This article was posted to me by Geoff at Eco-Bushwalks Sydney - Ed
Infrastructure debt | "This year, the Australian population will grow by around 400,000 people. Since Sydney hosted the Olympics in 2000, Australia's population has grown by 22% from 19.3 million to 23.6 million. That is why Australia's roads, trains and hospitals are crowded. If the government wants to double Australia's population by 2060, it can either invest in the new infrastructure the country needs before the population arrives, or it can lower Australians' expectations about how much infrastructure we should expect.
It seems clear we are being warmed up for the latter. If Australians demand more infrastructure, Hockey tells us that the price of funding new roads and hospitals reduces spending on trains and nurses. This is not the logic of 1960's prime minister Robert Menzies, nor is it the logic of BHP. It is, however, the logic of a treasurer and a government that wants to use vague notions of "economic responsibility" to drive big reductions in the social safety net.
Should we continue Menzies' vision of 'nation building', or is our nation built?
If we continue building with rapid population growth, should we increase debt? Or is the cost of retro-fitting our current major cities with evermore complex infrastructure now becoming so expensive that we will never catch out tail?