Now that investors smell a rat, workers are being lined up to foot the bill via their superannuation. But what of the economics?
Of all the nations in the G20, Australia’s record in creating modern infrastructure is the least progressive and most inefficient.
Population growth has the potential to get us things we cannot obtain in other ways: better cultural goods and a more productive, more entrepreneurial culture. A larger nation has more mouths, but also more minds.
In 1929, an amateur prospector known as Harold Bell Lasseter claimed publicly to have discovered the reef at a remote location somewhere in the vast desert of central Australia.
In the early 1980s, when Go Betweens songwriter Grant McLennan penned 'Cattle and Cane', south east Queensland had a population of around 1.5 million. Today it's around 3 million.
These experiences have given me time to understand a very strategic fact that politicians deliberately ignore: physical infrastructure has value only if it is implemented in close association with appropriate social infrastructure.
A pipeline network stretching from Australia up into Asia could redefine markets and boost wealth and environmental outcomes.
Likewise, in Australia, even with flawed regulations biased towards conventional dwellings, many owner builders flocked out to the outer Melbourne suburb of Eltham.
The East West tunnel will reduce the supply of open space and sporting fields when more is needed.
Low density cities like Perth have been designed for cars and now have to be retrofitted for walkability.
Three months after the announcement of the decision to withdraw from manufacturing in Australia, Ford threw a two-hour party at Fox Studios in Sydney at a cost of $4 million.
Australia is poised to become a major player in the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) market and domestic gas users are worried that the party will be at their expense.