NSW Treasurer: Infrastructure cannot outrun population ponzi

Despite undergoing a record $93 billion re build, and selling-off nearly every public asset possible, NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet admits the state faces a massive infrastructure shortfall of $30 billion, as unrelenting immigration overruns Sydney:

NSW faces a massive infrastructure funding shortfall of about $30 billion needed to drive projects critical to building the state’s future, as the government contemplates taking on more debt or even selling off further assets to bridge the gap.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet told The Daily Telegraph that he would not take his foot off the pedal when it came to Sydney’s infrastructure program.

NSW is staring down the barrel of a massive multibillion-dollar shortfall, which the Treasurer will need to tackle in order to continue the state’s building legacy…

“I’m squarely focused on keeping the infrastructure program going while maintaining the state’s Triple A credit rating,” Mr Perrottet said, noting that this was an honour that only five sub-sovereign states outside the US could claim…

In total, the shortfall is closer to $40 billion but The Daily Telegraph has been told part of that will come from capital expenditure in the NSW Budget. The options for funding the rest are continuing the state’s asset-recycling program, borrowing more money or raising taxes…

The government already has a massive fully funded $93 billion infrastructure program underway, but engineering firms and developers are concerned the city is on the cusp of stalling…

Gabriel Metcalf, Committee for Sydney chief executive, said… “No one can deny how expensive these infrastructure projects are. But they are absolutely essential for the long-term viability of Sydney. In truth, the projects under construction are largely a form of catch-up, after a decade of not adding infrastructure while population continued to grow.”

What a farce. Sydney’s gaping infrastructure shortfall won’t be closed because it cannot be closed.

Sydney’s population has been increasing by 94,000 people per annum over the past five years, and is projected to maintain this pace over the next 48 years, roughly doubling Sydney’s population to 9.75 million people – all due to net overseas migration:

Don’t just take my word for it. Infrastructure Australia’s projections show that traffic congestion and access to roads, public transport, schools, hospitals and open space will all decline as Sydney’s population balloons, irrespective of whether Sydney builds up or out:

The definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over again and expecting a different result.

Sardine-packing Sydney with migrants, while expecting infrastructure to magically keep pace, is the very definition of insanity.

Cut immigration.

Leith van Onselen

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

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Comments

  1. The problem is that the federal government sets the immigration levels. The state governments have to deal with it and pay up.

    Bob Carr famously said “Sydney is full” 20 years and 1.5 million migrants ago.

    From the point of view of the wealthy elite, the best solution for Sydney is to pack the poor migrants out West away from the rich suburbs. This is Lucy Turnbull’s Apartheid Sydney strategy.

    • The problem is that Gladys told the truth, about halving migration, before being shut down by the party elders. Now we’ve gone to the other extreme, with her Planning Minister dismissing migration critics as “Club of Rome” extremists.

  2. Something not mentioned here is that the NSW gummint is talking only about Sydney while conveniently forgetting the rest of the state.

    NSW is more than Sydney, but apparently every poor cnut who lives outside Sydney doesn’t count any more.Pay your taxes to support infrastructure development in Sydney, and then shut up. No soup…or superhighway…for you.

  3. Jumping jack flash

    Don’t worry. After those cash rate cuts scheduled for February happen the infrastructure will be able to be built. No problems, mate. Cash rate cuts are just magical like that, and can fix all the problems.

    “The definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over again and expecting a different result.”

    But the result they’re after ISN’T greater utility, mobility and standards of living for their constituents.
    The result they’re after is for the debt growth to keep up with the interest repayments on the last piles of debt that were generated.

    That’s far more important than the comfort of the serfs. If the interest repayments of the debt overtake the debt growth then the whole place gets turned inside out, very quickly. And that’d be really bad. Much worse than a few crowded schools with 60 kids in a room designed for 30, or getting treatment in a hospital bed in a hallway, or getting squashed into a train…

    • Jumping jack flash

      But that would deter the foreigners!
      The foreigners are necessary to keep this abominable economy alive! We need to make them feel welcome.

      Perhaps we could pay them $40 each day they needed to catch the train because of the inconvenience of dealing with the overcrowding?

    • Is this going to apply for tourists as well? It will be an implementation nightmare. Far better to raise university standards and minimum salaries for ‘skilled migrants’.

  4. looks like bellamys was successfully bought out by china, time to see other baby formula producers banned from china and bellamys become the only approved supplier?

    • Has Jan Cameron agreed to it? Last I heard she, as one of the major shareholders, was dead set against any more foreign takeovers of primary industries. Mind you, she’s set to make $135m if her views have changed….

    • Bellamy’s biggest selling point in China, is that it is not made in China.

      Not sure how their business model will work in future, maybe they’re hoping the word won’t get out to Chinese parents?

      • @Wrigley their aim is not to sell the product in Australia and instead exclusively sell it in China.

  5. We will need another 4 desalination plants just to keep everyone alive in Sydney. Then some pipes in every which way to pump around.

  6. reusachtigeMEMBER

    The problem is we don’t have enough people to justify the infrastructure spend so we need to import new people to help cover it. It’s all good and normal dynamics.

  7. Shouldn’t stamp duty now be heading towards the moon too?:
    https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2019/11/cba-house-prices-to-the-moon/

    Victoria seems to be a couple of years behind NSW in the infrastructure building. It too seems to be selling anything that is not bolted down (Port of Melbourne, Snowy Hydro, Land Registry, Public Land) and building stuff including stadium refurbishments and some other vanity projects (Westgate Tunnel). Seems the rivalry now between the two cities is who can make the most unlivable first.

    • JR, Westgate tunnel is not vanity.

      Westgate bridge is past its best by date and carrying more than initial design loads. If (when?) it comes down, Melbourne will gridlock even more than it is now for most of the day.

  8. plebngineerMEMBER

    How will this get up? How are we realistically going to cut mass immigration and get support in the major parties?