Committee Communiqué

Melbourne Next: the highlights

Last month, we celebrated our work and our city at our 2018 Annual Dinner 'Melbourne Next' at the superb Forum Melbourne. If you missed it, fear not, the highlights reel is below!

Airport advocacy on track

Late last month, Committee for Melbourne received a letter from Minister for Public Transport and Major Projects, The Hon. Jacinta Allan MP, which acknowledged receipt of our submission to her department on 25 January 2018.

We are in contact with Minister Allan and Transport for Victoria, and look forward to our continual engagement with them as the project progresses. The five guiding principles which formed the basis of our submission remain valid, and we will continue to encourage Minister Allan, and the relevant authorities, to adhere to these principles while they are developing the business case. 
With intensifying public commentary surrounding the potential route of the proposed airport link, the Committee will host a forum in the third quarter of 2018 to discuss the merits of the key options. Stay tuned for more information.

Given the results of our recent member survey in which respondents listed a mass transit airport rail link as the third most important priority for the city after an integrated transport plan, on 25 July we are hosting the Secretary of the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources Richard Bolt PSM and Head of Transport for Victoria, Gillian Miles to discuss the Victorian Government's proposition for an integrated transport strategy for our city. Invitations to this Open Mind Forum will be distributed early next week.

Also, keep an eye out for two discussion papers the City of Melbourne is releasing for public discussion on a new transport strategy designed to give priority in the city to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users. We look forward to learning about the City of Melbourne’s approach and how its ideas can connect into a broader integrated Melbourne transport plan.

If you would like further information about our advocacy activities, or offer suggestions on how to progress the Committee’s work in this area, please contact our Policy and Research team on 9667 8140 or via email. 

The case for space in Victoria

Following the launch of the Victorian Government's campaign to make Victoria the home of the new Australian Space Agency at member Swinburne University of Technology, Associate Professor Alan Duffy makes the case for space below.

Half a century ago this nation became only the third in the world to build and launch a satellite from its territory.

Today, the Space Race is no longer between superpowers it’s between startups, with the space economy dominated by private investors. To increase Australia’s share of that sector, predicted to be worth $1 trillion by 2040, the Federal Government created the Australian Space Agency. Its mission is not to send people to space but rather create jobs for those people on Earth.
Victoria is well-placed to host that agency and capture new jobs in advanced manufacturing and data science.

Press conference for the launch of Victoria's bid to host the Australian Space Agency at Swinburne University's Eric Ormond Baker Charitable Fund Remote Observing Room

Our universities, such as in Swinburne’s Data Science Research Institute, have world-class Artificial Intelligence to analyse the commercially valuable images of Earth from space.

To generate the images, Victoria has both the largest and fastest 3D printers in Australia to rapidly build satellites of our design or provide components for others, particularly industry giants or ‘Primes’. Most Primes are already here, ensuring we are well placed to leverage that close connection. Just as importantly the state is also home to one fifth of all Australia’s aerospace companies. Victorian universities can train the workforce for this sector with an unrivalled third of all Australian ICT, Science and Engineering graduates.

The State of Victoria provides the Space Agency an unmatched industrial scale in this new space economy but irrespective of the agency’s location, Victoria will always collaborate with other States and Territories to leverage each other’s strengths, as shown by the SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre bid involving companies, South Australian and Victorian universities.

Towards the Final Frontier, Australia must advance as one.

Associate Professor Alan Duffy
Research Fellow in the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing
Lead Scientist of The Royal Institution of Australia
Swinburne University of Technology 

Pushing the boudaries for tech

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us! Every day we read about emerging technologies redefining our physical, digital and biological worlds, and the mounting concern that regulatory bodies the world over are ill-prepared and ill-equipped to effectively deal with the pace and scale of the change upon us.

So, what must we do? In their fascinating essay, Swinburne University’s Aleksandar Subic (who is also on the Prime Minister’s Industry 4.0 Taskforce) and Nicholas Davis (who is Head of Society and Innovation at the World Economic Forum in Geneva) offer an urgent and compelling argument for improved governance and stronger collaboration. 

While acknowledging the benefits of revolutionary new digital technologies to the economy, our quality of life and a more sustainable world, the authors argue that because governance solutions are out of step with today’s technologies, we must all take an active role in shaping the future direction of the technologies. We must build a bridge between the private and public sectors to ensure better outcomes, and we must gauge the moral and ethical ramifications of these emerging technologies. 

The Committee’s Melbourne 4.0 initiatives are actively addressing these issues, including via our Artificial Intelligence Taskforce and the work we have done to establish the Victorian All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence.

If you would like to get involved in our AI Taskforce, please contact the Committee via email or on 9667 8140.

C2: doing business differently

Last month, a delegation of 100 Australians travelled to experience the hugely successful C2 Montreal, the conference that’s ‘reinventing the way we do business’ (Harvard Business Review).

Among the group was our Patron Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Board Director Jacqui Savage and Melbourne business innovator Holly Ransom. Watch Holly’s take on the event here.

CEO - Asia Pacific - ‎C2 International Martin Enault and the Governor of Victoria at C2 Montreal 

Last week, our Director of Engagement Clive Dwyer opened a C2-style event hosted at member Sofitel Melbourne On Collins to introduce the concept to our city's HR leaders. As Clive put it "C2 Melbourne is an opportunity for decision-makers to sit alongside risk-takers and to embrace a future of accelerated change together".

Clive Dwyer opens C2 event for HR professionals

Lessons in embracing disruption will be abundant at C2 Melbourne in October. From a cross-section of industries, leaders will bring their greatest challenges, their brightest people and their best game to experience the immersive, interactive and collaborative world of C2, the brainchild of Cirque du Soleil and global creative agency Sid Lee.

What will they take away? Transformative ideas, cultivated alliances, redefined strategies, and a newfound ability to embrace accelerated change. What is about to disrupt your industry? Find out at C2 Melbourne, 17-19 October 2018.

Committee for Melbourne is proud to be a ‘Partner from Day One’ of C2 Melbourne and our members enjoy a $600 discount on tickets using promo code 'C2LOVESCFM'.

Learn more and purchase your pass on the C2 Melbourne website.

GDV leverages digital innovation

Last Thursday, Committee for Melbourne member Guide Dogs Victoria (GDV) announced that it had been working with software firm ThoughtWorks, in a bid to use digital innovation to enhance lives.

Together, they have developed the 'SensaCane', enabling those with low vision or blindness to cross complex intersections without a Guide Dog. GDV Innovation Manager, John-Ross Barresi, came up with the idea after working with clients who routinely had issues with crossing major intersections. 

General Manager of Client and Guide Dog Services, Alastair Stott, discusses the SensaCane prototype with ThoughtWorks engineer

This 'smart cane' prototype uses optical infrared sensors in the tip to detect white lines on the road and trigger vibration feedback to the user when veering off track. It is intended to provide the guidance needed to make intersection crossing easier and safer.

“While Guide Dog services represent 30 per cent of what we do, digital innovation has a big role to play in constantly improving our offering to clients to improve their quality of life", said GDV’s General Manager of Client and Guide Dog Services, Alastair Stott.

Following extensive testing, the SensaCane is almost ready to go into production. GDV is currently seeking funding support for commercial production of the SensaCane prototype, with the aim of having the device available for its low vision and blind clients in the near future. If you are interested in helping please contact GDV's Major Donor Relationship Manager, Tracy Purcell.

Welcome Queen Vic Market

We are thrilled to welcome new Corporate member, Queen Victoria Market!

We asked Queen Victoria Market (QVM) CEO Stan Liacos about his organisation and why they decided to join Committee for Melbourne :

“Queen Victoria Market (QVM) has been Melbourne’s premier marketplace for over 140 years, serving as an incubator for local small businesses, a destination for local and international visitors, and a melting pot of cultures. QVM is looking forward to collaborating with the Committee for Melbourne and other members, to share its knowledge as a major contributor to what makes Melbourne special, and assist with the development of this great city.”

What's on our radar

25 level crossings gone for good - This month will see 25 dangerous and congested level crossings gone for good – saving lives and making communities all over Melbourne safer. The Committee has a well established history of looking at ways to improve Melbourne’s transport network and has been advocating for grade separation since the establishment of our Shaping Melbourne Taskforce in 2010.

Sofitel named 'Best Australian Hotel' - Luxury Travel Magazine’s 14th annual Gold List Awards, voted by readers, has just been announced, with member Sofitel Melbourne On Collins named Best Australian Hotel. Bravo on this very well-deserved accolade!

Melbourne road to be built with recycled plastic waste - Committee for Melbourne member Hume City Council and Infrastructure Company Downer have partnered with two resource recovery and recycling companies, taking soft plastics and glass diverted from landfills to construct a Victorian road in an Australian-first trial.

Upcoming events

The world's first habitable 3D-printed homes are to be built in the Dutch city of Eindhoven - a move which developers hope will help transform the construction industry. Find out more

Our vision for Melbourne:

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