CPDS Home Contact Professionalism: Chronological Summary

4 November 2005

Associate Professor John Minnery,
Director of Planning Program,
University of Queensland.

'A Little Caution for Big Smoke'

I should like to congratulate you on a recent article which highlighted the need to look beyond 'mega-projects' in managing SE Queensland's growth, and also to put forward some suggestions about the background to this situation for your consideration.

My interpretation of your article: 1000 people a week move to SE Queensland - so there is seen to be a need for huge spending on infrastructure projects. But other places have even larger challenges and survive. There is a need to recognise that megaprojects usually cost far more than expected and produce less benefits. Such initiatives may reflect political grandstanding or a search for company profits. SEQ's problems are not all that serious by comparison with other places. There is a need for a lot of small and medium fixes, rather than a few big fixes (Minnery J., 'A little caution for big smoke', Courier Mail, 2/11/05).

I am certain that your diagnosis of both the motivation and likely outcomes of mega-projects is correct. However you might also like to consider some background to the fixation on mega-project 'solutions' to SE Queensland's growth challenges, namely:

I would be interested in your reactions to my speculations.


John Craig