Committee Communiqué

From the CEO

As 2016 draws to a close, I am taking this opportunity to reflect on what we have achieved with our members:

  • We launched our ambitious project, the MELBOURNE 4.0 Taskforce, to protect our city’s prized liveability and prosperity.
  • We continued to make a strong contribution to public policy debate by influencing policy through our Transport Series, Arts and Culture Roundtable and submission workshops. Our members’ expertise and contributions are highly valued by policy makers.
  • The Leading Thinker and Meet the Minister Series refreshed and stimulated us through inspirational speakers with great ideas for our city.
  • Members expanded their networks with all sides of politics at our third Annual Parliamentary Drinks.
  • Connections were made and our great city celebrated during our flagship Annual Dinner at Laurens Hall.

Planning is underway for 2017 with a full agenda of high quality events and policy input, including the launch of our MELBOURNE 4.0 report in the first quarter. The report will enable us to proactively prepare for Melbourne to thrive during a time of intense disruption by outlining four plausible futures for our city with matching strategies.

Another productive year is being planned for the Future Focus Group as the program moves from a biennial to an annual cycle with the 2017 cohort starting in February.

In the meantime, we are aiming to continue building the quality of our member services and membership. Our members are the best ambassadors for the Committee and we encourage you to draw others into our network.

On behalf of the Board and Secretariat, we look forward to working with you next year on issues that will improve Melbourne’s liveability and prosperity.

Please note that our office will be closed from 23 December 2016 to 2 January and will re-open Tuesday 3 January 2017. The Committee Communiqué will be back in February.

I wish you all the best for a safe and peaceful festive season.

Martine Letts

MELBOURNE 4.0 Taskforce workshop 2

The second MELBOURNE 4.0 workshop once again facilitated by Jester Consultants, Jeroen Toet and Ingrid van Hanswijk Pennink took place on Tuesday 6 December and focused the conversation on Melbourne’s choices for preparing for a series of possible futures. This important work will continue with members’ input online and a third and final workshop: Challenges and Strategic Options on 14 February. Make sure to mark your diaries, this is a unique opportunity to help shape Greater Melbourne’s future.  

Leading Thinker Series

Business Council of Australia Chief Executive, Jennifer Westacott gave a provocative and insightful speech to members about how cities have to adjust to change brought about by rapid technology and digital advancements. Hosted by Nous Group on 29 November, she argued that one of the macro trends affecting cities is the global power of consumers who possess the tools of innovation and will bypass established businesses to source goods and services.

Westacott said that while there are huge opportunities for Australia, cities like Melbourne and Sydney can only become competitive if they have purposeful planning for skilled migration, affordable housing and technological readiness.

The Leading Thinker Series will continue in 2017 with more experts providing new and thought-provoking insights into current and long-term issues relevant to Greater Melbourne and to the Committee’s agenda.

Arts and Culture Roundtable

At the recent Arts and Culture Roundtable two reports were tabled which looked at ways of boosting Melbourne’s visitability and status as an Arts and Culture capital

  • The Melbourne Recital Centre’s paper highlighted the need to build strong visual and physical connectivity between the arts precincts and supporting amenities such as cafes and bars. Ideas suggested included: utilising street furniture, street art and digital signage to market arts areas.
  • Arup’s report focused on identifying and developing bold and stimulating buildings and spaces to attract the next generation of creative innovators.

The Arts and Culture Roundtable will develop these ideas further in the New Year. 

Global Indigenous Management representatives, Tina Waru and Alicia Matene gave a presentation to the group about the ‘Indigenous Runway’ project that is nurturing the next generation of young Indigenous artists. The project is an excellent example of an enterprising organisation doing innovative work to encourage entrepreneurship and opportunities for employment of Indigenous artists. It aligns well with one of the key aims of Victoria’s First Creative Industries Strategy 2016-2020.   

Women in Leadership Summit

Committee for Melbourne CEO Martine Letts participated in the 4th Annual Women in Leadership Summit last week. She moderated a panel discussion on gender diversity in the workplace and bridging the gap between men and women in senior management. Some of the key takeaways from the discussion were:

  • Diversity is demonstrably good for business and a strategic issue, not an ideological one.
  • Diverse and inclusive teams bring different perspectives to the table and enrich business.
  • Flexible work arrangements are important for both women and men.
  • Diversity targets are as important for your business plan as financial targets.

Preparing Melbourne’s roads for the Metro Tunnel

The Melbourne Metro Rail Authority (MMRA) recently briefed Committee for Melbourne staff on its city-shaping project – the Melbourne Metro.

Building the nine kilometre twin rail tunnels and five new underground stations for the project will cause some unavoidable surface disruption for several years as road works will be undertaken at more than 250 locations across the CBD from early next year.

The MMRA has multiple strategies to make the process as seamless as possible for all road users including:

  • Investing more than $25 million in road and traffic management upgrades to keep the city moving while construction is underway.
  • Improving road networks across the city with lane changes, signalling upgrades and the installation of CCTV cameras and Bluetooth technology to allow for more real-time traffic monitoring and improved incident response.
  • Installing variable-message signs (VMS) which will use the traffic data collected from CCTV and Bluetooth monitoring to provide drivers with information on traffic conditions on key routes.
  • Replacing car parking spaces with an extra traffic lane to boost road capacity or banning parking during peak periods to ensure road space is used as efficiently as possible when it is needed most.
  • Working in conjunction with existing VicRoads initiatives to accommodate diverted traffic during construction.

More details on the Metro Tunnel website

Welcome to new Committee for Melbourne members

We would like to welcome two new members to the Committee for Melbourne:

Ian Potter Foundation – Not-for-profit member
Charter Keck Kramer – Corporate member

It is through the expertise of our membership, that we shape our policy positions and we look forward to working with you to shape a better future for Melbourne.  

What's on

For members

14 February 2017 – MELBOURNE 4.0 Taskforce Workshop 3: Challenges and Strategic Options, hosted by PwC

April/May 2017 – Committee for Melbourne Annual Dinner (exact date TBA)


11 February 2017 – Cabrini Health Let’s Beat Bowl Cancer Charity Gala Dinner

22-23 March 2017 – Cities 4.0 Summit: IoT solutions for the future smart city at Pullman Melbourne, Albert Park, for city leaders, business leaders, designers, entrepreneurs and innovators to apply ideas to real urban challenges in order to improve quality of life, strengthen economies and protect the environment.

The Committee for Melbourne is a supporting partner of the Cities 4.0 Summit. 


Committee for Melbourne member organisations can promote their company announcements, news, media coverage and events on the Committee for Melbourne website and social media. You can simply email any relevant items to Sophie at sbigaignon@melbourne.org.au or call on (03) 9667 8160.

Our vision for Melbourne:

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