Industry welcomes 'certainty' provided by election result


The election of a new national government provides the opportunity to drive infrastructure investment and lasting reform industry says

Industry welcomes 'certainty' provided by election result
Industry welcomes ‘certainty’ provided by election result

September 9, 2013

The election of a new national government provides an important opportunity to drive investment and lasting reform in terms of the nation’s infrastructure.

Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) says every business in the country will be "breathing a sigh of relief" now
there's a government with a clear majority and a committed program to invest in major projects.

"The firm dollar commitments to a suite of major motorways across the country are important," says IPA Chief Executive Brendan Lyon.

"[These commitments] get real projects out into the market and
allow for
the complex and long-term task of reengineering the domestic economy to face the challenges ahead."

Lyon says it is pleasing the Prime Minister-elect is seeking to leave a legacy of great infrastructure.

"Australia’s states and the business sector will be looking to Mr Abbott for the policy leadership and national reform process that will get us there," Lyon says.

He
adds the "twin challenges" of a minority parliament and challenging budget have seen long-term priorities take a back seat to immediate budget challenges in the past few years.

"So it’s very welcome to see the incoming government put infrastructure at the centre of the national debate," Lyon says.

Lyon also praises the former government saying it has much to be proud of, particularly in terms of the creation of Infrastructure Australia.

"The creation of Infrastructure Australia has permanently changed the infrastructure market, and it will be remembered as an important reform long after the projects it recommends have faded in individual significance," he says.

"Infrastructure is fundamental, supporting every job, business and household across the country.

"Australia is facing substantial infrastructure challenges that are constraining economic growth, hurting productivity and impacting households through inflated cost of living pressures.

Lyon says in opposition, Mr Abbott and his team put forward logical reforms to the way the Commonwealth engages with infrastructure.

"Business looks forward to working with Mr Abbott in government to drive better infrastructure outcomes across the nation," he says.

The rail industry agrees the election of Tony Abbott and Nationals Leader WarrenTruss
offers industry the certainty it was looking for.

"We look forward to the ‘Infrastructure Prime Minister’ being a strong driver of reform and investment across the whole transport infrastructure sector," says Australasian Railway Association (ARA) CEO Bryan Nye.

Nye says the rail industry is especially pleased at commitments made during the campaign by the Coalition to get the Inland Rail project up and moving.

"The Inland Rail project will complete an economic missing link in our nation’s freight network,"
he says.

"We will now also be looking for early confirmation of existing funding for a number of other rail freight projects that are crucial to meeting the Nation’s growing freight task."

Such projects include rail developments at Port Botany, the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal, Advanced Train Management Systems (ATMS) technology, Freight Rail revitalisation in Tasmania, the Scone level crossing project and Northern Sydney Freight Corridor ongoing improvements.

"ARA looks forward to discussing other rail infrastructure projects with both the Federal and State Governments, which will not only assist in the national freight task but will also relieve congestion on the urban networks in our major cities through separation of freight and urban rail lines," Nye adds.

"The Inland Rail will achieve this as it has the potential to unblock an infrastructure bottleneck that currently sees Brisbane to Melbourne freight unnecessarily travelling through Sydney, congesting road and rail networks alike.

"With the newly elected government’s support, now more than ever we need to keep the momentum moving forward and not lose sight of this nation building project," Nye says.

Around half of the inland rail route has been completed, but the rail industry is hoping for additional funding commitments to see the construction of the remaining sections commence- including the construction of a tunnel capable of taking double stacked trains through the Toowoomba range.

Total estimates of the project cost of the remaining sections are around $5 billion.

Of the route, 41 per cent has existing track, 25 per cent has track that needs to be upgraded and 34 per cent requires new track.

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