PDF: 1917 KB - Infrastructure Australia

infrastructureaustralia.gov.au
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PDF: 1917 KB - Infrastructure Australia

InfrastructureAustralia2.2 Creating competitive markets2.2 Creating competitive marketsThe provision of modern,world-class energy, transport,water and communicationsinfrastructure at lowest cost isessential to the competitivenessof all sectors of the economy. 3Australia has made substantial progress inreforming its infrastructure markets since theearly 1990’s. Principally, this has included theadoption of National Competition Policy in1995 and significant reforms across the energyand water sectors. It is now widely recognisedthat these reforms, accompanied by reformsto labour, capital and product markets andimproved frameworks for macroeconomicpolicy, have underpinned Australia’s recenteconomic prosperity.A number of measures can be taken toimprove the competitiveness of infrastructuremarkets, including reforms that encourageprivate sector participation and promoteefficient and competitive outcomes,changes to governance arrangements forthe planning and delivery of infrastructureand the development of methodologies toimprove the efficiency and transparencyof individual investment decisions. 5The degree of market competitiveness variesamong communications, water, energy, androad and rail transport. Aspects of the marketsfor each of these sectors are outlined underthe following headings:a) Energyb) Communicationsc) Waterd) TransportA number of impediments to the operation ofefficient and competitive infrastructure marketsnevertheless remain. These impediments inhibittimely and efficient infrastructure developmentand use, and represent a considerable drainon national productivity.Long infrastructure asset lives and theneed to avoid budget deficits have meantthat Governments have overlooked theproductivity enhancing qualities of optimisinginfrastructure... Government infrastructureassets have not been treated in the way thata major business entity would be expectedto account for its capital assets... Mostinfrastructure investment is undertaken ascrisis management to address the latestcalamity and/or pressure. 416 | Infrastructure Australia – Advising Government on Australia’s Infrastructure

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