20/09/2005 - 22:00

Infrastructure access key

20/09/2005 - 22:00

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Issues over infrastructure, particularly the provision and accessibility of water, were among the most significant challenges of the next two decades, according to participants at the WA Business News boardroom forum.

Issues over infrastructure, particularly the provision and accessibility of water, were among the most significant challenges of the next two decades, according to participants at the WA Business News boardroom forum.

The inevitable increase in density levels in Perth during the next 20 years was also raised, as was the continuing sprawl resulting from an expanding population.

Curtin University professor of transport studies Dr Fred Affleck said he believed the focus of planning in the next 20 years would be on getting higher densities because of the drivers of water shortage, fuel prices, population growth, and the cost of spreading into more distant suburbs.

“We need a planning system that facilitates planning and execution of that higher density, but it needs to be a system which points that density to very selected areas – some along the coast and around transport nodes and corridors,” Dr Affleck said.

Satterley Property Group managing director and chief executive Nigel Satterley said Perth had a great future backed on the resources industry, and that over the next 20 years there would be solid development in the area from Yanchep to the Peel. But a more efficient approvals system needed to be put in place to facilitate this, he said.

GHD business development manager Ian Johnston said adequate water supply was a major concern.

“One of the issues that Perth does need to confront in a broad sense is infrastructure,” Mr Johnston told the forum.

“We read that the Gnangara mound is declining, we are going to desalination plants; we need to get adequate water supply.

“In 20 years I’d like to see more undergrounding of railways, things like the railway to Fremantle. If you look at land values in 20 years’ time, you could underground the whole way to Fremantle and increase density around it, and probably around the area of Vic Park too.”

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