The former head of the Australian federal Treasury Ken Henry has been in China on a visit with the whole board of NAB, where he’s now a non-executive director.
In his post-public service life Henry is more free to share his views, and he is deeply unimpressed with Australia’s infrastructure.
Henry was talking to the Australian Chamber of Commerce about how he believes Australia has failed to position itself for the end of the mining boom, which increasingly appears to be coming to pass faster than many anticipated.
According to the AFR today, Henry said the pace of economic reform had not been sufficiently maintained since the 80s and 90s, that cuts to personal and company taxes were needed, and that China’s huge infrastructure networks showed just how poor Australia’s had become.
“You cannot travel to Australia without being outraged with the level of infrastructure,” he said.
“You land at Sydney Airport and frankly it’s a disgrace.”
The options for a second airport in Sydney have been tossed around for decades. Transport minister Anthony Albanese commissioned an $8 million investigation into potential sites and still there’s nothing in reach that would resemble any kind of decision on solving this problem that travellers are all too familiar with.
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