Impact Publications : Aircargo_236
Page 14 • AirCArgo AsiA-PACifiC • APRIL-MAY 2015 Infrastructure must get ahead of the game - improving our productivity is essential FOR the first time, Infrastructure Australia will identify prior- ities before governments have made their decisions, ac- cording to Infrastructure minister and deputy prime minister Warren Truss. Speaking at the Australian Logistics Council’s annual dinner, Truss said: “It was one of our key stated goals for reform of Infrastructure Australia that it gets ahead of the game.” Quoting his departmental infrastructure secretary Mike Mrdak, Truss said: “There is also a need not just to focus on the dollars to be spent but also to accurately convey the impact of the problems we are trying to fix and the benefits of fixing those problems and pinch points.” This was raised during the annual dialogue held earlier this year between the council and department. Truss said the 2015 discussion focused on deregulatory opportunities, current priorities of IA and – crucially for air cargo – better integration of the freight system across different transport modes. The minister noted his department’s Bureau of Infrastruc- ture, Transport & Regional Economics had pointed to an 80 per cent rise in Australia’s freight task over the next 15 years and a 300 per cent rise by 2050. The federal government’s A$5 billion asset recycling initiative would, claimed Truss “show how mature assets can continue to serve the public while providing an impetus to the next generation of infrastructure projects”. He pointed to the soon-to-be-released IA audit of nationally significant infrastructure. A recent addition to this work has been a review of the inter-generational report published early last month by the federal treasurer. The review will ensure the audit takes into account the impact projected population statistics will have on infrastructure assets. This audit will be open for submissions before work pro- ceeds much further on IA’s 15-year plan of infrastructure priorities. Truss commented that recent experiences across jurisdic- tions show that when communities are properly informed on infrastructure plans, it is possible to gain broad public support. Warren Truss, Infrastructure minister and deputy prime minister What is Infrastructure Australia and why? REBORN last year as a statutory authority, Infrastructure Aus- tralia (IA) covers all forms of transport and logistics including airports and air cargo. While road, rail and maritime transport tend to get more focus from the body and from the infrastruc- ture sector generally, this is also important to air cargo in terms of inter-modal supply paths and the essential factor of airport road access. It was reconstituted following the proclamation of the Infra- structure Australia Amendment Bill 2014. IA’s first fully-fledged ceo Philip Davies has this month taken up his new duties. He replaces John Fitzgerald, who played a key role in estab- lishing the new format, initially as interim infrastructure coordi- nator and then from April last year as acting ceo. IA board members have been drawn from business, pro- fessions and academia, with both public and private sector backgrounds. Some have hands-on experience in air transport. First major tasks for IA are completion of the comprehen- sive audit of existing national infrastructure and the develop- ment of a 15-year national infrastructure plan. The plan will cover Australia’s current and future infrastruc- ture needs, means of financing and delivering infrastructure, and ideas for better planning and use of infrastructure net- works. Davies comes from a strong infrastructure sector back- ground, in Australia and internationally. “This is an exciting opportunity, working closely with our state and territory colleagues, to shape the long term plan for Australia’s infrastructure,” he said on appointment. “We can develop the evidence base to support the investment priorities for nationally significant infrastructure.” On the web: www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au Continued next page.