Posted inInfrastructure & transport

Infrastructure megaprojects that are delivered late and over budget aren’t necessarily failures – here’s why

If an infrastructure megaproject is completed late and over budget, it is widely judged to be unsuccessful. For instance, the delay to Crossrail, a new train line across London and the south east of England, has been labelled “appalling news”. Crossrail is also projected to cost nearly £4 billion more than its original budget.

Posted inEnvironment

WATER: How does NSW make sure it doesn’t get so close to Day Zero again?

According to one of the authors of a new report the focus on water in NSW has traditionally been on centralised infrastructure that utilities want to build rather than water efficiency. But what saved us during the Millennium Drought was the citizens, not utilities. Nor was it the winding back the BASIX sustainability index that some quarters advocate.

Posted inHousing

Still house hunting after budget 2020

More than $5 billion was poured into social housing after the GFC and most economists supported the tactic for its propensity to boost jobs and stimulate the economy. This time round funding for social housing was a glaring omission from the federal government’s Covid-recovery 2020 budget.  The sector wasn’t ignored completely: an extra $1 billion […]

Posted inPlanning & Design

Lazy economics uses planning as a scapegoat

The following is a response to the NSW Productivity Commission Green Paper. The Green Paper argued zoning is restrictive and recommended it be loosened. Unfortunately, the commission misses the forest for the trees and fails to recognise the economic and strategic value of zoning. Economic recovery has thrown up complex tasks for government, with minds […]

Posted inIndigenous Business Series

How Pat Torres of Mayi Harvests has turned the Kakadu plum into sustainable lifestyles

The Kakadu plum is a renowned native Australian superfood whose health benefits were long known by the Aboriginal people of the region. In the past 10 years the tiny plum that tastes like a pear and apple combined, has been widely recognised as having more vitamin C than an orange and high in antioxidants. Now an Indigenous […]

Posted inHousing

What must be fixed before the NSW’s Planned Housing Diversity SEPP can do what it sets out to do

While the New South Wales government’s revamped housing diversity policy is being touted as the answer to the state’s shortfalls in affordable housing, I believe the unintended consequences may have the opposite effect. The proposed changes (Housing Diversity SEPP) are far more likely to suffocate future supply. This is due to the removal of provisions […]

Posted inJobs News

Jobs in gas is just hot air + our pick of the good jobs

UPDATED 8.55 PM 15 September 2010. The prime minister’s Scott Morrison’s “gas-led recovery” is charging full steam ahead, with the government throwing $52.9 million at a bunch of gas projects despite advice from energy experts, such as AEMO, to prioritise renewables to bring costs and emissions down. Unless AGL replaced its Liddell coal-fired power station, this […]

Posted inConstruction & Development

Fremantle carbon neutral apartments to deliver 50 per cent strata savings

Fremantle-based Montreal Commons, set to become one of the first carbon neutral apartment buildings in Australia, will save its tenants 50 per cent on body corporate fees under a renewable energy deal between OP Properties and Power Ledger. The five-storey, 39-apartment complex has set a benchmark for sustainable apartment design and will use developer-funded 75kW […]

Posted inSpinifex

Cheaper forms of housing in more expensive suburbs? That’s an Orwellian “doublethink”

There’s a draft NSW State Environmental Planning Policy (draft SEPP) for housing diversity out for discussion and it’s sparked the interest of the property developer lobby group Urban Taskforce. The Fifth Estate welcomes thoughts and contributions from other readers on this topic. “Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, […]

Posted inCommercial

How many staff come to the office because it offers a better working environment than home? You need to know this

The Covid -19 pandemic has been nothing short of a monumental experiment. Within weeks, workplaces were forced into changes that would normally take years to implement. Reactions to the current state of work have been as varied as the experiences of the people going through it. Accounts range from horror stories to fairy tales and […]