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Curtin academic appointed to Infrastructure Australia Advisory Council

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Curtin University of Technology’s highly respected sustainability expert and planner Professor Peter Newman has been announced as an inaugural member of the Federal Government’s Infrastructure Australia Advisory Council.

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government yesterday announced the 12 members of Infrastructure Australia – the new national body tasked with developing a blueprint for fixing and modernising the nation’s transport, water, energy and communications infrastructure.

As one of Australia’s leading academics Peter Newman is Professor of Sustainability and Director of the Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute.

“I am deeply honoured to be appointed to the Infrastructure Australia Advisory Council,” Professor Newman said.

“I look forward to representing the local government and public transport interests on the Council and working closely with my eminent colleagues on better infrastructure for Australia,” he said.

Professor Newman developed the WA State Sustainability Strategy 2001-2003 that was the first State Sustainability strategy in the world and was the NSW Sustainability Commissioner.

For more than 30 years he has been warning cities about preparing for ‘peak oil’ and he coined the term “automobile dependence” to describe how we have created cities where we have to drive our vehicles everywhere. He is best known for his work in saving, rebuilding and extending the Perth rail system which is now considered a global model.

“My main focus will be on the renaissance of public transport in Australia which is suffering already from high fuel costs that are likely to go higher,” Professor Newman said.

“I am also very keen to see that remote Indigenous communities are provided with better roads after decades of neglect.”

Infrastructure Australia Advisory Council members include Professor Newman and:
• Sir Rod Eddington – Chair
• Mr Terry Moran AO
• Dr Ken Henry AC
• Mr Jim Hallion
• Mr Anthony Kannis
• Dr Kerry Schott
• The Hon Mark Birrell
• Mr Phil Hennessy
• Ms Heather Ridout
• Mr Ross Rolfe
• Mr Garry Weaven

The Advisory Council’s immediate responsibilities are:
• Completing an audit of nationally significant infrastructure;
• Developing an Infrastructure Priority List to guide billions of dollars of public and private investment; and
• Advising on the removal of disincentives to greater private investment in public infrastructure, including the complexity and cost of public-private partnerships.

Attention Editor/COS: A photograph of Professor Peter Newman is available on request.

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