Committee Communiqué

Melbourne Next

We look forward to welcoming you to our Annual Dinner on Thursday 10 May. Themed ‘Melbourne Next’, we will become part of the privileged few to dine under the iconic cerulean blue ceiling of one of the most recognised landmarks in our city, the recently refurbished Forum Melbourne.

Forum Melbourne

Award-winning journalist and author Brad Howarth will be our MC for the night. He is fascinated by change and has spent the last two decades writing about the effect technology is having on organisations, society and individuals.

Joined by our patron, Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria, we will celebrate significant contributions to our city and welcome another distinguished Life Member.

Join us as we embrace the next chapter Melbourne’s story.

We are fortunate to be supported in our efforts by partners who share our vision:

Presenting Partners
Grollo Group
Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Supporting Partners
PwC Australia
Marriner Group

Event Partners
ShineWing Australia
Sofitel Melbourne On Collins
Peter Jones Special Events 

RSVP and information


Airport link taking off

In the last 24 hours, the Commonwealth Government has pledged $5 billion build a rail link to Melbourne Airport.
Committee for Melbourne welcomes the announcement. It validates our strong, and sustained, advocacy program urging for the construction of a mass transit link to Melbourne Airport.
The Committee first called for an airport link back in 2006. In November 2016, we became more vocal on the issue, and have been working diligently – both publicly and privately – in pushing for its design and construction.  

Our panellists and members at our Melbourne Airport link taskforce in November 2017

The growing demands of population growth, tourism, and an expanding economy, are placing Melbourne under relentless pressure. A cleverly designed and constructed airport link will help alleviate congestion on our road network, as we look to transport increasing numbers of people to key metropolitan and regional centres in a timely and predictable manner.
It is critical that the authorities involved in developing the airport link business case clearly determine the problem we face, and devise the right solution for Melbourne, and Victoria. The Committee urges both the State and Federal governments to work with common purpose on this important project.
In designing an airport link, the Committee encourages authorities to consider the five guiding principles outlined in our submission to the Federal and State governments in January Airport link: from concept to commencement:

1. The future is already here: the situation is more urgent than is widely acknowledged.
2. An integrated and holistic perspective: connectivity to Melbourne’s metropolitan area, as well as Victoria’s regional centres must be considered.
3. Flexibility: any design must allow for technological, policy, and planning flexibility.
4. Customer-centric solution: customer needs must be at the centre of any solution.
5. Cost-benefit analysis: the project must consider a broad cost-benefit analysis.  

We look forward to reviewing progress on at our third Melbourne airport link taskforce slated for June. 

Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas MP will no doubt be touching on this piece of city-shaping infrastructure when he addresses our Foundation members in a boutique event post Budget. Invites for this free event will be out soon, get on the waitlist!

For more information on the work the Committee has undertaken in advocating for an airport link, please contact the Committee’s Policy and Research team. 

France gets serious about AI

“There’s no chance of controlling any effects [of these technologies] or having a say on any adverse effect if we’ve missed the start of the war"
                                                           -    Emmanuel Macron, President of France

French President Emmanuel Macron has committed €1.5 billion of public funding into Artificial Intelligence (AI) out to 2022.

The funding will support AI research, collect data for shared use, and encourage a vibrant start-up community.

This commitment is a sign of the growing recognition at the highest level of the importance of AI and its implications. Committee for Melbourne commends France for this initiative, and would like to see Australia become even more ambitious in this area. 

On 7 March, we successfully launched an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence on the steps of Parliament House, with Minister for Innovation and Digital Economy, The Hon. Philip Dalidakis MP and Shadow Minister for Innovation David Southwick MP. 

The Hon. Philip Dalidakis MP launches the Victorian All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence

Positioning ourselves to take advantage of the opportunities that AI presents, while mitigating the risks, is arguably the greatest strategic imperative we face as a city, state, and country. We will continue to work with our members to ensure this vital issue remains on the political agenda.

Read more

Facebook and the future

“Last year the idea took hold that Mark Zuckerberg might run for president in 2020 and seek to lead the world’s most powerful country. Today, Facebook’s founder is fighting to show that he is capable of leading the world’s eighth-biggest listed company or that any of its 2.1 billion users should trust it.”

The Economist recently highlighted how the business models of social media firms and other tech giants are under increasing pressure. As with anything in the fast-moving tech world, it is nearly impossible to predict where our technology-driven economy and, increasingly our community, will be in ten years. 

The current developments in this area highlight the value of not trying to predict the future, but rather explore the range of plausible futures, as we did with our Melbourne 4.0 Taskforce in 2016. 

In our scenarios, we explored Melbourne’s future in a world that is potentially playing out in front of our eyes:

“Reduced international trade produced an economic climate unfavourable towards the rapid development of new technologies. This was severely compounded by persistent cyber-security issues and scandals around technological developments… The technological disruption witnessed in the 2010s turned chaotic. Starting with the cyber meddling of the 2016 US elections, cyber security quickly became a major concern for governments, business and society at large. The public is in no mood to step into cars controlled by computers or to invest in businesses reliant on networked algorithms to succeed”.

If your organisation would like a briefing on Melbourne 4.0, and how scenario planning might help your organisation, please contact the Policy and Research team.

Shaping our membership

Our membership has become even more cross-sectorial over the past financial year, as we welcomed 24 new members.

We want to ensure that each member relationship is of the highest standard, so we have decided to cap membership at 160 organisations. If you know of a proud Melburnian organisation interested in shaping the future of Melbourne, get in touch!

Find out more about Committee for Melbourne membership.

Welcome and thank you to:
Huawei Technologies (Aust)
Open House Melbourne
Recoveries and Reconstruction
Russell Reynolds 
Melbourne Airport
Methodist Ladies' College
Racing Victoria
Wesley College
Guide Dogs Victoria
e-Centric Innovations
Vanguard Investments
City of Greater Dandenong
Victoria University Secondary College
Good Cycles
National Australia Bank
Transport for Victoria

Clive Dwyer
Director, Engagement

ACID special offer

Committee members AECOM, RMIT, Swinburne University of Technology, and new member Deakin University are part of the Australian Centre for Infrastructure Durability (ACID) – the organisation behind the push for a research hub for durable built infrastructure to be built in Melbourne. 

The Industrial Transformation Research Hub will bring together Australian and international research capabilities for the development of innovative maintenance and rehabilitation, infrastructure systems information, and the development of durable construction materials. Hub partners will have access to world class facilities and expertise, as well as opportunities to engage in commercial and research outcomes.

Committee for Melbourne members are invited to attend a free briefing on the creation of this Research Hub.

Date: Monday 23 April
Location: Deakin Downtown, Level 12, Tower 2, Collins Square, Docklands
Time: 11:00 to 12:30pm (lunch will be provided)

RSVP by Thursday 19 April 

For any enquiries and to RSVP, please contact: 

Dr Timothy Khoo 
(03) 9244 6795

Dr Will Gates
(03) 9246 8373

What's on our radar

This look at Europe’s densest neighbourhoods reveals some very interesting shared history. Read more.

Darebin Pitch IT gives everyone the opportunity to turn their great startup ideas into reality, and the grand final is on April 26. Read more.
Victorian Youth Week begins on Friday and runs until 22 April, with more than 100 events scheduled across the state. Read more.

The good news is...

For the first time in human history, deaths from measles have fallen below 100,000 per year, due to a global vaccination effort. Measles is a highly contagious disease and one of the leading causes of death in young children around the world. Read more

Our vision for Melbourne:

Global city of choice for people and organisations, due to its distinct blend of prosperity, opportunity and liveability.