26 February 2018

Smart money: a better way for Australia to select big transport infrastructure projects

Australia needs to change the way it assesses potential infrastructure projects, to ensure that governments can better understand which road and rail projects are worth building.

22 February 2018

Why the Inland Rail project will never add up

Just because the government is funding Inland Rail through an equity investment doesn’t mean that it makes commercial sense and doesn’t mean that taxpayers shouldn’t still wonder if it isn’t more a wish and a hope than a sound investment of our money.

27 November 2017

Delay in changing direction on how we tax drivers will cost us all

The federal government announced a year ago that it would review the charges imposed on drivers for using our roads. That review hasn’t yet happened. They should get on with it, because reforming the way we charge road users will make our economy more productive and our cities more liveable. The longer we wait, the harder the path to those improvements becomes.

3 October 2017

Stuck in traffic: we need a smarter approach to congestion than building more roads

The congestion equation for Sydney and Melbourne is only going to get more ugly as both cities continue to grow. We need more sophisticated policymaking to ease drivers’ road rage and frustrations. Instead of focusing on freeways, governments should change the way we pay for urban roads and public transport.

3 October 2017

Melbourne’s traffic is enough to make you snarl

Sorry Melbourne, but when it comes to tackling road congestion, Sydney does it better. Sydney might be bigger, faster and busier, but new analysis by the Grattan Institute reveals that traffic delays in Melbourne are at least as bad and often worse. In fact, we Melburnians could learn a thing or two from Sydney.

16 July 2017

Submission to the Senate Economics References Committee inquiry into the operations of existing and proposed toll roads in Australia

Melbourne’s West Gate Tunnel toll road is too expensive, the risks of a cost blow-out have been understated, and the project has been characterised by undue secrecy. In this submission to a Senate committee inquiry into toll roads, Grattan Institute’s Transport Program Director Marion Terrill exposes the extent of the problems and recommends ways to ensure taxpayers get a better bang for their transport project buck.

3 July 2017

Stuck in traffic: busting Melbourne versus Sydney myths and identifying the worst commutes

Crawling along in low gear, Melbourne drivers often comfort themselves with the thought that at least they’re not in Sydney, where “everyone knows” traffic delays are longer and even more frustrating. Sorry, Melburnians, but you’re kidding yourselves.

30 June 2017

How Australia can get a better bang for its transport infrastructure buck – Submission to the Productivity Commission

Australia does not get the best results from its transport infrastructure spending, because the way the Commonwealth makes grants to the states creates perverse incentives and causes unintended consequences. In this submission to the Productivity Commission, Grattan Transport Program Director Marion Terrill exposes the problems and proposes a solution.

1 June 2017

Fancy government financing could still cost the taxpayer

No sooner is one complicated financing idea from the government batted down, than another one pops up. We can expect more of them, now that the federal budget has established a new Infrastructure and Project Financing Agency.

9 May 2017

Budget’s ‘good debt’ conversion underpins $70b-plus infrastructure program: experts respond

There’s more than a touch of back to the future about this budget: we’ve got so-called nation-building projects and the usual cries of “What about me?” from various state premiers. But in the current world of “good debt” and “bad debt”, the infrastructure choices of Budget 2017 look more defensible than usual.

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