Fortescue's rail hitch after a Brockman blindside

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Great article, this strategic piece of infrastructure and others such as a mid west port should have been funded by the Commonwealth.

What is the difference between financing NBN so that business can gain access and expand creating jobs and financing mining infrastructures?

The difference is that mining has a plan(private approach) for a lot of stuff to go through the infrastructure, now, and for a long time, whereby with the NBN business has very few apps and content to take advantage of the fibre as it stands with little plan and funding(ten time less than other IT programs on average) see

http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2013/5/15/technology/budget-201...

Francois,
I reckon it's a little more complicated than that. The State owns the minerals in the ground, so from a 'monetising the asset' point of view, the State should be incentivising development through a variety of means (such as policy, fiscal and tax settings, which don't require the State to make direct investment or take upfront financial risk).

I don't believe that it would be appropriate for government to invest in such private infrastructure because by doing so, on behalf of the people of Australia, it would be taking commodity and counterparty risks in what should be open and free commodity markets, traded globally.

What they SHOULD however be doing, is providing basic social services and infrastructure in communities which support the mining sector. this is an area where governments of all pursuasions fail miserably, relying on the mining companies to finance or underwrite everything (literally).. roads, energy, schools, education, health... everything.

Fly in Fly Out rostering arrangements have grown exponentially as a consequence, which is set to continue for the foreseeable future.

In fact, that is an extension of my original theme... the government doesn't want to take 'boom / bust' risks by investing in basic infrastructure for mining towns, because if companies fail, or commodity prices sink, the government invesment will be wasted when everybody moves out....

Keyser I put my reply underneath, I have just become pessimistic, mostly because of Oakajee and the Lead problem transported 500km through the metro area and into the Freo Port because they wont pay for any new charge or any new infratstructure, any solution yes, as long as it is cheaper for users, I am sceptical it will happen this way!

I have become so cynical that I think if they do it it will be to buy us with printed money.

I agree with providing social services etc to help the mining sector, Royalties for Regions have been used for that, you mentioned fiscal incentives, but to develop the mid west Oakajee Port, these have not worked including discounting royalties from investment in infrastructures, well if they are not even prepared to invest for a free lunch in infrastructure then they are certainly even less prepared to be charged with an extra transport cost with non free lunch infrastructures and will look elsewhere.

The WA State government and Troy Buswell the Transport minister will release a blueprint today to help doubling the capacity of our eight major ports and contact all stakeholders to do what you are saying, Anketell in the Pilbara is also slowing expansion in the region.

I would not be surprised if one or two in the QE brigade was interested to print some infrastructures, there is no free lunch, just doubt it will work, in the recent context even incentivisation does not seem to work anymore.