Are we 38 years behind? Martin Locke and Joe Langley talk infrastructure finance on ABC Radio.

Last night (26th April) ABC Radio interviewed AECOM’s Joe Langley and, Martin Locke who is UNSW Adjunct Professor and Metis Professional Development, Infrastructure Finance Course Director. These are arguably two of Australia’s leading authorities on infrastructure funding.

The interview is very interesting and I recommend a listen. Its over 20 minutes long, but don’t let that put you off, it’s just one for the train ride home.

It covers a wide range of topics, however I’ve taken two key messages from the radio program. Australia is directing towards a wider adoption of Value Capture and I was fascinated and shocked to hear that we are 38 years behind NZ in implementing heavy road user reforms.

Martin highlights interesting recommendations from Infrastructure Australia’s planmoving forward all projects should have a plan to see how value capture should be applied. This is partly addressing the issue of the infrastructure funding gap, highlighting that Value Capture is seen as a potential solution.”

He feels Australia is a leader in PPPs, however describes how far behind Australia has become in road reform highlighting two key areas where we have failed to progress.

“Part of our mantle has slipped particularly in the area of road reform. I’ve seen specifically NZ and the UK move ahead.

One area particularly relates to firstly heavy vehicle charging, they adopted that in New Zealand in 1978 we’re still deliberating wether or not that scheme should occur. Infrastructure Australia in their plans have actually put that back on the table and that would actually expressly provide funding for road infrastructure.

The second area relates to setting up more of a corporatised entity for roads, New Zealand does it, the UK is doing it, we’re still not doing it.”

Listen to the full interview — The audio file will expire in 6 days (May 3) so be sure to listen ASAP.

Learn from Martin — Attend the Infrastructure Finance Masterclass. Martin is Course Director of Metis Professional Development’s 2 Day, Infrastructure Finance Masterclass. This will be run in North Sydney on May 30–31. Below is a (very) high level course outline, for a detailed overview of the course content view it online here and download the brochure here.

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