Humans, a white paper that came out of a recent series of roundtables held in Sydney and Melbourne, which is available to download here.   [post_title] => Local councils can be the vanguards of smart city reform [post_excerpt] => Everyone’s talking about smart cities. Local councils are in the enviable position to make them a reality. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => local-councils-can-vanguards-smart-city-reform [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-24 21:27:50 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-24 11:27:50 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27904 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27899 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-08-24 17:44:41 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-24 07:44:41 [post_content] => The Cross River Rail business case released by the Queensland Government “demonstrates it will create jobs, bust congestion and be the catalyst for a world-class turn up and go public transport system”. Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure Jackie Trad said the Cross River Rail Business Case 2017 details the challenges and opportunities facing South East Queensland’s (SEQ) rail network. “[We] have fully funded Cross River Rail and we are getting on with the job of building it,” Ms Trad said. “The business case demonstrates what we have already known for a decade – we need another rail crossing to increase rail services in the South East and the solution is Cross River Rail. “Our rail network has a key choke point at its core preventing extra train services being brought into regions like the Gold Coast, Logan, Caboolture and the Redlands. “Nearly 2 million people will move into SEQ over the next two decades and with some lines, like the Gold Coast, already operating at 100 per cent capacity during peak periods, we need to build Cross River Rail before we reach a crisis point. “It will unlock smarter integration of rail and bus networks, providing quick turn up and go services and positioning SEQ for a more sustainable and competitive future “The business case specifically states the full benefits of both Cross River Rail and the Brisbane Metro can only be completely realised once both projects are constructed and are operational. Ms Trad said the business case incorporated the latest information on the impact of policy and demographic changes over the last 12 months. “The BCR for the project is now 1.41, up from 1.21 in the 2016 Business Case. This means that for every $1 invested in the Cross River Rail project, $1.41 is returned to the people of Queensland,” Ms Trad said. CRR business case key findings include:
  • For every $1 invested in the project, it returns $1.41 to the people of Queensland.
  • The project will generate an average of 1,500 jobs each year over the construction period, with a peak of 3,000 in the most intensive year.
  • CRR will provide capacity for ‘turn-up-and-go’ services.
  • CRR will help reduce pressure on the region’s roads, freeing them up for commercial vehicles and commuter buses.
  • It will enable greater integration of bus and rail services, which will help to maximise the state government’s rail network investments and Brisbane City Council’s investment in Brisbane Metro and improved bus services.
  • Total daily public transport trips (bus & rail) will climb from around 510,000 to more than 880,000 in 2026 and to more than 1.1 million by 2036.
Now get on and build it The detailed business case for the Cross River Rail is a welcome step towards the government improving transparency about infrastructure decisions, said the Infrastructure Association of Queensland (IAQ). Bolstered by expert peer reviews, the latest business case addresses some of the key concerns raised by Infrastructure Australia in their recent project evaluation, including rail patronage forecasts and road user benefits. “Brisbane has a looming capacity problem and Cross River Rail is the smart solution,” said IAQ CEO Steve Abson. To satisfy demands from the Turnbull Government, the business case also reveals possible approaches towards sharing value created by the project. “Because the project includes significant urban renewal and opportunity for major development at station precincts, value capture might create up to 10% of the funds needed for it.” “Most Queenslanders know that some developers and business often receive windfall gains and privately benefit from government infrastructure investment and planning decisions. Capturing and sharing these gains is not easy, but as long as the beneficiaries are fairly identified it can be a pretty reasonable approach,” said Mr Abson. Set to be commissioned in 2023, Cross River Rail is a long-running project that will run across at least two state elections. The IAQ warns of dire consequence should any new government decide to hold off investment. “Both Queenslanders and industry are pretty sick and tired of seeing critical infrastructure used as a political football. Not once in the last eight years have we seen all sides lining up behind our greatest infrastructure project and it’s been through at least three different incarnations to get to an optimum solution,” said Mr Abson. “With funding secured and early works now set to commence before Christmas, the last thing we need is risk of taxpayer-funded cheques written to rip up contracts already placed with local businesses,” he added. The Cross River Rail Delivery Authority will conduct an industry briefing next Wednesday 30/07 where it will outline the procurement approach, details of major work packages, delivery strategy, commercial considerations and governance. It will be held at the Pullman Hotel, King George Square, Brisbane from 2:00pm, Wednesday 30 August 2017. Click here to register. [post_title] => Cross-River Rail: just build it [post_excerpt] => The CRR business case demonstrates it will create jobs, bust congestion and must be built, said the IAQ. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => cross-river-rail-just-build [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-24 21:54:54 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-24 11:54:54 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27899 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27883 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-08-22 08:13:46 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-21 22:13:46 [post_content] => The Australian and Victorian Governments are committing significant funds to connect the Port of Melbourne to major freight hubs using the existing rail network, but container operators are warning that the success or otherwise of the concept is in the detail. Governments come up with the money Expressions of interest will soon to be sought to deliver a series of rail freight ‘shuttle’ initiatives on the existing rail network by connecting the port to major freight hubs and businesses. Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the proposal would take advantage of rail’s ability to shift larger volumes of freight than trucks. “[We] are seeing a boom in exports, which has led to trucks taking more produce and freight to the ports. This project will provide the ability to shift larger volumes of freight via rail compared to trucks, and reduce congestion on our roads,” Mr Chester said. “The freight and logistics industry had identified rail’s potential to reduce transport costs by about 10 per cent, with the proposal potentially improving Australia’s competitiveness.” Victorian Minister for Roads, Road Safety and Ports Luke Donnellan said the initiative will take trucks off local roads in Melbourne’s inner west. “The Port of Melbourne will remain our primary freight hub for a generation. With container numbers expected to double over the next two decades we need to act now to share the load between road and rail. “Alongside the West Gate Tunnel, 24-hour truck bans in the inner west and the Port’s rail access plans, this project will help shift containers from residential streets onto dedicated routes to the port.” The Australian Government has committed $38 million and the Victorian Government will provide $20 million to the initiative. Funding will be available to upgrade rail connections and improve terminal access. The devil’s in the detail The largest conglomeration of container transporters in Victoria the Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA) has welcomed the recommitment of $58 million in funding by the State and Federal Governments towards port rail shuttle services in the Port of Melbourne, but has warned that there is ‘much to do’ to make metropolitan rail freight services commercially viable. “There is no doubt that moving more containerised freight to and from the Port of Melbourne and metropolitan intermodal terminals must be part of the future for Australia’s largest container freight port,” CTAA director Neil Chambers said. “To date, however, next to no containers move to and from metropolitan areas and the port due to the lack of adequate rail infrastructure and the added costs of using rail for intermodal movements. “The optimal landside movement of an import container once discharged from a ship involves around six “lifts” if delivered direct from wharf to customer then direct to the empty container depot for de-hire by road.” “This number of ‘lifts’ rises with the current situation where many containers are ‘staged’ through transport yards to take account of the mismatch of operating hours and other logistics management reasons, both the full container as well as the empty. This can increase the number of ‘lifts’ to as many as ten. “However, unless we can achieve true ‘on-dock’ rail operations to remove the need for the last-mile movement of the containers within the Port to be undertaken by truck or some other form of transfer vehicle, the number of ‘lifts’ for a typical intermodal operation would be twelve or more. “Every time you touch the container it costs money, and the current lack of rail integration is the killer from a competition point of view. “Truly viable intermodal terminals in Australia and overseas also provide the value-added services in situ that reduce local freight journeys and strip out costs for the cargo owner. This is what we need to aspire to through strategically located intermodal terminals in Melbourne’s west, north and south-east. “It’s important, therefore, that the Port of Melbourne complete its rail strategy development in a timely manner, that the state’s overall freight strategy is refreshed, and the national freight strategy finalised, to ensure that intermodal rail operations are considered as a complete system, not just a series of disjointed nodes with no adequate integrated port connections and infrastructure “I think we need to be cautious that the community isn’t given the impression that rail intermodal operations will be a panacea to the removal of trucks from our roads,” Mr Chambers said. “That won’t be the case, because even if we get this right, which we all hope we will, the future still involves thousands of truck movements to and from the port, as well as to and from intermodal terminals for final delivery to the end user. “We need integrated planning that enhances and protects the future viability of road and rail freight, reduces community amenity impacts where possible, but doesn’t harm freight productivity and cost competitiveness.”   [post_title] => Will Melbourne’s port shuttle work? [post_excerpt] => Governments are committing millions to connect the Port of Melbourne to major freight hubs, but operators are warning of more work needed. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => melbournes-port-shuttle-go-ahead-will-work [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-22 10:22:17 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-22 00:22:17 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27883 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27873 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-08-21 14:53:05 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-21 04:53:05 [post_content] => Whilst a number of licences are already available in electronic (digital) versions in NSW, the drivers’ licence is set to become digital in 2019. Digital drivers’ licence trial to begin in November The NSW Government is preparing to launch testing of the digital drivers’ licence technology in Dubbo in November. Dubbo residents who participate in the trial will be able to use their digital driver licence, accessible on a mobile phone, for proof of identity and proof of age to gain entry into pubs and clubs as well for roadside Police checks. NSW Minister for Finance, Services and Property Victor Dominello said: “This trial is the first of its kind in Australia and will allow Dubbo motorists to use their digital driver licence in everyday scenarios with Police and selected licenced establishments. “The trial will draw on the learnings from the successful roll-out of digital RSA/RCG, boat and fishing licences over the past two years. Today we are a step closer to fulfilling an election commitment of delivering a digital driver licence by 2019.” Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said: “A person’s driver licence is an important proof of identity document. This trial is an opportunity to demonstrate the additional levels of identity security and increased protection against identity fraud that a digital licence provides compared to a physical one,” Mrs Pavey said. The digital licence requires motorists to install the trial app, register a MyServiceNSW account, and add their NSW driver licence details. Other licences now available in digital form The recent launch of the digital licence platform means residents can now access three NSW government licences and permits digitally using their mobile phone or tablet. The first licences to become available were:
  • Recreational Fishing Fee.
  • Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) Competency Card.
  • Responsible Conduct of Gambling (RCG) Competency Card.
Digital licences are currently available on an opt-in basis, users still receive a physical licence or permit. When asked to display the licence or permit, they have the choice to provide either the physical card or digital licence. [post_title] => D-licence to become an e-licence [post_excerpt] => The NSW drivers’ licence is set to become electronic in 2019, joining three others already available in digital form. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => d-licence-become-e-licence [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-22 10:26:51 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-22 00:26:51 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27873 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27743 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-08-02 14:33:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-02 04:33:30 [post_content] => Andrew Hudson The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton used his opening address at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIPB) Industry Summit on Monday morning (31 July 2017) to assure those in the private supply chain and their clients that the current work agenda would be maintained under the proposed Home Affairs department. Along with the Acting Commissioner of the Australian Border Force (ABF), Minister Dutton reiterated that the ABF would continue in its traditional ‘Customs’ role and the ABF, as part of the DIBP, would also continue its vital engagement with industry and development of trade facilitation measures to assist in the legitimate trade in goods and movement in people. At the time of the announcement of the creation of the new Department of Home Affairs (DHA), the focus of the commentary was on national and border security issues with no comment on the traditional ‘Customs’ role of the ABF or its ongoing engagement with industry and the facilitation of international trade at the border. Naturally, there were some concerns that the failure to address these important roles could mean that the importance of those roles was being downgraded and that momentum on various initiatives here and overseas could be lost with an increased focus on security and intervention in trade. Both speakers made the point that the involvement of the ABF with the DHA would allow the ABF to have access to additional information at an earlier stage than is presently the case, which would actually enhance the ability of the ABF to carry out its roles. These outcomes were all consistent with the theme of the industry summit being “Border Innovation: strengthening our nation’s economy, security and society.” In terms of the work of the DIBP and the ABF in the engagement with industry in relation to the movement of goods, there was reference to recent achievements and future commitments with such initiatives as:
  • The creation of a ‘single window’ for trade such as in Singapore and New Zealand.
  • The expansion of the Australian Trusted Trader Program (ATTP).
  • The recent completion of four Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA) with other customs services for those in the ATTP.
  • The promise of more MRA with customs services in other trading partners.
  • The development and implementation of Free Trade Agreements (FTA) to improve the use of those current and future FTAs by the adoption of robust Rules of Origin, enhanced border clearance facilitation.
  • The increased use of more advance technology and reporting systems.
There were similar references to commitments in the migration space as relating to the movement of persons. The comments provide a degree of assurance to industry that the current work agenda would be maintained and developed and that the engagement with industry remained a priority. While the reference to the achievements and initiative represents only a reiteration of those developments currently known to industry, their clear support from the Federal Government filled in a gap in the story that arose with the announcements relating to the DHA. Industry looks forward to continued engagement on these projects and its ongoing collaborative work with government, whether the DIBP, the ABF or other agencies that have a role at the border. Andrew Hudson is Partner with Rigby Cooke Lawyers’ Litigation Team, specialising in all areas of trade including international trade conventions, dispute resolution and arbitration, trade financing options, commodity and freight contracts as well as dealing with regulation of the movement of goods at the border by all Government agencies. He is also a member of many of the consultative bodies established by Government in the trade space, including the National Committee on Trade Facilitation convened by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the International Trade Remedies Forum convened by the Anti - Dumping Commission (ADC) as well as associated sub-committees. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Export Council of Australia (ECA) and the Food and Beverage Importers Association (FBIA) and works closely with other industry associations representing those in the supply chain. [post_title] => When all things change, Customs stays the same [post_excerpt] => Minister Dutton has assured those in the supply chain that the current work agenda would be maintained under the Home Affairs department. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => things-change-customs-stays [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-02 14:36:06 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-02 04:36:06 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27743 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [10] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27700 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-07-24 17:43:49 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-24 07:43:49 [post_content] => Patrick Hunn The Planning Institute of Victoria has taken issue with the Victorian government’s plans to connect central Melbourne to the city’s west via a major road and cross-river tunnel. The Victorian chapter of the Planning Institute Australia has criticised the Victorian government’s West Gate Tunnel Project for failing to follow its own planning guidelines. The project would connect central Melbourne to the city’s west via a new tunnel and an 18-lane, partially elevated toll road. In a submission made in response to the West Gate Tunnel Environmental Effects Statement (EES) and the Planning Scheme Amendment (PSA) associated with the development, Victoria chapter president Laura Murray described the project as lacking “strategic justification” and argued that “alternate approaches to addressing the identified land use and transport issues have not been considered or rigorously tested”. “The proposal as it stands is a retrograde, traffic-engineering-focused solution which is entirely at odds with any appreciation for good place-making and contemporary urban planning,” Ms Murray said. “The proposed 18 lanes of traffic on and above Footscray Road are completely out of proportion with an inner-city location, which will be subject to regeneration and will permanently blight the area.” The submission also expressed concerns of “inappropriate methodology and inadequate extent of traffic modelling” which did not go beyond 2031; the “significant detriment” to traffic and future development opportunities likely to be caused by the city exits; and “entrenched inequality for those in the outer suburbs without access to a private motor vehicle.” This article first appeared in ArchitectureAU. To read the full article click here. [post_title] => ‘Retrograde solution’: West Gate Tunnel Project a ‘permanent blight,’ says PIA [post_excerpt] => The Victorian government’s plans to connect central Melbourne to the city’s west have been called into question. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => retrograde-solution-west-gate-tunnel-project-permanent-blight-says-pia [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-07-26 12:22:55 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-26 02:22:55 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27700 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [11] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27656 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-07-20 17:21:54 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-20 07:21:54 [post_content] => The Senate Inquiry into Flag of Convenience (FOC) Shipping has found serious risks. The Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee report chronicles gaping holes in Australia’s national security framework, with the report being published  just one day after a government announcement to create the new Ministry of Home Affairs. FOC shipping refers to international trading vessels that are registered in tax havens such as Liberia, Panama and the Marshall Islands. These registries are renowned for their lax labour laws, poor investment controls and lack of ownership oversight. The Australian Border Force Submission states: “The Department notes that whilst a significant proportion of legitimate sea trade is conducted by ships with FOC registration, there are features of FOC registration, regulation and practice that organised crime syndicates or terrorist groups may seek to exploit. These features are:
  • A lack of transparency of the identity of shipowners and consequent impediment to holding the owner to account for a ship’s actions.
  • Insufficient flag state regulatory enforcement and adherence to standards.
The Senate Report states: “The committee maintains that [FOC] vessels present serious security risks to the Australian coast, which need to be properly addressed. “The committee takes the view that, by not agreeing to review the current state of the maritime sector in Australia, the government is failing to address the serious security, economic, human rights and environmental vulnerabilities in the sector.” The committee called on the Federal Government to grow the Australian maritime industry in the face of what it calls “very real and current risks to our nation” posed by FOC vessels and their crew. In a recently published opinion peace, Opposition transport spokesman Anthony Albanese also referred to the security implications of not having a domestic shipping industry. “Indeed, defence experts have long recognised the importance of maintaining a domestic maritime workforce,” Mr Albanese said. “It ensures that Australia has a pool of highly skilled labour that can be quickly mobilised during times of war or other national emergencies. “Furthermore, Australian seafarers undergo stringent background checks to ensure they pose no security threats.  Overseas seafarers whose backgrounds are a mystery to us do not undergo such close scrutiny.” International Transport Federation (ITF) president Paddy Crumlin said the conservative Australian Government is intentionally encouraging the morally ambiguous – and at times criminal – underbelly of FOC shipping. “The Turnbull Government has allowed Australian seafarers to be replaced by FOC lawlessness that now threatens our very national security. “Under their legislative abuses Australian seafarers, properly trained, security-screened and resident taxpayers, have been sacked and their jobs in a domestic transport sector given away to whoever comes over the horizon without a word of inquiry about their background. “The solution is simple: stop destroying and start supporting and growing  our domestic shipping industry and the Australian working men and women that work there, and in doing so we will help keep our borders safe,” Mr Crumlin said. ITF national coordinator Dean Summers said the inquiry had officially laid bare the murky world of FOC shipping that the Turnbull Government has so far chosen to ignore. “The Senate Inquiry heard multiple accounts of the very worst of what FOC shipping has to offer – murders, gun-running, intimidation, bullying, harassment and slave labour,” Mr Summers said. “The appalling case of multiple murders at sea onboard the Sage Sagittarius was the basis for this inquiry and serves as a shocking reminder of what can happen when an entire industry is little more than a race to the bottom. The committee called for a comprehensive whole-of-government review into the potential economic, security and environmental risks presented by FOC shipping. The committee said it was very concerned by FOC vessels carrying dangerous goods around Australia’s coast, including ammonium nitrate and petroleum products. Last financial year, only 1,072 of the 15,715 commercial vessels arriving in Australia were searched by ABF. “The committee is very disturbed by the many examples of job losses, poor working conditions, inadequate wages and deaths and disappearances at sea,” it stated. “To have seafarers disappearing and dying in and around Australian waters, and while in transit to Australian ports is unacceptable.” The committee recommended that:
  1. The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) implement an inspection program for ships with foreign seafarers to verify paid wages meet Australian legal requirements.
  2. The Federal Government fund the FWO wages inspection program.
  3. The Federal Government implement clear procedures on how to respond to deaths that occur on ships travelling in or to Australian waters.
  4. The Federal Government consider legislative amendments to provide clarity on jurisdictional responsibility for investigating deaths on ships travelling in Australian waters.
  5. The re-establishment of an advisory body made up of key maritime industry stakeholders to advise government on new Australian shipping policies and workforce development and training opportunities.
  6. The Federal Government review the Australian maritime industry with a view to grow and support it.
  7. The Federal Government review the potential economic, security and environmental risks presented by FOC vessels and foreign crew.
The committee’s full report can be found here.   [post_title] => Homeland Security could start with 'flags of convenience' [post_excerpt] => The Senate Inquiry into Flag of Convenience (FOC) Shipping has found serious risks. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => homeland-security-start-flags-convenience [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-07-20 17:21:54 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-20 07:21:54 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27656 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [12] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27626 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-07-17 14:30:11 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-17 04:30:11 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_27632" align="alignnone" width="296"] ALGA President Mayor David O'Loughlin.[/caption] Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) president Mayor David O’Loughlin writes that while the corridor protection measures put forward by Infrastructure Australia are important and worthwhile, the Federal Government must also address first- and last-mile issues. Infrastructure Australia’s (IA) recent paper, Corridor Protection: Planning and investing for the long term, outlines the case for securing and protecting land corridors for future infrastructure projects. They stress that a relatively modest investment today can pay substantial dividends tomorrow. ALGA has always strongly advocated for more integrated transport planning and so we support the report. However, it doesn't stress enough the importance of first and last mile issues we know enable freight to get to its destination, people to get to work, and raw materials to get to on-shore and off-shore markets. According to the National Transport Commission (NTC), road freight grew six-fold over the period 1971 to 2007. The freight task is projected to double by 2030 and treble by 2050. This growth is an indicator of the economic activity that we must begin to plan for today. We must ask ourselves:
  • What are the transport goals and what services are required to foster growth, jobs and prosperity?
  • Where are the investments required to achieve these goals?
Many councils are already answering these tough questions by investing in regional transport plans that identify key transport routes and linkages, and investment opportunities at the local and regional level. However, for this work, to have the impact required, to make productivity gains across the country, local government needs additional support from the Commonwealth. ALGA continues to call for a federal investment of $200 million per annum over five years to establish a Local Freight Productivity Investment Plan to partner with local councils and ensure that first mile/last mile and freight connectivity issues are addressed to improve national productivity. As well as road reform and additional funding requirements, road managers need to work in partnership with transport operators and other levels of government to provide roads and road services that are fit for purpose. A business-as-usual approach will not address this issue. As emphasised by IA, we must make the right infrastructure decisions today to accommodate and meet our growing freight task, increase productivity, create jobs and help create the transport infrastructure for the future prosperity of our nation. These are some of the key messages ALGA will include in its submission to the National Freight and Supply Chain Inquiry currently being undertaken by the federal government. Submissions are due by 28 July 2017 and I encourage all councils to join us and independently make a submission identifying their first and last mile freight priorities. The seven strategic corridors singled out by IA are: East Coast High Speed Rail, Outer Sydney Orbital, Outer Melbourne Ring, Western Sydney Airport Rail Line, Western Sydney Freight Line, Hunter Valley Freight Line, and Port of Brisbane Freight Line. Further information, including the full report, is available on the Infrastructure Australia website. More information about the inquiry and how to make a submission is available on the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development website. The email address for submissions is freightstrategy@infrastructure.gov.au.   [post_title] => More action needed to protect vital infrastructure corridors [post_excerpt] => Mayor David O’Loughlin writes that first- and last-mile issues in freight must also be addressed. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => action-needed-protect-vital-infrastructure-corridors [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-07-17 22:20:11 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-17 12:20:11 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27626 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [13] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27605 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-07-13 19:22:19 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-13 09:22:19 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_27606" align="alignnone" width="300"] Our national wellbeing probably peaked with Australia’s population at roughly 15 million in the 1970s, when this photo was taken in Hunters Hill, Sydney.
John Ward/flickr, CC BY-NC-SA[/caption] Peter Martin, University of South Australia; James Ward, University of South Australia, and Paul Sutton, University of Denver
Neither of Australia’s two main political parties believes population is an issue worth discussion, and neither currently has a policy about it. The Greens think population is an issue, but can’t come at actually suggesting a target. Even those who acknowledge that numbers are relevant are often quick to say that it’s our consumption patterns, and not our population size, that really matter when we talk about environmental impact. But common sense, not to mention the laws of physics, says that size and scale matter, especially on a finite planet. In the meantime the nation has a bipartisan default population policy, which is one of rapid growth. This is in response to the demands of what is effectively a coalition of major corporate players and lobby groups. Solid neoliberals all, they see all growth as good, especially for their bottom line. They include the banks and financial sector, real estate developers, the housing industry, major retailers, the media and other major players for whom an endless increase in customers is possible and profitable. However, Australians stubbornly continue to have small families. The endless growth coalition responds by demanding the government import hundreds of thousands of new consumers annually, otherwise known as the migration intake. The growth coalition has no real interest in the cumulative social or environmental downside effects of this growth, nor the actual welfare of the immigrants. They fully expect to capture the profit of this growth program, while the disadvantages, such as traffic congestion, rising house prices and government revenue diverted for infrastructure catch-up, are all socialised – that is, the taxpayer pays. The leaders of this well-heeled group are well insulated personally from the downsides of growth that the rest of us deal with daily. A better measure of wellbeing than GDP The idea that population growth is essential to boost GDP, and that this is good for everyone, is ubiquitous and goes largely unchallenged. For example, according to Treasury’s 2010 Intergenerational Report:
Economic growth will be supported by sound policies that support productivity, participation and population — the ‘3Ps’.
If one defines “economic growth” in the first place by saying that’s what happens when you have more and more people consuming, then obviously more and more people produce growth. The fact that GDP, our main measure of growth, might be an utterly inadequate and inappropriate yardstick for our times remains a kooky idea to most economists, both in business and government. Genuine progress peaked 40 years ago One of the oldest and best-researched alternative measures is the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI). Based on the work of the American economist Herman Daly in the 1970s and ’80s, GPI takes into account different measures of human wellbeing, grouped into economic, environmental and social categories. Examples on the negative side of the ledger include income inequality, CO2 emissions, water pollution, loss of biodiversity and the misery of car accidents. On the positive side, and also left out of GDP, are the value of household work, parenting, unpaid child and aged care, volunteer work, the quality of education, the value of consumer goods lasting longer, and so on. The overall GPI measure, expressed in dollars, takes 26 such factors into account. Since it is grounded in the real world and our real experience, GPI is a better indicator than GDP of how satisfactory we find our daily lives, of our level of contentment, and of our general level of wellbeing. As it happens, there is quite good data on GPI going back decades for some countries. While global GDP (and GDP per capita) continued to grow strongly after the second world war, and continues today, global GPI basically stalled in 1970 and has barely improved since. In Australia the stall point appears to be about 1974. GPI is now lower than for any period since the early 1960s. That is, our wellbeing, if we accept that GPI is a fair measure of the things that make life most worthwhile, has been going backwards for decades. What has all the growth been for? It is reasonable to ask, therefore, what exactly has been the point of the huge growth in GDP and population in Australia since that time if our level of wellbeing has declined. What is an economy for, if not to improve our wellbeing? Why exactly have we done so much damage to our water resources, soil, the liveability of our cities and to the other species with which we share this continent if we haven’t really improved our lives by doing it? As alluded to earlier, the answer lies to a large extent in the disastrous neoliberal experiment foisted upon us. Yet many Australians understand that it is entirely valid to measure the success of our society by the wellbeing of its citizens and its careful husbandry of natural capital. At the peak of GPI in Australia in the mid-1970s our population was under 15 million. Here then, perhaps, is a sensible, optimal population size for Australia operating under the current economic system, since any larger number simply fails to deliver a net benefit to most citizens. It suggests that we have just had 40 years of unnecessary, ideologically-driven growth at an immense and unjustifiable cost to our natural and social capital. In addition, all indications are that this path is unsustainable. With Australian female fertility sitting well below replacement level, we can achieve a slow and natural return to a lower population of our choice without any drastic or coercive policies. This can be done simply by winding back the large and expensive program of importing consumers to generate GDP growth – currently around 200,000 people per year and forecast to increase to almost 250,000 by 2020. Despite endless political and media obfuscation, this is an entirely different issue from assisting refugees, with whom we can afford to be much more generous.
The ConversationYou can read other articles in the Is Australia Full? series here. Peter Martin, Lecturer, School of Natural & Built Environments, University of South Australia; James Ward, Lecturer in Water & Environmental Engineering, University of South Australia, and Paul Sutton, Professor, Department of Geography and the Environment, University of Denver This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. [post_title] => Why a population of, say, 15 million makes sense for Australia [post_excerpt] => Neither of Australia’s two main political parties believes population is an issue worth discussion. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => population-say-15-million-makes-sense-australia [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-07-13 19:22:19 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-13 09:22:19 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27605 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 14 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28045 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-09-15 12:29:39 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-09-15 02:29:39 [post_content] => Representatives from the rail industry came together to meet with Commonwealth ministers to discuss the need for a National Rail Industry Plan for the Benefit of Australia. “Today is a significant day for the rail industry as we build momentum for a National Rail Industry Plan and meeting with Commonwealth ministers is our first step,” said Danny Broad, chief executive officer of the Australasian Railway Association (ARA). “The rail industry makes a significant contribution to the Australian economy. Investment in rail by Australian governments will be in the order of $100 billion through to 2030. We are meeting with Commonwealth ministers today to say: we need a plan to coordinate this effort and we need your support. “Through better coordination and long-term certainty, we can ensure the industry is well positioned to take advantage of all the lessons from the past and position ourselves for the future. “The Commonwealth Government will be investing $89 billion in naval shipbuilding through to 2055. This investment will be supported by a Naval Shipbuilding Plan. Rail’s contribution to Australia is no less than shipbuilding. “Next we will be meeting with state and territory governments, as well as opposition representatives to discuss our plan, seeking their support. “To get this right we really need a combined effort by Commonwealth, state and territory governments, as well as industry support.” The emphasis of any National Rail Industry Plan will need to include five key areas of focus, Mr Broad said:
  1. Recognising the importance of rail for Australia’s infrastructure development, urban planning and freight movements
  2. Harmonising standards, minimising regulations and maximising economies of scale
  3. Growing the capabilities of individuals and companies
  4. Maximising opportunities for rail companies
  5. Fostering innovation, research and development.”
Federal Government happy to help Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester, together with the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Senator Arthur Sinodinos and the Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Paul Fletcher, met with key rail stakeholders in Canberra to canvas ideas for growing Australia's rail industry. Mr Chester said engagement with stakeholders, including business and industry groups, was essential for securing a strong national transport system that meets the needs of our freight and passenger rail task in the future. “Rail plays a significant role in the productivity of our nation, and I am always keen to hear the views of industry on how we can ensure rail continues to meet the needs of both commuters and industry,” Mr Chester said. Mr Chester said rail was a core component of the Australian Government $75 billion infrastructure investment program, including a $20 million commitment to examine faster rail. “Through the 2017-18 Budget, the Australian Government committed $20 billion toward the delivery of rail projects, including the $10 billion National Rail Program, and the $8.4 billion Inland Rail,” he said. “This significant investment will not only support freight operators and commuters, but also directly invest in the rail industry by providing high-quality — and road-competitive — rail links. “Industry engagement will continue to play an important role in ensuring we get the policy and investment settings right.” Mr Chester said supporting the rail industry—including investing in major projects—had the potential to boost national prosperity. “The Inland Rail will deliver 16,000 direct and indirect jobs at the peak of construction,” he said. “It will stimulate complementary private sector investments, such as fleet upgrades, new metropolitan and regional terminals and integrated freight precincts. “I am looking forward to seeing the roll-out of the National Rail Program and projects like Inland Rail, Perth Metronet and the Victorian Regional Rail Package.”   [post_title] => Rail: $20 billion spending, 16,000+ jobs [post_excerpt] => The rail industry met with Commonwealth ministers to discuss a National Rail Industry Plan. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => rail-20-billion-spending-16000-jobs [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-09-15 12:30:46 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-09-15 02:30:46 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=28045 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 316 [max_num_pages] => 23 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => 1 [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => 1 [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => b6c139f0d1fc92d0a9b6f85653e237b5 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => 1 [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) )

Transport