Transport routes in state of 'disrepair'

Minerals Council of Australia warns that infrastructure won't cope with possible increase in demand for minerals once recession ends

The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has warned that infrastructure surrounding mineral deposits will not be able to cope with a possible increase in demand for Australian minerals once the recession ends.

According to a nationwide audit, The Australian Minerals Industry’s Infrastructure Path to Prosperity, roads, rail and ports are in a state of disrepair after enduring a "cancer" of neglect.

MCA Chief Executive Officer Mitchell Hooke says there is an urgent need to recognise the joint public and private effort required to improve transport infrastructure in 21 mineral growth regions across all states and territories.

"The report highlights the need to upgrade and expand transport networks and introduce whole of supply chain strategies in the planning and regulation construction of ports, railways and roads," Hooke says.

Hooke is adamant emerging superpowers China and India will be looking to purchase minerals to build their nations, and an ailing export transport system could hinder Australia’s ability to cash in on this.

"Nations such as China and India have a strong desire to boost the prosperity of their people and the task of industrialisation and urbanisation will re-start," he says.

The MCA is due to release another report in future advising government and industry on how to improve infrastructure capacity.

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