The Honorable Joe Hockey, Australian Ambassador to the United States of America
Jennifer Aument, Group General Manager – North America, Transurban
Robert Puentes, President and CEO, Eno Center for Transportation
America’s struggle to build and renew its roads, airports, water treatment facilities, public buildings, and other infrastructure projects is old news. There is a constant drumbeat of news reports discussing our dilapidated bridges, inability to raise the federal gas tax, and the United States’ declining global competitiveness. Solutions and success stories, however, are rarely part of the discussion. One important example of a possible way to address some of our infrastructure woes is a strategy known as asset recycling.
Asset recycling is a system in which governments lease existing infrastructure to private entities. The fees generated from the lease are then used to invest in other infrastructure projects.
The most prominent example of where this tool has been used is in Australia. Between 2015 and 2017, that country’s Asset Recycling Initiative (ARI) helped finalize agreements with its states and territories worth nearly $3billion. These funds are have unlocked over $17 billion in infrastructure spending.
At 10am ET on August 29, 2017, Eno is honored to host Australian Ambassador Joe Hockey and Jennifer Aument from Transurban for a webinar discussion on asset recycling in Australia and its potential here in the United States.
About Ambassador Joe Hockey
The Honourable Joe Hockey is Australia’s Ambassador to the United States of America, taking up his posting in Washington in January 2016.
Mr Hockey has had a long and distinguished career in public service. He first entered Parliament in 1996 as the Member for North Sydney and spent more than seventeen years on the front bench.
Mr Hockey served as a Minister in a number of different portfolios including Financial Services, Small Business and Tourism, Human Services and Employment and Workplace Relations.
In 2013 Mr Hockey was appointed Treasurer of the Commonwealth and was responsible for all economic policy including fiscal policy. He served as Chair of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in 2014 and a member of the leadership troika in 2015. As Treasurer he was a regular delegate to IMF, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and APEC meetings.
Previously Mr Hockey served as a banking and finance lawyer with a major Australian law firm. He graduated from the University of Sydney with Bachelor degrees in Arts and Law.
Mr Hockey is married to Ms Melissa Babbage, a company director and former investment banker. They have three young children Xavier, Adelaide and Ignatius.
Transurban manages and develops urban toll road networks in the United States and Australia. Transurban partners with governments to meet the long-term transportation needs of communities – developing sustainable, safe, innovative and efficient projects. Transurban financed, operates and maintains the 495 and 95 Express Lanes, serving 3.5 million customers. Under an agreement with VDOT, Transurban will deliver and operate the 395 Express Lanes project.
The Eno Center for Transportation is an independent, nonpartisan think tank that promotes policy innovation and leads professional development in the transportation industry. As part of its mission, Eno seeks continuous improvement in transportation and its public and private leadership in order to improve the system’s mobility, safety, and sustainability.