PDF: 1917 KB - Infrastructure Australia

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PDF: 1917 KB - Infrastructure Australia

Part 4 – MeetingNation-widethe challengeschallengesc) Competitive international gatewaysAustralia’s international trade has grownas globalisation increasingly drives theinternationalisation of Australian business.This has placed greater demand onAustralia’s international gateways – our seaports and airports – as well as the supplychains that operate behind them.To prosper in our increasingly connectedglobal economy, the challenge is forAustralia’s trade gateways, ports andassociated land side infrastructure to beincreasingly efficient, flexible and modernto remain competitive and boost exports.These challenges can be met bygovernance reforms, strategic planningand adequate investments in landsideinfrastructure and terminals, co-ordinationin port precinct and land transport planning,as well as, consistent nation-wide protocolsand procedures in relevant logistics chainsincluding information exchange.d) A national rail freight networkThe challenge for rail freight operating inconjunction with our international gatewaysand inter-modal terminals is to increase itsefficiency and competitiveness. The outlookfor rail freight indicates that significantgrowth in rail freight volumes is both likelyand necessary. This is due in part to risingfreight demand and in part to improvingAustralia’s ability to minimise transportsector greenhouse gas emissions andanticipate potential rises in energy costs.Providing for this demand will requiresignificant investment.Currently the interaction between freightand passenger rail creates operationalconflicts. Growth in both freight andpassenger rail demand will increase theseconflicts, to the likely detriment of the freightsector. The issue will be further highlightedby growth in port capacity.While increasing rail freight has long beenan ambition of governments, operatingconditions are not uniform across Australia,leading to inefficiencies.Infrastructure Australia notes that anational framework for all rail freightnetworks, not just inter-state networks,would improve planning, investmentand decision making of rail capacityand supporting inter‐modal terminals.e) Adaptable and securewater suppliesThe severe and sustained drought and theimpact of climate change pose a majorchallenge for the management of existingsources of water. Adaptability and securityof water supplies are urgent issues forurban, regional and rural areas.The challenges for water security aresignificant. To date, they have largely beenmet by increases in supply and waterrestrictions. However, most jurisdictionsare beginning to implement market andregulatory reforms in pursuit of morecost reflective pricing.Infrastructure Australia recommends thatthe water sector is one where cost reflectivepricing, particularly in urban areas, willprovide the majority of the signals andincentives needed to ensure that adequateinfrastructure is built and maintained.f) Transforming our citiesWith the majority of our population andbusinesses located in urban areas, ourcities are hubs of economic activity that linkAustralia to the global economy. Australiatherefore relies heavily on the productivityof its cities to sustain national prosperity.Nonetheless, our urban areas face majorpressures such as growing populationsand changing demographics; increasingdemands for better environmentalmanagement, amenity and affordability;ageing or inadequate infrastructure; andurban congestion.Infrastructure Australia – Advising Government on Australia’s Infrastructure | 65

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