Committee Communiqué

From the CEO

2018 Annual Dinner 

We are very much looking forward to seeing you all at our Annual Dinner on 10 May at the Forum Melbourne, one of our city's most exciting cultural venues. Recently restored, the Forum is an utterly enchanting place for a night of celebration and reflection on Melbourne’s history and future.


Forum Melbourne

We are delighted that our Patron, Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria, will be joining us, also to bestow two prestigious Melbourne Achiever Awards. This year the Committee will honour a leading individual and a leading organisation for their significant and sustained contributions to our city that will leave a lasting legacy.

The trophy is a replica of The Magic Pudding sculpture in the Botanical Gardens (a past Future Focus Group project). This year’s winners will receive a special centenary edition of the trophy.

There are just a few tables left, so please make sure you don’t miss out. RSVP and information

Our survey

The Committee for Melbourne wants your help.

On Monday 23 April we sent you a short survey to hear what you, our members, think are the priorities in a State election year. What you tell us will shape the Committee’s contribution on key policy issues.

Please take a few minutes to help shape Melbourne's future by completing this survey.

Budget season

It’s Budget season again, which takes on additional significance in an election year. We are looking forward to hosting the Victorian Treasurer, The Hon. Tim Pallas on 29 May at our annual Budget lunch for Foundation members, hosted by Foundation member EY. He will be joined by a distinguished panel of experts to discuss the Budget and the government’s longer-term economic planning for Melbourne’s future.

Free Tram Zone extension

We were very pleased to see that one of the leading candidates for the Mayor of Melbourne, and currently CEO of the Victorian Property Council, Sally Capp, has declared her support for extending the Free Tram Zone throughout the city. 

The Committee for Melbourne first proposed the Free Tram Zone in 2009, and in December last year we submitted a proposal to Minister Allan to extend the boundaries to include some of Melbourne’s most important cultural and sporting institutions. The Free Tram Zone is a significant part of Brand Melbourne and gives us a competitive advantage as an attractive, globally relevant and distinctive city. Read our submission.

Happy reading!


Small changes for quick results

Off peak public transport fares, improving cycling infrastructure, and a systematic review of the bus network are small, low cost changes that can be introduced in the next five years to have a large impact on congestion, according to a report by Infrastructure Victoria (IV).

The report, Five-year focus: Immediate actions to tackle congestion, focuses on changing commuter behaviour and encouraging the State Government to think differently about public transport, rather than on big infrastructure projects.

It found that a third of people who drive during peak periods could use other modes of transport, and one quarter could change their commute times. IV CEO Michel Masson called on other CEOs to rethink whether their employees really need to adhere to the traditional 9am to 5pm.

Other initiatives include increasing the car parking levy and expanding it to include Richmond, South Yarra, Windsor, and Prahran; developing a priority list of road space allocation initiatives; establishing a transparent fare-setting regime; and improving road connectivity around employment centres such as Dandenong South, Laverton, and the Melbourne Airport.

IV recommends these changes because in just 12 years from now, there will be an estimated 3.5 million additional trips on Melbourne’s transport network each day, and the time spent on congested roads will increase by 20 per cent.

Minister Eren shares his vision

Our ‘Meet the Minister’ series continued today with Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Sports, and Veterans, The Hon. John Eren MP.
He highlighted the significant successes of the Melbourne Major Events Strategy but also recognised the challenges ahead as we see significant changes in major events; participatory sports; spectator sports; infrastructure needs; and urban planning.
A panel session followed with Committee members Peter King, CEO MCEC; Jane Ballantyne, COO, Racing Victoria; and Minister Eren addressing the challenges of ‘Sport and events 4.0’.
Discussion also touched on the role of Federation Square and the proposed Apple Store, the success of the 10-year Melbourne and Olympic Park development agenda, and input from EY on how Melbourne is ahead of the curve on its events, arts and culture agenda.
The event was hosted by Committee member Ashurst, one of Melbourne’s leading law firms.

Grant Rowlands, Practice Group Lead, APAC, Infrastructure, Ashurst; Peter King, Chief Executive, MCEC; The Hon. John Eren MP; Martine Letts, CEO, Committee for Melbourne; Jane Ballantyne,COO, Racing Victoria 

Game of Thrones

Five Gold Dragons and a handful of Silver Stags to the President of the Australian Institute of International Affairs, Allan Gyngell, for weaving his analysis of the rise of China around George R. R. Martin’s medieval fantasy epic A Song of Ice and Fire – or as most of us know it, Game of Thrones

As he writes, “the post-war global order within which our entire contemporary foreign policy histories have passed is over… The challenge for Australia and New Zealand is how we manage a relationship with and within Asia more complicated than any we have known before”.

This challenge is particularly important for Melbourne. The rise of China, Britain after Brexit, the US after Trump, and an increasingly unpredictable North Korea – these are the geopolitical shifts that underpin the scenario planning in our Melbourne 4.0 report. These shifts, along with technological disruption and innovation, are the two key change drivers that will affect Melbourne’s economy to 2030. How we choose to respond to these changes will have lasting repercussions for the city.

Join us for action on dementia

The three teams of the Future Focus Group class of 2017-2018 are making progress on their projects, being:

  • Men’s Shed at Parkville
  • Myki Touch-Off for Homelessness
  • Dementia Friendly Melbourne Action Group

The Dementia Friendly Melbourne Action Group is, in conjunction with Dementia Australia, running a Breakfast Forum on Thursday 17 May to provide different perspectives on the issue. Presenters will include Professor Graeme Samuel AC in his capacity as Dementia Australia Chair, members of the community living with dementia, and a representative of an organisation on the path to becoming dementia-friendly.

RSVP via email or Eventbrite. 

FFG Class of 2018-2019 gets to work

The 29 participants in the class of 2018-19 had their second monthly workshop at Bank of Melbourne earlier this month, and Andrew Campbell of Cube Group ran a well-received session on setting up projects for success. These participants have secured, or are in the process of securing, a mentor as an integral element of their participation in FFG. The four Project teams are also busily working towards agreement on their proposed FFG project, ahead of the Project Review Panel in Council Chambers of Melbourne Town Hall on Tuesday 12 June.

Participants from the class of 2018-19 at their Induction Weekend 

New name & new high-speed rail

An airport rail link and high-speed rail between Melbourne and Geelong are one step closer today, with two announcements from Melbourne Metro Rail Authority (MMRA).

The first is that MMRA is changing its name to Rail Projects Victoria; the second is that work has begun on a high-speed rail link between Melbourne and Geelong, in preparation for a future link to Melbourne Airport.

The Victorian Budget 2018/2019 will include $50 million to investigate fast rail infrastructure upgrades and options, and pave the way for the development of a full business case.

At today’s Committee for Melbourne ‘Meet the Minister’ forum, Minister Eren highlighted the need for enhanced connectivity between Melbourne and Geelong. He indicated that the new fleet of trains being considered may be capable of travelling up to 300km per hour. 

Rail Projects Victoria remains under the Office of the Coordinator General which is an active member of the Committee for Melbourne and integral to our Melbourne 4.0 agenda.

Find out more.

Dialogue in the Dark

Our not-for-profit member Guide Dogs Victoria is bringing Dialogue in the Dark, a sensory journey set in total darkness, to Melbourne!

An international phenomenon which sells out in every destination, it is an enlightening experience where you step out of your comfort zone and take on different challenges.

Participants can take on the challenge of navigating a bustling, simulated Melbourne in the dark or take part in different workshops for businesses, community groups and teams on topics such as leadership, communication and diversity – all in absolute darkness.

In both cases, visitors are led through en environment with a guide with low vision or blindness and learn to interact and communicate by relying on non-visual senses.

The experience is designed to help you challenge yourself, discover skills, embrace creativity, and adopt a new perspective of the world around you.

Find out more.


Cultural Economics

The prestigious International Conference on Cultural Economics is coming to the Southern hemisphere for the first time, and will be hosted by RMIT University from 26-29 June. Delegates are coming to Melbourne from almost 50 countries.

The conference features specialist panels on the relationship between the arts and sport; the value of art; creative economy policies at a peri-urban level; investment in culture from an Indigenous perspective; new business models in funding, including the implications of blockchain technology in the creative industries; making a living in the arts; and repatriation of Indigenous ancestral remains. 

Committee for Melbourne is a Presenting Partner and will be facilitating a panel discussion on 'Sport 4.0' at the conference.

There are special registration options for members of industry, government, the arts, and other non-academics who wish to attend specific sessions at a reduced rate, from just $60 per session.

Find out more and register 

What's on our radar

Four factors that make affordable housing not so affordable. Read more.

Could artificial intelligence systems develop depression? Read more.
Solar panels creating equity issues for houses vs apartments. Read more.

The good news is

Yesterday was World Malaria Day and since 2000, the global death toll from malaria has been halved, from 839,000 in 2000 to 438,000 in 2015. The single most important factor that contributed to this decrease is insecticide-treated bed nets. Read more.  

Our vision for Melbourne:

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