Our policy ideas are about improving efficiency and ensuring Australia is tooled up for the sectors of the 21st century. We are focused on improving productivity, by investing in the right infrastructure whether it be in how we move our people around or energy. Its about keeping Australia competitive and building the new economy, thinking 5 to 10 years into the future, not just 1 to 3.
A new view of infrastructure thinking. At the Green Enterprise we identified three types of infrastructure: [need 3 pictures]
Congestion Charging & User Pays Systems are including a cost to creating road congestion. Around 33 per cent of commuters are able to change the time they travel. Therefore congestion charging acts as a price incentive to 1) change when people travel and 2) encouraging new modes of transport. Revenue from congestion charging is redirected into projects which improve public transport systems, which create a viable alternative to road use. Watch media on this here
Around 33 per cent of commuters are able to change the time they travel. Congestion charging is about two things: changing the times of day people travel and about encouraging changing modes of transport. Revenue from congestion charging needs to be used to improve the public transport system, ensuring a viable alternative. Watch recent coverage on this here:
High levels of stamp duty on house sales are in opposition to the free market. People need to be able to buy and sell their houses more readily, and stamp duty needs to be determined on a sliding scale, based on the thermal and energy performance of houses. This will encourage retrofits and upgrades to houses to make them more climate appropriate and low energy using.
Mandatory Investment in Infrastructure: Lack of investment in infrastructure is volatile because of sensitivity to the credit rating . Issue such as congestion across Northbridge in Perth are persistent. However thousands of commuters continue to drive, given no other choice. The building a tunnel under Northbridge to bypass the congestion, is a practical solution, but the investment would cause a downgrade in credit rating. The long term efficiencies to the economy need to be prioritised around short term economic fluctuations. Investment for light rail infrastructure is a similar example. Read more by Peter Newman on this subject here.
There’s too much sensitivity around credit rating as an excuse for not investing in infrastructure. Congestion across northbridge was a huge problem for Perth. Thousands of commuters either drove around it, or got stuck in traffic. The government could build a tunnel under northbridge to bypass the congestion, but the investment would cause a downgrade in credit rating by one notch. In a narrow business case analysis, they would not do this, unless you factor in the longer term efficiencies to the economy. No one can imagine Perth without the northbridge tunnel. The need for light rail is a similar situation.
Long Term and Efficient Electricity Networks: Continuing to solely invest in centralised energy generation in Perth is outdated and will not provide an long-term economic benefit. Decentralised energy systems are emerging all over the world. Perth needs to start adapting to decentralised energy generation systems or risk these assets being stranded and costing the tax payer even more money.
Creating a more politically demanding electorate: It’s not until the citizens understand issues then demand innovation and long term investment that politicians respond. We’ve written about this in relation to transport here.