Committee Communiqué

From the CEO


Today I want to highlight some items from different worlds, but with great significance for shaping Melbourne’s future.
Free Tram Zone temporary extension to MCG and why we should make it permanent

The Andrews Government just announced that it is extending “Melbourne’s popular” Free Tram Zone (FTZ)” to stops near the MCG as work ramps up on major infrastructure projects over June". 

We call on the government to make this a permanent change and are delighted that the FTZ extension is supported by the recently elected Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Cr Sally Capp.

Committee for Melbourne first called for free tram travel in central Melbourne in 2009 to make Melbourne more liveable by reducing traffic congestion and improving pedestrian and cyclist safety. When the Andrews Government introduced the FTZ in 2015, its scope was more limited.

In December 2017, we again proposed extending the FTZ to our primary arts, sporting and convention destinations as a simple and effective way of enhancing Melbourne’s visitability and brand to benefit Victorians and visitors alike. 

The proposed extension is unlikely to significantly reduce fare box revenue as many people using the free trams have already paid to travel into the city.

Business events are the cornerstone of the visitor economy: The MCEC welcomes two million visitors annually, adding $1 billion to our economy, but many visitors are unaware that the venue is just outside the FTZ. So including the MCEC in the FTZ will immediately improve delegate satisfaction and improve our international marketing position.

Finally, an extended FTZ will integrate the Arts Precinct and Melbourne Museum into the CBD, and attract more visitors and greater investment in these areas. It will connect our major sporting and arts destinations, thereby enhancing Melbourne’s status as a global sporting and cultural capital.

With the recently announced major redevelopment of Melbourne’s arts precinct, in a “once-in-a-generation transformation” to cement Melbourne’s status as Australia’s cultural capital, what better time to expand the FTZ to attract even more Melburnians and visitors to Melbourne’s cultural and sporting heartland.

Melbourne 4.0 scenarios coming to life
Last week, Australia welcomed the upgrade of the India and Indonesia alliance to a "comprehensive strategic partnership”. The agreement includes closer military ties, which is a significant development for our region, and one which echoes one of our Melbourne 4.0 scenariosRiding the Wave:
As economic weight shifts, so does strategic weight. The United States has effectively disengaged from Asia. The resulting vacuum has been filled by China, which is increasingly creating facts on the ground at several strategic locations in the region based on historical claims. This has led to the creation of a new intra-Asian alliance to balance Chinese power.
In a related development, this week, Premier Daniel Andrews and the Chairman of Asia Society Hong Kong Centre and Asia Society Global Chair Emeritus Mr Ronnie Chan announced the establishment of the new Asia Society Australia Centre in Melbourne. It will be the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, and will bring a world-class institution and programming to our global city, boosting Melbourne’s status as Australia’s gateway to the world’s fastest growing region. Find out more.

Happy reading,

Shape Melbourne's future

Committee for Melbourne is proudly independent and fully resourced by its membership.

For over 30 years, members have been our lifeblood and focused on Melbourne’s future prosperity.

With the launch of the Melbourne 4.0 program and increased engagement across a range of initiatives we have seen our membership grow to 148 members representing a range of Melbourne’s business and community leaders. 

30 new members have joined recently representing an exciting growth in our cross-sectoral membership, providing input into to our policy, advocacy, taskforces, and leadership programs.

2018-19 new membership applications are now open for Foundation, Corporate or Not-for-profit membership. The annual membership commences July 1st 2018 

•    Review the Committee for Melbourne program
•    Review our 2018 program update 
•    Contact us to arrange a briefing.

Clive Dwyer
Director, Engagement 

Lunch with Tim Pallas

Following the release of the 2018-19 Victorian State Budget on 1 May, Victorian Treasurer Mr Tim Pallas MP, shared his insights at an exclusive Foundation-Member only lunch, kindly hosted by member EY.

The Treasurer provided an overview of his fourth budget – the one he is most proud of – commenting on the "beautiful set of numbers" which denote another strong surplus.

Mr Tim Pallas MP

Treasurer Pallas outlined the Victorian economy’s growth trajectory emphasising that our state is the engine room of the nation, with an outstanding 3.9% growth against 2% for the rest of Australia – a growth unseen since the GFC.

The Treasurer focused on how the Victorian Government is putting the building blocks in place for all Victorians to share in the state's growth and prosperity.

In particular, he discussed the budget's emphasis on continued jobs growth pointing out that more than one in ten jobs that exist today didn't exist 3.5 years ago. He also outlined the substantial investment in projects and services vital to the state’s economic future, such as initiatives to train the next generation of Victorians and upskill the workforce in in-demand industries.

He also drew attention to the government's substantial investments in transport infrastructure to help Melbourne, and Victoria, cope with rapid population growth.   

During a panel discussion with Arup Principal, Joseph Correnza; EY's Education Lead, Catherine Friday and Plenary Group's Head of Origination, Paul Crowe, the Treasurer candidly shared his views on the future of housing, planning for growth and digital capability. 

L to R: Panellists Paul Crowe, Catherine Friday, Mr Tim Pallas MP and Joseph Correnza 

He shared the government's interest in the build-to-rent sector and in particular in a proposition that has a robust social connection. He noted the work the State Government is undertaking to assess the right level of support it should provide the sector, in particular, how planning scheme alterations could facilitate growth in the sector. 

L to R: EY Melbourne Managing Partner and Committee for Melbourne Director Gerard Dalbosco, Joseph Correnza, Paul Crowe, Catherine Friday, Mr Tim Pallas MP, Committee for Melbourne CEO Martine Letts, Committee for Melbourne Chair Scott Tanner

Read Committee for Melbourne's 2018-19 State Budget briefing note.

View the event photos

Can resillience unlock cities?

On 23 May, Committee for Melbourne supported member EY as they launched their latest report: 'How can resilience thinking unlock the complexity of cities?'

EY Oceania Lead for Future Cities, Adam Fennessy discussed the report’s findings, including the need to formulate a new approach to cities by viewing them through the lens of resilience. 

Adam Fennessy discussing the report findings 

The report maintains that resilience thinking can optimise the performance of cities, make them less prone to disruption, and better address 21st century urban challenges.

Committee CEO, Martine Letts, formed part of the panel discussion, which included: 

  • Toby Kent, Chief Resilience Officer, City of Melbourne 
  • Christine Wyatt, Deputy Secretary – Planning, DELWP
  • John Matthews, Partner, Infrastructure Advisory, EY

The panel discussed and debated aspects of the report, including how entrepreneurs, corporations and governments must work together to determine how effectively cities can transform to build a better working world, as well as the practical implications for city leaders, planners, policy makers, government agencies and industries.

Committee for Melbourne, through its membership base, is helping tackle many of the issues discussed throughout the launch, including the challenges of Melbourne’s governance structures for planning, the need for an integrated transport system, and the future skills needed to drive the economy forward.   

Solve our housing crisis

Tonight, 116,427 Australians will have nowhere safe or secure to sleep. Tomorrow the same. In Victoria alone, almost 25,000 people are homeless. 

While the causes of homelessness are varied and complex, there is a strong link between homelessness and the cost of housing.

Australia has a shortfall of 200,000 affordable dwellings. It is predicted that this number will grow to 600,000 by 2030. No government, organisation or individual can solve this issue alone.   

But the fact remains that every person has the right to safe and secure housing.

Image: Homes for Homes 

Homes for Homes, an initiative of Committee member The Big Issue, supports social and affordable housing projects by inviting the Australian community to be part of the solution.

How Homes for Homes works:

  • Property owners register their property with Homes for Homes
  • When they sell their property, they make a tax-deductible donation to Homes for Homes, equivalent of 0.1% of the property’s sale price (a $500,000 property is a $500 donation)
  • Homes for Homes remains on the property title, encouraging all future property owners to make a donation when they sell
  • Homes for Homes is voluntary, property owners can withdraw their property at any time

To date, major developers across Australia, with a combined pipeline of more than 8,000 properties, have signed up to take part. 

Visit Homes for Homes to find out more or join the community. 

IV advice on automated vehicles

Infrastructure Victoria (IV) is preparing advice for the Victorian Government on how our state can prepare for the vehicles of the future, and recently published a new ‘Future scenarios’ report as part of this work.

What if cars were driverless, shared, electric-powered, or hydrogen-fuelled? These are just some of the possibilities outlined in the report, which detailed seven possible futures for automated and zero emissions vehicles in Victoria. Watch the short animation.

In developing its final advice, IV is consulting broadly with a range of stakeholders. This included a workshop with Committee for Melbourne members in February. You can read a report from its first phase of consultation here.

IV workshop with Committee for Melbourne members

Work is now underway to analyse and understand factors such as how and where we would charge or refuel our cars, and what kind of transport and ICT infrastructure might be required under each scenario.

The next milestone is August, when IV will publish the evidence base that it will use to form its recommendations to government. A summary report that breaks down findings and research by scenario will also be published and members will be able to provide feedback during this consultation period.  

For more information on this work, contact IV or visit their website.


Future Focus Group 2016-17 project Share the Pie!, a campaign shining a light on the inadequacy of Newstart – as little as $38.98 a day for a single unemployed adult – is gaining momentum.

Last week, Federal Parliament Press Gallery icon Michelle Grattan explored the theme in her Politics Podcast
She spoke with Brotherhood of St Laurence Chief Conny Lenneberg about the ‘fair go’ and how below subsistence support for unemployed Australians is proving a barrier to those people participating in the workforce. Job hunters on low incomes, already finding it challenging to secure affordable housing, struggle to cover basic costs of their job search, including paying for transport and presentable clothing for interviews.

As part of the push, leading media company and Committee for Melbourne member Adshel has supported a striking ‘share the pie’ poster campaign currently being rolled out at bus stops across Canberra.

Share the Pie! poster at a Canberra bus stop
Photo: Brotherhood of St Laurence 

Sarah Tutton (ACMI), Lawrence Lam (Lumenary Investment Management), Elise White (AusNet Services), Natalie Thorne (WEHI) and Gavin Scherer (AECOM) worked on the pie motif campaign as part of their FFG project which has now been taken over by national anti-poverty group, the Brotherhood of St Laurence.

Join the conversation online using #SharethePie #RaisetheRate

The promise of the future


For the past three decades Noel Pearson has been recognised as one of Indigenous Australians’ most important leaders. He has also come to be seen as one of our country’s most significant thinkers, notable for his independence from both the Left and the Right.

In the late 1990s, Noel broke through a taboo by speaking openly about the damage alcohol, drugs and welfare dependency were doing to his people. Working closely with the Indigenous community, he has pioneered an experiment aimed at finding a new way for his people: full engagement in the globalised economy without the surrender of cultural identity.  

You are invited to join Committee member La Trobe University in a conversation with Noel Pearson and distinguished member of the younger generation of Indigenous leaders, Professor Megan Davis on a question that will help determine Australia’s 


What: Indigenous Australians: The Promise of the Future
When: 6:45 - 8:15 pm, Thursday 14 June 2018
Where: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Clarendon Auditorium
               Level 2, 2 Clarendon Street, South Wharf, VIC, 3006
Cost: $30 General /CfM members $20* / $15 Students

Book your ticket and redeem your CfM member discount. Your discount will automatically be applied to the General Admission ticket. 

More information & contact the La Trobe events team

What's on our radar

The Property Council of Australia, in conjunction with Committee for Melbourne Foundation member, Urbis, released a compelling report last month, Creating Great Australian Cities.
The report’s purpose was to identify the forces of change shaping Australia’s cities, what Australian cities can learn from the rest of the world, and what is required to create great Australian cities for the future.  
Of note, was the conclusion that Melbourne’s brand outshone its actual product. The report found that Melbourne was ranked 14th across all benchmarks containing a perception component, yet was ranked just 23rd when measuring performance across the same benchmarks.
This striking observation is one our policymakers must take seriously. Melbourne will not retain its title as the 'World’s Most Liveable City' indefinitely. 

Welcome new member

We are thrilled to welcome new Foundation member, IFM Investors! 

We asked Associate Director, Marketing and Communications Rob Lawson to tell us about his organisation:

"IFM Investors is delighted to join the Committee for Melbourne. We are an investor-owned global fund manager with offices across Australia, Asia, Europe and North America, but we are proud to call Melbourne home. We were established in 1995 to provide institutional investment management to aligned, patient investors, and we quickly established an investment niche in Infrastructure, Debt Investments, Listed Equities and Private Equity. IFM Investors aims to maximise long-term net returns in a responsible, patient and strategic manner. We are headquartered in Melbourne as our owners, a collective of profit-to-member Australian superannuation funds, are largely based in Melbourne".

The good news is...

Work begins on Canada’s first ‘dementia village' - the culmination of years of research, it is called 'The Village', a place where people with dementia can live their life, their way, every day. Find out more.

2017-18 FFG group Dementia Friendly Melbourne Action Group is working to create a dementia-friendly Melbourne, starting with dementia-friendly organisations. 

Our vision for Melbourne:

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