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Australia 'at risk' without better infrastruc -

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Australia 'at risk' without better infrastructure

Broadcast: 26/10/2009

Reporter: Tony Jones

The business lobby is warning a new era of Australian prosperity is at risk without serious
planning and investment in cities, roads and ports to cope with population and economic growth.


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: Business is warning a new era of Australian prosperity is at risk because of
a lack of serious planning in investment in cities, roads and ports. Without improvements, the
Business Council of Australia expects bottlenecks and city congestion as population and economic
growth pick up.

Well, just last week, the Treasury Secretary, Ken Henry, brought up the population challenges for
Australia in 2050.

The business lobby says there'll be high energy, water, transport and trade demands.

ROD PEARSE, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA: And as we start to head towards a population of 35
million, then bottlenecks will start to emerge again. So we've got to anticipate the bottlenecks
and we've got to look for the productivity growth, and remove the impediments before they come
such, and we're actually looking at ways of improving our cities and our regional areas.

TONY JONES: The Business Council says that federal and state governments have started the process
but have mainly been playing catch-up on neglected infrastructure.

ROD PEARSE: There's been a lot of action, I think, around trying to prioritise projects. There
simply hasn't been enough time, I think, to get a real pipeline of strategic, ready-to-go,
productivity-growing pipelines in place.

TONY JONES: The business lobby says the time is right to get started on major projects as the
Australian economy emerges virtually unscathed from the global financial crisis.