Sell the port to build the East West Tollroad: Govt should sell assets to pay for infrastructure (report)

A report from Infrastructure Australia set to be released has identified 82 profit-making government assets worth more than $200 billion that should be sold to fill the infrastructure shortfall, reduce debt and improve productivity, according toThe Australian Financial Review.

Infrastructure Australia says the assets — including power generators, airports, ports and water utilities — could be sold to Australian superannuation funds to help overcome political opposition to privatisation.

The report adds that the asset sales would help the federal and state governments to fund expensive infrastructure upgrades at a time when tax revenues are under pressure.

“What we’re trying to do is get governments to look at lazy infrastructure assets on their balance sheets and the opportunities that recycling the capital in those assets might provide for part of the infrastructure challenge,” national infrastructure coordinator Michael Deegan said, according to the AFR.

The report urged the rest of the country to follow NSW’s model where it has spent the proceeds from the privatisation of Port Botany and Port Kempla on infrastructure priorities.

The Business Spectator, 18 Oct 2012

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