Hon Stephen Smith delivers the National Trust of Australia (WA)’s 2014 CY O’Connor Lecture, The State of Nation Building – the Future for Infrastructure. R Bishop
Former Federal minister Stephen Smith has urged governments and political parties not to fear controversy when planning Australia’s future infrastructure needs.
Speaking at the ninth annual C Y O’Connor Lecture in Perth, organised by the National Trust of Australia (WA) and supported by the Water Corporation of Western Australia and Engineers Australia, Mr Smith said the true test of a great work was whether it stood the test of time as a productive economic and social contribution.
Mr Smith praised CY O’Connor’s bravery and vision for creating Fremantle Port, the Perth to Goldfields pipeline and expanding Western Australia’s rail network in the latter years of the 19th century.
The former minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence cited Perth traffic congestion as a major issue affecting the liveability of the city in 2014 and predicted CY O’Connor would choose to expand public transport systems using rail, not road, as a solution to the problem.
Mr Smith said O’Connor’s legacy as the architect of iconic pieces of infrastructure in WA was testament to his imagination and courage.