Critical foundations: Providing Australia’s 21st century infrastructure

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Book Chapter

Publication Details

Interim status: Citation only.

Regan, M. (2008). Critical foundations: Providing Australia’s 21st century infrastructure. In P. W. Newton (Ed.), Transitions: Pathways towards sustainable urban development in Australia (pp. 609-625). Collingwood, Victoria, Australia: CSIRO Publishing.

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2008 HERDC submission. FoR Code: 1402

© Copyright CSIRO, 2008



Infrastructure is undoubtedly the least understood of the major asset classes in Australia. A tradition of public ownership and operation, its status as a public good and a lack of information about its investment characteristics in both public and private hands has contributed to limited recognition of its role in national and regional economies. However, this situation is changing. A coincidence of political, economic and financial events in the lead up to the worldwide economic recession of the late 1980s and Australia's microeconomic reforms of the 1990s b[r]ought into sharper focus the central role that infrastructure plays in both developed and developing economies. Evidence indicates that infrastructure contributes to an economy's performance, productivity and rate of growth. This suggests that establishing an optimal level of investment, improving coordination and planning by governments and greater private sector provision in supply and operation of infrastructure has important implications for Australia's future economic development and standard of living.

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