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Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities
Australian government's role in the development of cities

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ADDISON, Mr Jeffrey, Sunshine» «Coast» Spokesperson, «Rail» Back on Track

KINCHINGTON, Mr Simon, General Manager Property and Planning, «Sunshine» «Coast» Airport


CHAIR: Welcome. Although the committee does not require you to give evidence under oath, I should advise you that this hearing is a legal proceeding of the parliament and therefore has the same standing as proceedings of the respective houses. The giving of false or misleading evidence is a serious matter and may be regarded as a contempt of parliament. The evidence given today will be recorded by Hansard and attracts parliamentary privilege. I now invite you to make opening statements before we proceed to discussion.

Mr Kinchington : First of all, to the committee: thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today. I'm going to speak to both sub-inquiries, both on cities and on the regional issues. I'll talk on the role that airports have in modern cities and the contribution they make to the economy, and the need to properly plan for airports in developing our cities, towns and regions.

From an airports perspective, the Commonwealth's renewed interest in city planning is welcomed. To be sustainable, cities and towns need the infrastructure that facilitates connectivity and makes commercial and social interaction possible. Connectivity is particularly important in Australia. We are effectively a large island relatively remote from the population centres of the world, and we have a scattering of large cities around the edge of a large continent. So airports are increasingly important to the way Australians communicate, and they play a particularly important role in the economic prosperity of the communities they serve.

Last financial year the airports across Australia generated 157 million passenger movements; contributed around $35 billion, or two per cent of GDP; and generated around 206,000 jobs. There are a further $32 billion in GDP and 340,000 jobs in the tourism sector, which is, obviously, supported by the airport network. Around 21 per cent of the value of all international freight into and out of Australia goes by air. It's only 0.1 per cent of the volume of freight but it's 21 per cent of the value. In terms of investment in airports, the 10 major airports in the country over the last decade have invested about $11½ billion in infrastructure, and that's all about keeping pace with the growth in air travel and demand for air transport. Here on the «Sunshine» «Coast» more than $350 million is being invested in a new runway and the support infrastructure that goes with it. The project will enable the airport to attract wide-body aircraft on international routes, which simply hasn't been possible until this project.

It is of paramount importance therefore that, in planning our communities, proper consideration is given to the operational sustainability of airports. In that regard, the biggest challenges we face are the protection of our airspace and the impact of aircraft noise. Historically, these matters haven't been fully addressed in the planning of communities around airports. That's something I'd like to talk to you about today, and I'd like to present some potential solutions.

To operate safely, the airspace around an airport needs to be relatively free of obstacles that could impede the safe approach, departure or circulation of aircraft to, from and around the airport. Airports are generally sited and designed to either avoid or account for terrain—natural obstacles. They're planned; we can deal with those. The particular impediment to an airport's airspace is likely to be the introduction of man-made objects—tall buildings, towers and the like. Once those obstacles are introduced, they limit the airspace that aircraft can safely operate in. It's been noted that, as populations grow and urban development intensifies, the demand for tall buildings has seen the number of approvals of airspace penetrations increase.

The impact of aircraft noise is the other critical issue for us. Aircraft noise is the most often cited environmental issue with respect to airports. It's also largely a product of the encroachment of development, particularly noise-sensitive development, into the operating curtilage of airports. Airport noise complaints can lead to pressure on airports to curtail their operations and can constrain the operation of the airport.

Currently, the Senate is considering the Air Services Amendment Bill 2018, in which changes are proposed to the way airspace and airspace change are managed. The bill also has some retrospective elements going back to 2012.

If that bill were to progress and become law, the aviation sector would likely be inhibited in its attempts to ensure aviation infrastructure keeps pace with growth in demands of a modern globally competitive economy. An airport constrained by airspace intrusions or inappropriately sited noise sensitive development will be reduced in its capacity to serve the needs of the community. New airport sites are few and far between. In practical terms, it is not viable relocate an airport and almost impossible to reverse the effects of inappropriate development around an airport. Once an airport is compromised, it typically remains compromised.

Closing the jurisdictional gap between the Commonwealth's responsibilities for aviation and the states' and territories' responsibilities for land-use planning is the key to long-term sustainability at airports. There are things we can do to improve the situation. In 2012 in recognition of that jurisdictional gap, the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, DIRD, presented the Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure a draft set of guidelines that could be used by the states and territories to ensure that protection was afforded to airports by the states' and territories' land-use planning instruments. Those guidelines addressed aircraft noise, building generated windshear, wildlife strike risk, wind turbine risk to aircraft, pilot lighting distraction, airspace intrusion, and the needs of communication, navigation and surveillance equipment.

Almost six years later, the implementation of the NASF guidelines, as they became known—the national airport safeguarding framework guidelines—the response by the states and territories has been incomplete and inconsistent. Queensland has probably adopted more of the guidelines than any other state via its state planning policy; however, it only applies to 23 of the larger airports in Queensland—the majority of airports are not covered by the policy and are not protected.

Airports are part of a network of infrastructure; they cannot exist in isolation. Impacts upon the operability of individual airports, particularly major airports, have significant impact on the number of slots available for incoming flights. This impacts on the availability and cost of seats on flights originating from other airports. The consistent application of the guidelines across a network therefore is important to all of the airports in the network. With respect to the NASF guidelines, it is our recommendation that the Commonwealth re-engage with the SCOTI committee with the objective of achieving complete and consistent application of the NASF guidelines. In our written submission, we have given a bit more information on that, which we have handed to the secretariat.

The other critical issue for us is aircraft noise. Since the early 1980s, the most commonly used metrics for measuring the impact of aircraft noise is the Australian Noise Exposure Forecast, the ANEF. DIRD, in drafting the NASF guidelines, suggests an alternative noise metric would be helpful in overcoming deficiencies in the ANEF system. They refer to this as the 'number above' metric. Put simply, it models the number of aircraft noise events over certain thresholds, typically 70 decibels, that will occur in an average 24-hour period at locations around airports.

This system has a number of advantages over the older ANEF system, particularly as it is far simpler to explain to the community—and one of the biggest issues we have in communicating effectively about aircraft noise is the modelling tools and the science are quite complicated and hard to explain. The 'number above' system can be compared to commonly understood noise sources so you can compare 70 decibels of aircraft noise with so many decibels of traffic, along with other common occurrences like telephone ringing and those sorts of things. It is therefore recommended the Commonwealth re-engage with Standards Australia to review the reliance upon ANEF as the modelling tool and re-examine the potential for using the 'number above'.

CHAIR: I think we are aware of some of those things. I am chair of SACF in Sydney so am very aware of noise. I think what we are really wanting to push through here is the federal government's role in the development of cities, regional cities and decentralisation. I think we understand the area that you are interested in and we will have questions for you. Jeffrey, could we have an opening comment from you, please.

Mr Addison : I'm a «Sunshine» «Coast» commuter who has used the train for some 18 years travelling from the «Sunshine» «Coast» to Brisbane for work. As a result of that—

CHAIR: Do you go to the Caboolture train station?

Mr Addison : No, from my home town of Palmwoods. The «Sunshine» «Coast» line.

Mr WALLACE: To Brisbane?

Mr Addison : Into the city.

CHAIR: How long is that trip?

Mr Addison : One hour 43 minutes on the train, and then 15 to 20 minutes—

CHAIR: And that's going to be reduced a great deal with—

Mr WALLACE: It will be 45 minutes with fast «rail» .

Mr Addison : As a result of lots of delays and situations that occurred, I started doing research—using the time that I spent on the train wisely. I started finding government reports that told me:

… there is NO "DO NOTHING" APPROACH if «rail» is to have a future in this corridor …

That was from a 2015 TransLink submission to the infrastructure department of the Queensland government. I also discovered that we are only serviced by a single track. The «Sunshine» «Coast» is unique in the nation for the circumstances under which our «rail» transport connects us to the city. Forty-four per cent of our trains at that time were literally buses that would drive in and out of the train stations between Nambour and Caboolture because they couldn't fit the trains on the single track.

Our single track between the «Sunshine» «Coast» starts from Beerburrum north. It has been a bottleneck. The Labor government had a contract to build it in 2009, but all work stopped 24 days after Andrew Powell won the seat of Glass House. Since then, I've been campaigning to get the «rail» duplication happening because of the significant deficits that it leaves the «Sunshine» «Coast» . Another report states that the «Sunshine» «Coast» was likely to suffer socio-economic disadvantage if the «rail» duplication didn't go ahead, and that was back in 2007. I gathered all of these reports and arranged a meeting with the then member for Fairfax Alex Somlyay in 2010. He told that me if I could get state MPs into a meeting with him he would consider it. I did so. I produced a report and I showed them the report. I explained that the situation was also viable for federal government funding due to the line being part of the National Land Transport Network, and it's also a freight corridor. This line is unique in that it is a single track but is shared by long-distance, freight and passenger services.

That's a bit of the background of how I got started and got into this. Since then I've met with Annastacia Palaszczuk, in August 2011. I prepared a report for her, explaining these situations and summarising the reports to highlight the need for it. I met with Warren Truss in 2013, again to explain the federal aspects for funding. I told him that the North «Coast» line services up to Cairns were stymied—that they can only run short-freight trains because of the situation between Caboolture and Nambour and that once the situation between Caboolture and Nambour is addressed it would alleviate the worst bottleneck in the entire South-East Queensland «rail» network.

As a bit of background to that: we know that freight is being forced onto the roads at this time. I can tell you that the current utilisation of our track is 86 per cent. The Australian «Rail» Track Corporation recommend 65 per cent track utilisation. Our track is overutilised as it is. In an area of the «Sunshine» «Coast» where currently there are around 350,000 people, we have a single track between ourselves and Brisbane. It works both ways: people from Brisbane have difficulty getting to the «Sunshine» «Coast» . People who want to go to «Sunshine» «Coast» university, for example, have difficulty.

CHAIR: I think what you're saying is what we've come across time and time again: when we say, 'We're now planning to upgrade a «rail» ,' it's as a reaction to poor planning and poor implementation in the first place. We're having to play catch-up. We know we have to address these issues and catch up, but we're also finding out that we've really got to stop repeating the sins of the past and start planning forward—a long way forward. The longer you go forward, the more clarity you have of what you're going to do in the next 10, 20 or 30 years. It's interesting, Jeffrey; we've got similar stories. I've spent hours and hours parked on Victoria Road. People think that there's expensive parking in Sydney, but I've found that it's free from seven until nine in the morning. You could leave your car for an hour and it wouldn't move!

It does focus your attention on the problem. It's good that you've made that unproductive time productive.

Mr WALLACE: Jeffrey, I'd like to say thank you for everything that you've done for commuters on the «Sunshine» «Coast» over a very long and protracted time.

Mr TED O'BRIEN: Hear, hear!

Mr WALLACE: I think it's fair to say that we wouldn't be where we are today—obviously you're aware of the announcement was made today—

Mr Addison : Absolutely—I'm smiling!

Mr WALLACE: without you. Congratulations. We're not quite there with the state yet, obviously, but we're a very, very long way to getting to where we want to be, and it's in large part due to you, so well done.

Mr Addison : Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

CHAIR: That is wonderful when a politician gives credit where credit is due and doesn't try to hog it all for themselves. Thank you. That was the picture I had, so it's good to have that verified. Where to from now? What's the next phase of development? It's high-speed «rail» connectivity.

Mr TED O'BRIEN: As Andrew said, we need to get the rest of the funding in.

CHAIR: And it's the integration with all forms of transport. With plans, I talked to our taxi driver this morning—

Mr Kinchington : They'll know—taxi drivers always know.

CHAIR: He was adamant that there must be an international airport here. I asked him, 'If you could get from Brisbane international airport to here in less than half an hour through a fast «rail» system, would you really need an international airport here?'

Mr Kinchington : I suppose in answer to that our view is that if the destination of desire is the «Sunshine» «Coast» we want to make that as accessible as we can and not go via Brisbane.

CHAIR: Where would you be seeing the international traveller coming from, coming directly here?

Mr Kinchington : We already have a strong international demand from a range of countries at the moment coming in through other ports. Northern Europe is particularly strong, New Zealand is strong. We do seasonal services to New Zealand at the moment. We're looking to expand that. Once the new runway is constructed it is likely that service will be a year-round service and it will also open up other ports to us around the Western Pacific and into Asia. We can't do those at the moment.

CHAIR: And that connectivity would be principally for tourism?

Mr Kinchington : Initially tourism, yes, but as the economy on the «coast» grows connectivity for other business purposes will be provided as well.

CHAIR: When we were in Northern Queensland yesterday talking to representatives from Cairns, Mackay and Townsville, mainly, there was the idea of somehow linking that into a critical mass community—I know it's spread out over big distances, but that's the nature of that part of the world. When they combine they form a critical mass, and rather than one wanting a very big airport, if there were faster «rail» connection your critical mass would come together to warrant a bigger airport. Is the current location the best place to have your international airport if you are looking at serving the region?

Mr Kinchington : We believe so. The airport is certainly centrally located as far as the «Sunshine» «Coast» region goes and well connected by road at the moment. Council's planning scheme does provide for future connection of the light «rail» corridor to the airport long term, so it's part of council's thinking. It's probably not in the first tranche of it, but it's certainly shown on the planning maps. I believe our airport is well located to meet the needs of the «Sunshine» «Coast» . I suppose the thing to note is that we already have a population of around 350,000, which is about the same size as Darwin, Gladstone and Cairns put together. We will be growing to half a million over the next 20-odd years. So it's a big catchment to service and we're centrally located to that catchment.

ACTING CHAIR: I am just looking at a map showing the location of the airport.

Mr Kinchington : It is just north of the river.

Mr TED O'BRIEN: An interesting thing—and I will ask about this so that the chair is aware of it—is that while we are talking today about the duplication of the existing north «coast» line the plan for fast «rail» actually creates a new line along that coastal strip—an existing corridor that is referred to as CAMCOS. The CAMCOS corridor actually goes up to the airport. What impact would the introduction of fast «rail» , that would basically be at the doorstep directly at a new international airport, have on the airport itself, as well as the region?

Mr Kinchington : In terms of the airport itself, it makes us more accessible. So it is a good impact for the region—being able to arrive at «Sunshine» «Coast» Airport and quickly access points of interest and destinations on the «coast» . It is a fantastic thing. It may have the impact of extending our catchment south, because we are more connected to an area that can come north rather than go south to get to an airport.

Mr TED O'BRIEN: Yes, I would have thought so. Then, Jeff, with duplication—and I echo Andrew's comments—in terms of the leadership you played in getting us to today's announcement and the advice and coaching along the way, for which we are grateful. What impact would fast «rail» have, particularly as you are Palmwoods of the existing railway towns?

Mr Addison : For a start, I think that looking to the future, in 30 years' time, the bulk of the «Sunshine» «Coast» is not going to be on the coastal strip. It is going to be centred around the «rail» corridor. A good way of getting value towards «rail» corridors is to allow things like transit oriented developments close to higher density around «rail» corridors to help improve the economics of them. Certainly, it is a boon for travel between the «coast» and Brisbane. With high-speed «rail» , I find it hard to get my head around how good it would be for this region, given the current circumstances we have. We know that people prefer to drive—that they get onto the Bruce Highway rather than catch the train—because of the circumstances of the number of services of the «rail» -buses, of the delays et cetera, all caused by the single track. We have things like Aura, the development at Caloundra south, which is 50,000 people—a city the size of Gladstone—happening over the next 10 years. There is the ability for people to be able to move around the «coast» in a timely manner, if you can get from the «Sunshine» «Coast» to Brisbane in 45 minutes or even if you can get there in an hour.

CHAIR: High-speed «rail» in this case—16 or 17 minutes.

Mr Addison : We are not suggesting 16 or 17 minutes. If you are travelling for an hour, an hour and three-quarters or two hours to get from the «Sunshine» «Coast» , people are going to leave the highway in droves and catch the train, because they can get there quicker than they can drive there. That will really just drive the financial benefits. I know from «rail» duplication studies that they talked about the advantages to the economy. The original report on the Landsborough to Nambour «rail» duplication, which was 17 kilometres, said there would be output generation to the Queensland economy of $4.57 billion over the seven-year construction period, and it would create 2,746 jobs at any one point in time in that period. They are the kinds of benefits that we are missing out on right now because this has not eventuated. I find the advantages of fast «rail» in particular hard to fathom, and also the spur line using the CAMCOS corridor, as you have described, which would have a spur line into the back of Maroochydore and then continue on over the river to the airport. It is just a win-win all round for everybody. For tourism, we have a beautiful area that people want to come to and they will be able to do so without the hassles.

Mr WALLACE: Mr Addison, when you say that you find it hard to fathom, do you find it hard to fathom because it will be so great?

Mr Addison : Exactly. Precisely.

Mr TED O'BRIEN: Well clarified, Mr Wallace. It wasn't because he finds it a pipe dream.

CHAIR: We had earlier evidence regarding concerns for the decline of Nambour, even though it is on the train track. Why is that occurring?

Mr TED O'BRIEN: Good question!

Mr Addison : Yes, that is a very good question.

CHAIR: It just seems so counter-logical.

Mr Addison : At the moment there's a bit of a shift towards Maroochydore being the centre of the «Sunshine» «Coast» . We've got the development happening in the Maroochydore CBD at the moment. There was talk of the council chambers, which are currently located in Nambour. There was a branch in Maroochydore, and now there's a branch in Caloundra, when they were former separate council areas.

Mr WALLACE: I don't believe that's talk, Mr Addison. I think that's done and dusted.

Mr Addison : Okay. Things like that don't contribute towards Nambour. With the transport situation, Nambour's no longer on the highway; it's off the Nambour connection road. Before, the centre of the highway ran through the town. Having said that, I think Nambour's probably better off not having a highway through the middle of the town. It's probably a precursor to what the government's own report says: that it's likely the region will have socio-economic disadvantage if «rail» doesn't—

CHAIR: How long will the train trip from Nambour to Brisbane take when the train is upgraded?

Mr WALLACE: As fast «rail» ? Forty-five minutes.

CHAIR: So, at that point, it could easily become one of these communities where a large part might be commuting to Brisbane. I understand house prices in Nambour are much lower than in Brisbane—half the price or less. There's an inducement to locate workers, therefore. But what happens is, as you get to a critical mass, businesses tend to locate in these places at different stages as they mature.

Mr Addison : Our train services between Nambour and Brisbane, for example, have four or five peak-hour services. My son works at Cooroy, which is a few stations north of Nambour. The first train in the morning that heads north to Cooroy is at 11.30. That's what we deal with. How can anyone work and live with those kinds of services available to them?

CHAIR: It's a good news, bad news story. The good news is we've got the train track. The bad news is we don't have any trains going on it. There's the problem.

Mr TED O'BRIEN: Mr Kinchington, you referred to, in your words, the 'jurisdictional gap'. Can you explain the problem there and what you think a solution is?

Mr Kinchington : The problem is that the Commonwealth's responsible for aviation and airspace management. The state's responsible for the land use below that airspace. The two don't always connect terribly well. The NASAG guidelines were an attempt by DIRD back in 2012 to try and rectify that situation by providing the states with the bones of planning controls that they could include in their planning instruments. The difficulty is that the implementation of those guidelines has been inconsistent and incomplete. We still have situations where planning instruments around the country don't always properly account for the impacts of aviation or the needs of aviation.

CHAIR: So should the federal government's role here be an overruling role, regarding high-rise development in the proximity of airports?

Mr Kinchington : The Commonwealth has some powers via the—

CHAIR: Because there's a problem in Parramatta with very tall buildings in regards to Badgerys Creek, which seems like a long way away—

Mr Kinchington : Not at 200 knots, it's not.

CHAIR: It's violating the airspace.

Mr Kinchington : At 200 knots, it's not very far away.

CHAIR: In Canberra, one of the attractions is no curfews. Since the building of the airport, there's been more and more residential land released. They will rise up and demand a curfew.

Mr Kinchington : Unfortunately, that theme is repeated around the country. That's the point we would like to remind the Commonwealth of.

CHAIR: It's very frustrating because, if you buy next to an airport, you should know that there are planes flying above and that they always will. It seems that you should have no ground to stand on.

Mr Kinchington : It's a reasonable assumption you've made. However, in reality, we have very different vendor disclosure rules in property dealings around the country. Some states require things like aircraft noise to be disclosed as a mandatory disclosure, while other states are completely silent on it. So if we had some consistent vendor disclosure rules—I've suggested in my submission that that is something NASF could look at—it would help—

CHAIR: That's what I think we're really looking at—

Mr Kinchington : because a lot of people don't know.

CHAIR: Each level of government should do what they should do, and the federal government should do the overarching legislation.

Mr Kinchington : In the Commonwealth's defence, they have done the work to create the guidelines. What perhaps needs a follow-up is getting the states to implement them. The work's been done. The guidelines are there, and they're good.

Mr TED O'BRIEN: Chair, could I just cut in and ask about the jurisdictional gap: I understand the examples you gave from elsewhere, but what is the problem with the jurisdictional gap on the «Sunshine» «Coast» ? What is specific to here?

Mr Kinchington : On the «Sunshine» «Coast» we have, for example, issues around airports with noise where, essentially, the urban development has grown to encroach on the airports. We have people who move in, and then it becomes apparent to them after they've moved in and they say, 'Hang on a minute, I didn't think it'd be this noisy.' We think there are certainly some benefits in having some consistent, clear, robust disclosure rules around the impact of aircraft noise on properties as part of a property transaction process. We also think that the current ANEF tool is hard for people to understand and confusing. Other metrics are easier and more likely to enhance that communication. I suppose the bottom line is that if we got the NASF guidelines implemented fully we would have perhaps less development in places where it's likely to cause a problem. That's the bottom line.

Mr TED O'BRIEN: I think I now understand what you're saying. Let me play it back in layman's terms: an airspace might be far larger than the land development below allows for aircraft to pass through.

Mr Kinchington : Correct.

Mr TED O'BRIEN: So on the land under the jurisdiction of the state you might have residential development all the way up close to an airport, but in fact you're saying the Commonwealth airspace might be far wider.

Mr Kinchington : It will do, almost invariably.

Mr TED O'BRIEN: Is your recommendation for the authority on airspace to devolve to the state level, or is it just to have sufficient disclosures that advise consumers who might be buying an apartment?

Mr Kinchington : A combination. I think the disclosure part needs to happen, and that's typically not done. Unfortunately, virtually all of the land use controls are under state jurisdiction by virtue of the Constitution, as I understand it. The Commonwealth has responsibility for navigation, so it inherited air because in 1901 there wasn't a lot of air travel, obviously. It's inherited that as an evolutionary process, so you get this mismatch.

The objective of DIRD in drafting the NASF guidelines was to provide the states with the tools to better manage the impact of land use planning and land development on airports and airspace. I think they're good tools. They're there, but they're not being used as fully as they might be. The standing council on transport infrastructure, where the various state minsters come together, agreed in 2012 to implement the guidelines, but it hasn't been implemented consistently or fully. From an airport's perspective, we would like to see perhaps the Commonwealth restart that discussion with the states and try to reinvigorate that process.

Mr TED O'BRIEN: Interesting. Thank you.

CHAIR: Jeffrey, you have done a lot of work to see what the problem was and have advocated for remedies which are being followed up on. Usually you develop what I call collateral knowledge—other knowledge that is not for the key purpose but which might give you other thoughts on where to go to from here. You've put your thinking into what the problem is and getting it solved, but if you were to think forward, what do you think the next projects regarding «rail» and associated infrastructure should be?

Mr Addison : Pushing north. There are areas of weakness between Nambour and Maryborough, for example. There are old timber bridges that need to be addressed. With the growing region—Gympie has three trains a day. It's pretty awful.

CHAIR: So the upgrading of the infrastructure and the improving of services?

Mr Addison : Absolutely. The North «Coast» line services 58 per cent of the population.

CHAIR: What we keep playing with, time and again, to have sustainable development, is that it should be easy to work out that if there were very good services on very good «rail» infrastructure the growth of Gympie could be quite substantial, and Nambour and any number of places. The uplift in the value of land could be quite substantial. If that were subject to a value capture tax by the federal government, that could largely offset the cost of the infrastructure. If there is a land tax instead of stamp duty, some of those revenues could be there to offset the cost of the operations.

Mr Addison : Yes, as well as transit oriented development.

CHAIR: Because you're uplifting the value. That's one thing that we discovered very early, with the discussions about high-speed «rail» between Melbourne and Sydney. If funding can assist in keeping the prices of travel very low, it significantly improves the value of the land. If we are consistently driving that, that's the goose that lays the golden eggs. It is like airport development. The people who developed the airport at Canberra have probably made a lot more money out of the CBD that's been created around that.

Mr Kinchington : It's the connectivity that the airport provides that's given that business park an address.

CHAIR: Traditionally, more recently, they make all the money out of parking, don't they?

Mr Kinchington : It's part of—

CHAIR: I was just going into Brisbane airport yesterday and remembering what it was like in 1967, when I first came. The car parking now is just extraordinary.

Mr Kinchington : Certainly.

Mr WALLACE: I want to pick up on a question that I think Mr O'Brien was getting to, unless I misinterpreted his question. I think it's a very valid one. What impact will fast «rail» have on towns where there won't be a stop. If you're going to have a train that's doing 180 kilometres an hour or thereabouts, clearly it's not going to stop at Eudlo, Palmwoods et cetera. For those smaller towns, what's that going to mean? How good is fast «rail» going to be for someone living in Eudlo, for example, who may have to drive to Nambour or Landsborough or Beerwah or wherever the stops may be, which we don't know it this stage?

Mr Addison : It's an interesting question. If the main terminus is Nambour, obviously that's going to be the end of the line, and Landsborough or Beerwah would be the next main stop. Given that Beerwah is the connection with CAMCOS corridor it may well overtake Landsborough. I think people would certainly be prepared to drive that 10 or 15 minutes to that next station. Obviously my preference would be that public transport is available and that you have feeder buses that feed into the «rail» network from the towns, not just the over-populated areas on the beaches, so that people don't need to use their cars. The flow-on benefits of that would be quite significant.

Mr WALLACE: For my last question, Mr Kinchington, I can't let the opportunity pass to implore you, when the planning is done for the «Sunshine» «Coast» Airport, a number of businesses have been to see me about the closure of 18/36 or the concerns that it may close and that that's something that hasn't been disclosed to the community. There are a lot of people in general aviation that do not want to see 1836 close, so I would ask that you as the chief planner give your utmost consideration to that issue.

Mr Kinchington : It certainly the subject of consideration, and it will be the subject of discussion with all of our operators.

Mr Addison : May I just return to a point that you made before when you talked about value capture. That's good, and we want it to fund infrastructure. There is a perception in the community that government is there to serve the people and that the taxes that we already pay are there for government to provide services to the regions. I don't want the dollar profit to be seen overwhelmingly as the main incentive, because, at the end of the day, we know that governments and politicians are there to serve the people, and they do so by providing essential services like transport.

CHAIR: Yes. Where the value capture argument has grown is initially with the prospect of providing high-speed «rail» between Melbourne and Sydney and the enormous uplift in the value of lands that would be brought within half an hour or 15 minutes of Sydney or Melbourne. The law of value capture is that, if you, as beneficiary, receive an unearned benefit, you should contribute to the cost that your fellow taxpayer has paid. More recently, in Castle Hill and Rouse Hill, we've had enormous uplift in the values of homes. Twenty, 30, 40 and more times the value of their land has been realised because it's near a train station. Their fellow taxpayers have paid for the train station. It's just such an equitable request and fair to ask those unearned beneficiaries to contribute to the cost of the infrastructure that gave them that unearned benefit. It's exactly the same as when the federal government receives capital gains taxes. In some instances, because of state paid infrastructure, that should be quarantined and hypothecated.

It seems the best advice we've got from around the world was the Cross City «Rail» , one of the most celebrated cases of value capture. Tim Williams was involved in that; he has since been with the Greater Sydney Commission. There was a levy on businesses, and that funded 35 per cent of the cost of the infrastructure. He said, 'Let me tell you, don't say, "Well done, Tim." I royally stuffed up by not capturing the uplift of the value of the land created by this infrastructure,' which was exactly the same as the entire region around their high-speed «rail» terminal. They hadn't twigged to this. Because of the enormous difference in the value of land between Sydney and the region and Melbourne and the region, there was a perfect storm of opportunity to fund high-speed «rail» . As the head of Hitachi said in evidence, the greatest opportunity in the world to fund high-speed «rail entirely through value capture lies between Sydney and Melbourne.

Then we looked at the prospect of retrofitting infrastructure into Sydney. There was another application, because of the incredible uplift of the value of land when it is rezoned around infrastructure. Infrastructure wasn't happening, because of the cost of land, so this was an enabler again. It seems there are many, many ways of engineering value capture to equitably fund, but it is a simplification. It doesn't go on top of other taxes. There should be no section 94s or no developer contributions to infrastructure done by the council. It's a simple thing planned in advance: here's the land planning; here's the infrastructure planning; the land has gone up in value because of this, and whoever is selling the land will get an enormous price, and some portion of that will go towards the cost of the infrastructure. But the developer who will just be paying the land price won't then be asked to make these other contributions, so it's a simplified method. It will align the three levels of government and protect the landowner and assist the developer, making things more certain than they are currently.

We had evidence earlier today that it's taken more than 10 years to get an approval for a development here. That would be reduced, streamlined and made more certain and cheaper. It takes a long while to understand the nuances of it. I think one of the findings of the previous inquiry was that the federal government, as a priority, needs to develop a federal value capture model that is applied when transformational infrastructure combined with rezoning drives up prices. It's part of proactive planning and a sustainable way of rolling out and funding infrastructure. It doesn't always apply, but when it can apply it should. It's very fair and very equitable. But we will see.

Thank you for the work you've done. Thank you for your attendance here today. If you've been asked to provide any additional information, would you please forward it to the secretary by Friday, 11 May. You'll be sent a copy of the transcript of your evidence and will have an opportunity to request corrections to transcription errors. I now declare this public hearing closed.

Committee adjourned at 14:20