Local Government

Building our Regions

The Queensland Government has replaced the former government’s Royalties for Regions program with its own  200 million ‘Building our Regions’ Program and is calling for applications from local councils.  See:

A commendable aspect is the requirement to provide a cost benefit analysis on applications for funding over $500,000.  Application for amounts below that will still be subject to a benefit analysis.

There are pros and cons with this type of handout – are projects genuinely additional, will co-contributions be effective, is effective, long term infrastructure planning distorted?

However, it can hardly be argued local councils are drowning in funds to invest in infrastructure.

Recognising the Government is looking for shovel-ready projects, applications close 11 September.


Let there be lights …

For all my friends and colleagues in the transport sector, this year we celebrate the centenary of the traffic light.  What a boon that has been to orderly traffic in our major cities across the world – as well as a reliable stream of work for town planners, traffic engineers and even economists!

When Was the First Traffic Light Installed? 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

And, yes, we economists do measure the economic benefits of traffic lights.  Particularly when you consider installing them at 1,000 intersections:

Click to access traffic-signals.pdf

Of course the big issue is whether we should follow the Europeans and switch to flashing amber during off peak periods.

When we eventually move to three dimensional traffic environments, I wonder how this nodal regulator will evolve.

More importantly, will our legions of pedallists and perambulators prevail in the design of future urban transport systems and kill off King Car?

Or, with the rise of the machines will we simply see motoring evolve through driverless cars into pod platforms?

Either way, as we move into real time, big data clipped from traffic movements will we eventually see the demise of the humble traffic light?