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Report: Wasteful Spending in Australia

Report: Wasteful Spending in Australia

Wasteful Spending in Australia

Here at the Infrastructure Investor, we try to highlight the best news in our industries but we would be remiss if we didn’t highlight challenges, too. The Guardian has an article out about wasteful spending on Australian infrastructure projects. They cite a Grattan Institute report.

“Too often, politics comes ahead of the public interest.”

Here’s the beginning of the article. It’s a sobering, but important read:

Infrastructure funding is being spent on the wrong projects in the wrong places, particularly highways with dubious or weak businesses cases, a Grattan Institute report has said.

The Better Transport Infrastructure report, released on Monday, said cost-benefit analyses by bodies such Infrastructure Australia should be tabled in parliament to ensure only worthwhile projects are built.

Governments had spent unprecedented amounts on infrastructure “but mostly they have not spent wisely … [because] too much money has been spent on the wrong projects in the wrong places”, the report said.

Infrastructure spending has not prioritised cities, instead bypassing them in favour of states and electorates where federal elections are won and lost, it said. “Too often, politics comes ahead of the public interest.”

In particular, too much is being spent “on highways that are not especially important to the economy, but are popular with local voters. Decisions on particular projects are dubious or made on the basis of weak or undisclosed business cases.”

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