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The sale of the port of Fremantle, the last capital city port to be privatised, is now in limbo. AAP/Kim Christian

WA port sales the latest privatisations to hit political hurdles

The Barnett government's plans to sell ports, including the last capital city port slated for privatisation, appear to have been torpedoed by the WA Nationals' change of heart.
If a state-owned port is sold at a higher price with competition restrictions, consumers will pay higher prices in the future because of these restrictions. AAP/Martin Philbey

Selling ports and other assets: why anti-competitive deals to boost prices cost the public in the end

State governments are now seeking to maximise the price of privatised assets by adding sale terms that restrict competition for the future private owners. That amounts to a hidden tax on consumers.
Victoria’s capacity to handle the millions of containers imported and exported through its ports affects the whole state. AAP/Julian Smith

Project affecting all of Victoria has to be part of election debate

Victoria’s election debate about infrastructure is shaping up around large projects such as the East West Link and Airport Rail Link. But another infrastructure project could also be on the radar: the…
Coral bleaching is one of the more obvious signs the Great Barrier Reef is in trouble. mattk1979/Flickr

Is Australia shooting itself in the foot with reef port expansions?

With the approval of dredging as part of the Abbot Point port expansion, Australia has given the green light to an increase in coal exports. While opposition to the plan has focused primarily on the effects…
Already operating as a coal port, the disposal of dredge material from expanding Abbot Point is now the subject of a legal challenge. GBRMPA

Let’s dump Great Barrier Reef dredging myths: authority chief

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s recent decision to allow 3 million cubic metres of dredge material to be disposed of 25 kilometres off Abbot Point in north Queensland has attracted passionate…
The Queensland government is preparing the way for more coal ports, but there are indications coal production and profits are on the way down. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

If coal’s in trouble, why build more coal ports?

If the Abbot Point expansion is approved by the Commonwealth Environment Minister next month, port dredging will go ahead. Private investment in coal ports and rail may no longer stack up, as BHP Billiton…
Sir Rod Eddington: unless the rail networks are right, Australia’s cities won’t work properly. Supplied

Sir Rod Eddington: ‘The infrastructure challenges are real’

Welcome to In Conversation; an ongoing series in which leading academics interview prominent public figures. In today’s instalment, Dr Peter Newman, Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University, sits…

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