Traffic congestion to cost Aussie economy over 40 bln US dollars by 2031

Published on : Saturday, May 23, 2015

Traffic congestion to cost Aussie economyTraffic congestion will cost the Australian economy over 40 billion U.S. dollars by 2031, a new report warns.


The report issued by Infrastructure Australia, released in Sydney by Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Friday, said the cost of road delays in Australia’s six largest capital cities was 10.8 billion U.S. dollars in lost productivity in 2011.


Local media reported that figure is expected to rise by 290 percent, to 42.1 billion U.S. dollars by 2031 due to predicted population growth from 22.3 million in 2011 to 30.5 million in 2031.


Infrastructure Australia chairman Mark Birrell said Australia must treat population growth as a fact that should be prepared for.


“Major reforms are needed to improve the way we finance and operate infrastructure to ensure it an underpin gains in Australia’s productivity and employment growth in decades ahead,” Birrell said.

The report recommends increased public and private funding will be needed to maintain and grow infrastructure.


“Without a total increase in both public and private funding of infrastructure, and market reforms to strengthen the transport and water sectors, we won’t have the infrastructure that a growing population and our globally-focused economy deserve,” Birrell said.


Assistant Infrastructure Minister Jamie Briggs said government is increasingly going to need private sector investment in any future infrastructure projects.


“Finances for the government are always going to be finite at the federal and state level,” Briggs said. “The private sector wants to be involved…they deliver infrastructure projects very well.”


The audit of Australia’s transport corridors predicts transport demand will rise by up to 90 percent across Australia’s major cities.

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