Inspire : Public Works Mar Apr 2013
23 more demand for houses, cars and consumable goods. Brendan Lyon, Chief Executive of Infrastr ucture Partnerships Australia (IPA), says Australia isn't handling this massive amount of growth. "Australia is struggling to deal with major cost of living and productivity challenges, such as the cost and quality of transport, utilities and social ser vices," he says. "Population growth is an important driver of the economy, but it's clear that we've not been keeping pace with supporting infrastructure." The IPA believes that tracking and benchmarking the growth and needs of Australia's cities must be reviewed constantly so that appropriate infrastr ucture can be implemented, especially considering the 50-odd-year lifespan of many of our infrastructures. Thinking creatively -- and logically -- is another way to deal with Australia's growth. "People need to think more laterally with our problems," says Katz. "For instance, instead of adding yet another lane to a highway, why not use double-decker buses?" She refers to an interesting project in China where large straddling buses are being designed for commuters. The bottom of the bus forms a tunnel which allows cars to pass through underneath, while the top level of the bus is ftted for passengers. Essentially the straddling bus isn't taking up road space -- only airspace. Community infrastructure is something else Katz says is needed to handle our growing population. "Things like sewage and water are essential and people already expect that," she says. "But it's the community infrastructure such as libraries, community centres, self-help groups, schools and health ser vices that are also absolutely critical in both new and established areas." The problem with this is that it can take time, sometimes up to fve years, for community infrastr ucture to be implemented in new areas. The time lapse is a result of obtaining funding and Australia is struggling to deal with major cost of living and productivity challenges ... Canberra 198% Melbourne 199% Perth 252% Brisbane 255% Darwin 278% CONFERENCE HEADS-UP! Expect Michael Deegan to amplify his incisive observations in this article when he fronts in Darwin as main keynote speaker at the IPWEA National Conference in August.
Public Works Jan Feb 2013
Public Works May Jun 2013