"Infrastructure is a key enabler of productivity growth," Rod Sims, chairman of Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), said. He stressed this statement to the delegates who attended the inaugural session of the International Symposium on Infrastructure Monday at the University of Wollongong. Sims discussed the essential need for effective regulation of infrastructure for Australia to reach its potential.
Discussing the key determinants of efficient infrastructure, the symposium themed SMART Inaugural International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure, the ACCC chairman touched upon sectors, including road transport, shipping, electricity, communications and water.
The chairman delved on the essential role that regulation should play in the productivity debate. He also addressed the rules that policy makers put in place to govern particular sectors.
"For infrastructure to play its full role in driving productivity growth, we must get at least three things right," Sims pointed out.
Elaborating further on three important things, he observed, "First, we need to make the right investment decisions, with the highest cost benefit ratios. In Australia, we do not always do this to our cost," he said.
"Second, we need an efficient investment system made according to appropriate regulatory rules and standards."
"Third, we need the right price signals and incentives to make the best use of existing and new infrastructure. As everyone involved in infrastructure knows, pricing and incentives are fundamental," he noted.
The ACCC chairman also observed that an efficient infrastructure is important to Australia's productivity performance. Partners to the event are the University College London, Arizona State University, University of Oxford and Delft University of Technology.
The Australia 2013 symposium is being hosted by SMART in Sydney and Wollongong Sep. 30-Oct. 4, 2013. It will be followed by further annual symposia, which will be held in Europe and U.S.
At the session held at the University of Wollongong, delegates will discuss key questions that deal with the design of more livable cities to cope with a predicted global population of 9.6 billion by 2050. It will address issues on creating regenerative infrastructure that adopts to its environment and is resilient to natural disasters. It will also discuss implications of the autonomous vehicles and transport automation. The symposium will also debate on the governmental involvement in the development and maintenance of infrastructure.
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