Mining wages hit boom-time highs
An east coast infrastructure boom, stricter rules on foreign labour and low…
11 January 2019
Melbourne and Sydney are predicted to reach the current population of New York by around 2050 having experienced significant population growth. Efforts to localise population growth to regional centres have had limited effect with a key challenge in both cities being “congestion” – the challenges in just moving around.
Both cities are among the largest in the world by area, with low density making them costly to serve and making any material underground rail network too expensive.
Sydney effectively awoke to the issue in 2011, developing the WestConnex, NorthConnex and Sydney Metro and light rail projects. Planning for a new harbour tunnel and northern beaches link to the north and F6 extension to the south along with a list of rail projects is well advanced.
Melbourne a little behind, having cancelled the only material project on the books in 2016, successfully finished the Tullamarine Freeway widening, Monash stage 1 and M80 widenings, a major suburban road upgrade program and 29 level crossing removals and commenced the West Gate Tunnel and Melbourne Metro (essentially a nine-kilometre link to unblock existing rail networks by 2025).
Both Melbourne and Sydney are committed to relieving the cities congestion, Sydney is well-supported by the Commonwealth with $9 billion in funding for the connexes, whilst Victoria has had to cover most of the spend on Melbourne’s infrastructure with the federal government promising $5 billion for airport rail and $1.75 billion for the North-East Link.
Urbanisation is here to stay but Sydney and Melbourne will need to maintain their infrastructure investment at a cracking pace to retain their standard of living and remain globally competitive.