Saturday, December 20, 2008

Audit of Australian transport, water, energy and communications infrastructure

The Australian Government released an a preliminary audit of national transport, water, energy and communications infrastructure and 94 proposals to upgrade it. The priorities are: broadband, energy grid, ports and land transport to them, rail freight, protecting water supplies from climate change, public transport in cities and services to Indigenous communities. This includes a proposal for a Very Fast Train from Sydney to Melbourne via Canberra at a cost of $32b to $59b. There are also public-private partnership guidelines.

Confusingly the report is entitled "A Report to the Council of Australian Governments" (4.4Mbytes of PDF). Also when the "reflow" function is used to make the document more readable the text appears to become scrambled, indicating the document was not correctly formatted.

This follows a previous announcement of $4.7b of projects "Nation Building: Rail, Road, Education & Research and Business", 12 December 2008. That announcement included several rail upgrades.

Available are:
  1. Audit of the Nation's Infrastructure Released, Joint Media Statement, The Hon Anthony Albanese MP, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government and Sir Rod Eddington, Chair of Infrastructure Australia, AA205/2008, 19 December 2008
  2. A Report to the Council of Australian Governments, Infrastructure Australia, December 2008

Executive summary
Infrastructure Australia aims to drive the development of a long term and coordinated national approach to nationally significant infrastructure that contributes to Australia. Infrastructure Australia has adopted a new national approach to infrastructure decision making to improve the quality and efficiency of transport, water, energy and communications infrastructure across the nation. The intention is to boost national productivity, drive a more diverse, competitive and sustainable economy, and generate substantial and lasting economic, social and environmental benefits for Australians. The new national approach to decision making uses a robust framework. Infrastructure Australia has established a 7 step process to outline the stages and rationale to clearly and objectively articulate the 'problem' to identify and assess various options or 'solutions'. Infrastructure Australia has rigorously applied this framework. It has encouraged the public, industry and governments, through the Discussion Paper: Australia's Future Infrastructure Requirements, to provide input regarding problems and potential solutions of national significance. As a result of the information gathered from the 600 received submissions and Infrastructure Australia's own analysis, a number of infrastructure challenges have been identified.
These challenges can be divided into two areas: Nationwide challenges Location specific challenges. Part 2 of this report discusses the nationwide challenges being:

1. Deliver better governance: inefficiencies and inconsistencies in governance adversely impact infrastructure operations and investment in Australia.

2. Create competitive markets: regulatory complexity and competitive anomalies impede the operation of efficient and competitive infrastructure markets , including the development of a nationwide world-class communications network.

3. One nation, one set of rules: inconsistent rules, legislation and regulations governing markets impede productivity and create unnecessary costs.

4. Better use of existing infrastructure: changes in the operation, pricing or utilisation of existing infrastructure to solve problems without the need for investment in additional capacity.

5. Climate change: in addition to requiring a shift to a low carbon economy, climate change is increasing the demand for improved infrastructure, such as efficient public transport systems and low carbon intensive methods of power generation.

Part 3 of this report discusses the location specific challenges being:

6. Supporting our cities: improving the liveability, sustainability and productivity of Australia's major cities.

7. Boosting exports: Increasing the productivity of Australia's international gateways, making sure that they can meet the rapidly growing freight task without adverse impacts on community amenity.

8. Supporting indigenous communities: improving infrastructure in remote and regional indigenous communities, and closing the gap in essential infrastructure and services between these and non.indigenous communities.

9. Supporting rural communities: improving the quality of life and economic prosperity in rural and regional communities.

To meet these challenges, Infrastructure Australia has identified themes that steer a course for solutions to meet the gaps, deficiencies and bottlenecks in our nation's infrastructure. These themes are:

1. A national broadband network: developing a more extensive, globally competitive broadband system;

2. Creation of a true national energy market: more extensive national energy grids to enable greater flexibility and competition in the nation's electricity and gas systems, whilst creating opportunities for the development of renewable energy sources;

3. Competitive international gateways: developing more effective ports and associated land transport systems to more efficiently cope with imports and exports;

4. A national rail freight network: development of our rail networks so that more freight can be moved by rail;

5. Adaptable and secure water supplies: more adaptable and resilient water systems to cope with climate change;

6. Transforming our cities: increasing public transport capacity in our cities and making better use of existing transport infrastructure; and

7. Providing essential indigenous services: improved services for Indigenous communities. Infrastructure Australia will continue to work on developing a program of solutions that addresses the themes mentioned above, and that might ultimately form part of a larger 'pipeline' of nationally significant infrastructure projects to secure Australia's future prosperity. ...

4.2 Infrastructure proposals for prioritisation
Table 5: Projects for further analysis ...

Freight Rail
Adelaide Urban freight – Goldwood and Torres Junctions Adelaide SA $415m
East-West Rail freight corridor VIC/SA/WA ARTC $554m
Gippsland Coal Industries transport Infrastructure Vic VIC $NA
Hunter Valley Corridor Rail Strategy NSW ARTC $1.68b
Mount Isa Rail Corridor Upgrades Mt Isa to Townsville QLD $1b
North-South Rail freight corridor VIC/NSW/QLD ARTC $7.2b
Northern Sydney Rail Freight Corridor NSW NSW $4.075b
Newcastle-Dubbo Rail Freight link NSW DoITARS $24m

Urban Rail / Bus or Urban Rail / Road
Brisbane Inner City Rail Capacity Upgrade Brisbane QLD $14b
CBD Metro Sydney NSW $4.8b
Extension of Passenger Rail Services to Seaford Adelaide SA $456m
Geelong Growth Package Geelong VIC $94.6m
Gold Coast Rapid Transport Gold Coast QLD $850m
Light Rail for the ACT Canberra ACT $2.95b
Melton Duplication and Electrification to Bacchus Marsh Melbourne VIC $NA
Northbridge rail cutting link Perth WA $263m
Regional Rail Express Line Melbourne VIC $3.8b
East-West rail Tunnel Melbourne VIC $3.5b
Southern Cross Platform 15 & 16 Activation Melbourne VIC $155m
West Metro Sydney NSW $8.1b
Gawler Rail line re-sleepering and electrification (formerly Adelaide’s Future

Public Transport Network) Adelaide SA $2.19b
North-South Corridor – Darlington Transport Project Adelaide SA $750m
Eastern Busway (Stage 2) Brisbane QLD $680m
Eastern Busway (Stage 3) Brisbane QLD $140m
Darra to Ipswich Transport Corridor Brisbane/Ipswich QLD $3.8b
Very Fast Train (VFT) VIC/ACT/NSW ACT $32-59b
Abbot Point and State Development Area bypass Bowen QLD $400m

Freight Road
Donnybrook Intermodal Hub Melbourne VIC $290m
Freight Road Expanded Higher Mass Limits Central Queensland QLD $750m
Frankford – Birralee – Batman freight corridor Frankford TAS $160m
Green Triangle Project – Freight Network and Rail/Port Connections South western

Vic and South eastern SA VIC $390m
Green Triangle Project South western Vic and South eastern SA SA $136m
Improved Access for Higher Prod. Freight Vehicles Parts of SA SA $385m
Peak Downs Highway Heavy Vehicles Route Mackay to Bowen QLD $315m
Picton Road Illawarra Region Illawarra Development Council $135m
Port of Brisbane Motorway Brisbane QLD $730m
Port of Mackay Multi-Modal Access Road Mackay QLD $300m
Toowoomba Bypass Toowoomba QLD $1.341b
West Coast Freight Analysis West Tasmania TAS $NA
Parts of transport system in Tasmania Parts of Tasmania TAS $432m

Urban Road
Alternative to West Gate – Road Tunnel, Melbourne VIC $3.5b
Geelong Road to Port of Melbourne Kingsford Smith Drive Brisbane City

Brisbane $570.6m
(Brisbane City to Australia TradeCoast) Council Brisbane City Eastern Brisbane

Suburbs Roads Brisbane $482.1m
Council North East Connector Road Melbourne VIC $2.1b F3 – M2 Link Sydney NSW

Gateway Upgrade North: Nudgee Road Brisbane QLD $1.8b
interchange to the Bruce Highway Gateway Upgrade South: Brisbane QLD $1.1b
Mt Gravatt Capalaba to Pacific Motorway Melbourne Grade Separations Melbourne VIC

M4 Extension Sydney NSW $5.7b stage 1 $4b
stage 2 M5 Expansion including surface road links Sydney NSW $2b
Majura Parkway (Stage 2) Canberra ACT $250m
Mornington Peninsula Connector Road Melbourne VIC $700m
Northern Link road tunnel Brisbane Brisbane City Council $2b
Northern Connector (North-South Corridor) Adelaide SA $2.2b
Sir Donald Bradman Drive Upgrade – access to Adelaide Airport Adelaide SA $48.8m
Perth Airport Transport Links Perth WA $525m
South West Brisbane Industrial Gateway roads Brisbane Brisbane City Council $327.6m

Road Other transport initiatives
Advanced Train Management System National ARTC $518m
Increased road maintenance for regional freight networks Parts of SA SA $65m
Regional Road Maintenance
Brooker Highway Tasmania TAS $56m
Bruce Highway Upgrade (Brisbane to Cairns) East coast QLD QLD $4.310b
Bruce Highway Upgrade (Cooroy to Curra) Gympie QLD $6.3b F3 to Branxton Link Lower Hunter NSW $1.1727b
Pacific Highway Upgrades north coast NSW NSW $6.67b
Princes Highway Upgrades south coast NSW NSW $1.03b
NT Development Roads Parts of NT NT $1.655m
Mt Barker Bald Hill Road interchange (SA) Mt Barker $25m
Council King Street (Glenelg – Holdfast Bay) Holdfast Bay Adelaide $7.2m
bridge replacement
Council Fully Controlled Motorways Brisbane QLD $570m
Hoskinstown to Fyshwick Looping ACT ACT $92m

Darwin Water capacity and consumption Darwin NT $240m
Regional Water Reform Initiatives Parts of NSW NSW $95m initially
plus $1.3b over 10 years
Adelaide’s long term water security (Desal) Adelaide SA $2.477b

Fibre optic cable from SA to Darwin SA/NT NT $70m
Extending broadband to NT remote communities Parts of NT NT $200m
VicFibre Link Parts of Vic VIC $57.4m

Abbot Point multi-purpose harbour Abbot Point QLD $1.75b
Bell Bay Port Bell Bay TAS $150m
Darwin Airport – terminal and apron expansion Darwin Darwin Airport $30m
Pilbara Power Pilbara Worley Parsons $1.15b
ACT Solar ACT ACT $119m
Southern energy supply ACT ACT $28.2m
Aboriginal Community Water Supply and Parts of NSW NSW $30m

Sewerage capital works program
Pilbara housing and indigenous infrastructure Parts of WA WA $2.101b
Broadbanding SA regions Parts of SA SA $41.8m

Indigenous/ Housing
NT indigenous Essential Services Requirements Parts of NT NT $40.4m
Remote road and indigenous employment program Parts of QLD QLD $46.5m
Port of Hastings Hastings VIC $58.8m
Darwin Port Darwin NT $292-363m
Oakajee Port and common use infrastructure Geraldton WA $3.5b
Cotter Dam upgrade ACT ACT $119m
Ord River expansion WA WA $391m
Murrumbidgee Googong water transfer ACT ACT $70m
Health Capital Projects ACT ACT $1b

From: A Report to the Council of Australian Governments, Infrastructure Australia, December 2008

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