From the CEO
Last week I attended US Vice President Joe Biden’s address to Boeing employees at the Boeing Aerostructures site at Port Melbourne and an address by the Global President of the Alibaba Group, Michael J Evans, hosted by Asialink and the Australia China Business Council. During his visit to Melbourne, Biden also officiated at the opening of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.
Both visits are powerful illustrations of the high value delivered to Melbourne (and Australia) of international economic engagement with the world’s two largest economies, via free trade relationships, commercial engagement and world-class R&D collaboration.
Boeing's presence in Australia is the company’s largest footprint outside the United States. The Alibaba Group (valued at $AUD 263 billion) recently surpassed international competitors as the world’s largest retail platform.
While Joe Biden focused on the benefits of free trade agreements for employment and growth, Michael Evans underlined the opportunities for Australian businesses to participate in, and benefit from, the dynamic and evolving global e-commerce ecosystem. Alibaba will open its first office in Melbourne to service the Australian and New Zealand markets as part of the company's globalisation effort.
Evans said that the Alibaba platform offered a unique opportunity for small and medium sized Australian businesses to export into the rapidly growing markets in Asia at an affordable cost due to the efficiency and reach of Alibaba’s global platform. Australia is already a highly trusted source of goods in China, particularly in the agribusiness and pharmaceutical sector. Alibaba’s Australian strategy covers e-commerce, online payments, logistics and cloud-computing businesses.
Fishermans Bend update
The final vision for Fishermans Bend Recast Vision that includes recent community feedback is expected to be released in August 2016. Following on from its own submission, the Committee will be interested in the November release of the Fishermans Bend Framework. The Framework will provide a number of studies and expert reports to outline strategies and guidance for transport infrastructure, community infrastructure, public space, density and sustainability.
Public engagement on draft apartment design standards is scheduled to take place in August 2016. Having a focus on urban optimisation enables the Committee to contribute a considered response when the opportunity arises. Better apartment design guidelines are expected to be released later this year.
Two new suburbs for Melbourne’s West
Continuing on with urban optimisation, the Metropolitan Planning Authority has released Precinct Structure Plans (PSPs) for two new Melbourne suburbs, Plumpton and Korowoit. The plan proposes a large town centre accessible by pedestrians and cyclists as well as by car and future bus transport along a new street network. It features conservation areas and parks as well as protected native grasslands and indigenous plants. As the future home to more than 55,000 residents, these two suburbs are expected to provide affordable housing to a growing population.
Victorian visitor economy
The Victorian Visitor Economy Strategy was released on Tuesday by The Hon. John Eren MP, Minister for Tourism and Major Events. Following extensive research and consultation, the strategy reveals the impact all areas of government have on the visitor experience and is instructive for how agencies such as Visit Victoria, Federation Square and Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, can work together to improve visitor experiences. Capitalising on tourism means more business opportunities and more jobs.
Survey on Australian water
What do you know about water and what don’t you know about it? What are your biggest concerns? What more do you want to find out? Go online to Arup’s Australian Water survey that aims to understand what both consumers and water professionals think about water in Australia. From the survey information, a final report will be produced that will ‘… shape education initiatives and policy advocacy campaigns … and ensure that water is available, protected and secured for all Australians in the future’.
Welcome to new members
We would like to welcome more new members to the Committee for Melbourne:
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 in August for members
3 August – Arts and culture roundtable, hosted by Victorian Opera at Horti Hall
23 August – Leading thinker series with Ian Harper, Consultant, Deloitte Access Economics, hosted by Places Victoria
A few places are left for our next Leading thinker presentation by Ian Harper on 23 August at Places Victoria. Ian Harper is one of Australia’s best known economists who currently sits on the board of the Reserve Bank of Australia and is a Senior Advisor to Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. Ian Harper’s address 'The Purpose of Place reconsidered' uses some fascinating urban and demographic data and ten measures of prosperity, to illustrate the importance of place for prosperity and how individuals, business, communities and government will need to collaborate to help ensure that Australia and Australians can continue to flourish in the context of a changing economy.
25 August – Lunch speaker series with The Hon. Philip Dalidakis, Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, hosted by AECOM
For the public
5 August – Sandy Powell OBE in Conversation with Rachel Griffiths, hosted by ACMI at Sofitel Melbourne On Collins
July 28 to August 14 – Melbourne International Film Festival
10 August – Flinders Street Station Improving the Customer Experience, presentation on the redevelopment of Flinders Street Station, hosted by Engineers Australia Victoria and Railway Technical Society of Australasia
28 - 30 September – Planning cities for the 21st century: Australian British Infrastructure Investment Catalyst, Australian British Chamber of Commerce
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 email@example.com or call on (03) 9667 8160.