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The Bureau of Transport and Communications Economics was commissioned by the National Transport Planning Taskforce to undertake a strategic assessment of the adequacy of transport infrastructure in Australia for the next 20 years. This paper discusses the concepts of 'adequacy' developed for the study and how they were applied to each mode of transport. It also summarises the study's main findings. Two definitions of adequacy were employed, one technical, based on the physical and performance characteristics of transport infrastructure, and the other economic, based on cost-benefit analysis and an optimal timing criterion. Both technical and economic assessments of adequacy were undertaken for intercity roads and railways but only technical assessments were possible for seaports, airports and urban roads. Forecasts have been made of future expenditure needs for the infrastructure considered by the study over the next 20 years. The paper concludes with some general observations about these forecasts - their size, distribution and causes, and the direction of future strategic planning work of the type carried out by study. This paper shows how one country assessed the future adequacy of transport infrastructure. All countries need to be able to carry out such an assessment and this paper is published to provide information on one methodology.

This issue of Bulletin comprises of three articles:

Article 1: The adequacy of Australian transport infrastructure – by Mark Harvey and John Miller

Article 2: Modern transport systems in the globalized economy – by N.K. Gopalan Nair

Article 3: The development of a low-noise, high-speed Shinkansen train: a reflection of win350 development successes - Hideto Hidaka

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