Infrastructure & Development

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Bill Wyatte is now contributing to a Challenge Dispersed Expertise

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Bill Wyatte commented on the Challenge Dispersed Expertise

Perhaps more exploration of the problem may confirm that there are many pathways towards solutions.

Bureaucracies are advantaged by power funnelled to them via delegation.  People in advantaged groups tend to defend and bolster the status quo and discourage alternatives.  This can create boundaries to inputs, thinking and behaviours.  In Government, this is the disconnect from the diversity of knowledge and awareness of the people it serves.

I believe permeability and diversity are antidotes, but require conscious choices that have not yet been made. 

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James Dowsett is now contributing to a Challenge Dispersed Expertise

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Peter Grimbeek commented on the Challenge Dispersed Expertise

I immediately envision an on-line democracy not only with instant crowd-sourced votes but also with in-depth crowd-sourced discussion of policy options.

Some would say that this envisioned world might move a bit too quickly. Perhaps we need non-online deliberations at a slower pace.

In some ways, this is an Obama vs. Trump kind of moment. Obama deliberated slowly and possibly painfully about how to proceed but his actions were fruitful. Trump on the other hand favours instant responses that might or might not be fruitful (except in a bitter way). 

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Peter Grimbeek is now contributing to a Challenge Dispersed Expertise

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Richard Ferrers is now contributing to a Challenge Dispersed Expertise

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Richard Ferrers commented on the Challenge Dispersed Expertise

As a value researcher, I am interested in what people value, and how it changes over time. 

The digital revolutions have empowered and connected adults this century, in the way widespread education did in the 20th Century. Yet government in Australia has barely if at all changed since Europeans came to Australia.

I think there is a lot to learn from the Swiss who are experimenting with several attempts at more direct democracy. Government moves far too slow for a always connected, wikipedia and google at our fingertips, open data type world.

If government was to ask what do people need, it is an ongoing consultation with their representatives, rather than every three years. Government should tap the crowd for ideas, priorities, and time to reduce services we don't need, and prioritise those we do.

We need an ongoing community discussion about reinventing government for a new century, for a always connected, data deluge world.

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Ed Bernacki is now contributing to a Challenge Dispersed Expertise

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Gail Fairlamb is now contributing to a Challenge Dispersed Expertise

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Sharon Zivkovic is now contributing to a Challenge Dispersed Expertise

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A new Solution was published Dispersed Expertise

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Gini Sinclair is now contributing to a Challenge Urban Villages: branding or planning strategy

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Viet Ngu Hoang is now contributing to a Challenge Product innovation and safety regulation: How can they best complement each other?

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Bruce Muirhead created a Topic Maximising excess apartment accomodation for social impact

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Bob Dick commented on the Challenge Big Australia

There have been several suggestions for regional development rather than further increasing the size of our larger cities.  I’m not persuaded that this has to be either/or.

It’s understandable that citizens don’t wish large cities to undermine or destroy the pleasure of living there.  I live in Brisbane, and experience the way its growth is destroying some of its character.  Do large cities have to be unpleasant to live in?  I suspect not.

There is evidence I’ve seen that city size is associated with increased creativity and innovation.  Might it be that good design would allow those benefits to be achieved without suffering the disadvantage of size.

Assume cities continue to grow.  That need not prevent provincial centres also experiencing growth.  Here is Queensland (and I presume elsewhere) many provincial centres are losing citizens to the coastal strip.  I know that some would like to reverse that trend.

I’m venturing beyond my expertise here, and am willing to be corrected.  For both cities and provincial centres, though, it seems to be that it needn’t be size per se.  With good design, I assume many sizes can be beneficial.

 

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Bob Dick commented on the Challenge Big Australia

I think it helps to separate the issue of city size into two parts.  On the one hand, as several have said, the increased size can be at the cost of citizen well-being.  On the other hand, I understand that creativity and innovation and entrepreneurship are enhanced in larger cities.

I'm not persuaded that it is an imperative that larger cities are less pleasant to live in.  I would have thought that good design could counter, or at least ameliorate, that.

And does this have to be either/or?  There are provincial centres (here in Queensland, and I presume elsewhere) that are slowly losing people to the coastal strip.  I assume they would welcome an influx of new citizens.  Encouraging redevelopment of provincial centres does not need to be at the cost of larger cities.

 This is not an area of expertise for me, and I'm happy to be corrected.  At this stage, however, it seems to me that -- whatever is done -- it is done deliberately and with good design.

 

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Peter Grimbeek commented on the Challenge Big Australia

Previous comments have focused on the nexus between population growth and infrastructure. Here population growth is the problem and infrastructure is the solution. Infrastructure considered included fast rain-networks, the development of regional centres (would benefit from a real NBN), and questions about the management of water and land. Also, there is some emphasis on the global nature of these problems and solutions (aka, the global village).

My tack is a bit different. I would argue that our population might be growing but it is also aging, as is that in much of the first world, and also China. So, while the population might increase, the labour force is not necessarily going to be large enough nor will it be sufficiently skilled to deal with the many challenges associated with the incoming post-industrial economy.

These are not new issues. In 2008, just as the financial crisis was entering the room, one conversation was about how Australia was going to maintain a viable labour force in the face of an aging population and the increasing demand for highly skilled labour. The financial crisis slowly left the room but these two things remain with us.

One solution canvassed at the time was to develop an internationally based labour force that could do the work and then go away again. A reason for relying on such a labour force is the limit on developing the necessary skills on-shore. This limit also remains in place. For example, when driverless trucks and then cabs become part of the industrial landscape, what happens to those who can drive a vehicle day and night but cannot take on more highly skilled work?

From this dismal perspective, the challenge of the future for Australia, as elsewhere, is not only whether we will be big enough or too big for the global village but also how best to deal with those shunted aside by automation, etc., and how best to deal with an increasing number of aged people.

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Peter Grimbeek is now contributing to a Challenge Big Australia

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Lindley Edwards commented on the Solution A Big Australia

Agree with other commentators and would add we need to also consider World Population growth and refugees and what is an appropriate humanitarian response by Australia.  What is missing in many of these debates is an underlying strategy which road maps where Australia is going and what we should aspire to. It also needs to consider investment, infrastructure, our best responses at collective and individual level to structural changes and the use and care of physical resources and what is the social infrastructure we wish to have and maintain. 

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David Alexander is now contributing to a Challenge Big Australia

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Megan Baker is now contributing to a Challenge Big Australia

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David Parsons is now contributing to a Challenge Big Australia

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Elissa Doxey commented on the Solution A Big Australia

 Agree, Tim - perhaps an acknowledgement of other factors that lead into (or out of) these scenarios would highlight related issues like you've mentioned, plus housing, waste management, transport infrastructure, employment, health, agriculture, etc.

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Tim Klapdor commented on the Solution A Big Australia

So I understand that these scenarios are based purely on different projects of population growth - but there are some underlying factors that need to be accounted for somewhere. Aspects around environment and arable land, climate, and finite resources like water will have great bearing on any of these projections. 

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Mark Cantor is now contributing to a Challenge Big Australia

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Rosie Odsey is now contributing to a Challenge Big Australia

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Martin Deering is now contributing to a Challenge Big Australia

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Steven Clark is now contributing to a Challenge Big Australia

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Michelle DALE is now contributing to a Challenge Building a Bolder, Faster Public Service

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Morrie Goodz is now contributing to a Challenge Big Australia

 
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Infrastructure is the backbone of the nation. Without adequate support infrastructure, even the most ambitious innovation agenda will fall short of true success. Policy development and investment discussions need to recognise that infrastructure, development and progress are invariable elements of the same formula.

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