PM may have to break one promise to keep another
23rd January 2008
You report that, in announcing the early creation of a new advisory body on infrastructure, Kevin Rudd indicated it would examine planning consistency between the states, consistent guidelines for public-private partnerships and how infrastructure shortfalls might be addressed.
No reaction from the state governments is reported even though the announcement implies a major criticism of the failure of those governments (but no "blame game" presumably) to meet their reponsibilities for ensuring adequate investment in public infrastructure (the federal government has only limited such responsibilities). Nor is any reference made to the need for privatisations that have been neglected by most states, notably NSW and Queensland, or to how super funds would add to the already considerable funding they provide for such purposes.
Finally, it is difficult to see how the establishment of this body, which has 12 months to audit the situation and advise priorities followed by federal negotiations with the states, will be a key part of Rudd's five point plan to reduce prospective inflationary pressures.
Let us hope that the Rudd decision-making process will improve.