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Australia’s transport is among the least energy efficient, largely thanks to continuing investment in roads over rail. Phillip Capper/Flickr

Australia’s transport is falling behind on energy efficiency

Australia has scored poorly in the energy efficiency of its land transport, and is well behind other major economies, a recent international scorecard has revealed. That means Australians are using more…
Right idea, wrong execution: the Ord River irrigation scheme needed better surrounding infrastructure. isthatdave/Wikimedia Commons

To grow agriculture in Australia, farmers need to think like miners

It’s perhaps fitting that mining magnate Andrew Forrest is in the vanguard of a move to position Australia as a major food supplier to China. Fitting, because if the plan is to work, Australian agriculture…
Committing to new infrastructure is dangerous when political motivations are the driver. AAP/AAP Image/Alan Porritt)

Trains, planes and automobiles: how our cities get the mix wrong

It’s hard to get past the feeling that we are stuck in 1970s thinking when it comes to planning infrastructure such as airports. The Federal government has finally announced Badgerys Creek in Sydney’s…
But fare rises are in line with inflation. London Permaculture

Believe it or not, rising rail fares are actually good news

I wonder how many friends I would make among commuters by suggesting last week’s 3% rise in rail fares is at least in part a good news story. Of course, there has been understandable indignation that fares…
Next stop Deutsche Bahn? Gareth Fuller/PA

Eurostar sale shows rail policy is still on the wrong track

The government’s announcement that it is to sell off its stake in Eurostar is another sign of its convoluted thinking towards railway policy. The operator of international train services from London through…
The world, north of the M25. HS2

HS2: how will it affect my town?

Professor Peter Mackie Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds Leeds and its metropolitan region should be one of the big winners from HS2. Financial and legal services, engineering consultancy…
High speed rail, Taiwan-style. loudtiger

HS2: mixed success for high speed rail worldwide

The last half century has seen the gradual development of high-speed rail (HSR) systems. From the inauguration of the first “bullet train” services in Japan in 1964 to the recent rapid developments in…
Both the Labor and Liberals see infrastructure as a crucial economic driver; but Chinese investment in this area has been politicised. AAP

Infrastructure prime minister must face Chinese elephant in room

Tony Abbott wants to be known as the infrastructure prime minister. He could be remembered for building roads and scrapping high-speed rail. But the role of Chinese finance and technical expertise in infrastructure…
Commuters will face a long wait for lower fares. Gareth Fuller/PA

Rail fare hikes hurt more than just commuters

Considering how many of Britain’s rich and powerful take the train to work, it seems odd to describe rail commuters as hard done by. And yet some undoubtedly are. Last week the government announced the…
Rail has been a part of Federal “knitting” since, well, Federation. Annie Mole

It’s not in the knitting? Urban rail’s growing significance

Tony Abbott has created a new phrase that wonderfully describes a political tradition or paradigm: “not in our knitting”. “We have no history of funding urban rail and I think it’s important that we stick…

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