Committee Communiqué

From the CEO

How to manage our population growth: Roundtable with Minister Alan Tudge
On 12 November, the Committee was honoured to be invited to a small roundtable with Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Cities and Population, The Hon Alan Tudge MP, for a population roundtable discussion with a dozen other Melbourne-based businesses and peak bodies. 
The message to the Minister was very clear: the response to the challenge of population growth in Australia’s fastest growing cities is not resolved by a quick fix cut to migration numbers, and could actually slow down economic development and have a negative effect on much needed services for Australians in cities and regions. Governments at all levels had failed to plan adequately for growth, and have under invested in critical transport, housing and other urban infrastructure, a deficit which was finally being addressed, but which was playing catch up.
The importance of a comprehensive and bipartisan approach to affordable housing was a key theme in the discussion, and provided an opportunity for the Committee to advocate for a build-to-rent as an investment class policy which requires Federal and State taxation reform to succeed. Governance was another key challenge, with a bipartisan, cross-jurisdictional approach the most promising for successful urban development. City Deals and the Greater Sydney Commission were cited as successful innovations for longer term planning, and in that context, I raised the Committee’s proposal for the introduction of metropolitan-wide management such as a Greater Melbourne Commission, empowered to act in the interests of Greater Melbourne.
The meeting was a great opportunity to raise with the Minister a number of relevant Committee for Melbourne projects which are addressing Greater Melbourne’s growth challenges, including our Transport and Housing Mix Taskforces and how we can unlock more economic activity while taking pressure off our cities by building an Eastern Seaboard megaregion.
While it seems our inputs were too late to deflect that government’s intention to lower the migration cap from 190,000 per year to 160,000, we were pleased to have been able to share with the Minister the importance of taking a longer-term strategic approach to challenges which cuts to migration alone cannot fix.  
Two days to go before the Victorian State election
Population growth and other issues were flagged in the Committee’s 2018 statement of priorities for the new Victorian Government last month, where we outlined our vision for the future, addressing the rapid pace of change we are experiencing as a city and a country.

In our statement we urged the new Victorian Government to develop a long-term plan for managing population growth and pressure on our housing and transport infrastructure through an integrated densification, housing and transport strategy and place-making to support Melbourne’s prized liveability in a highly competitive world.
We have received positive reactions from members and stakeholders to our agenda, with good media coverage in The Age.

Airport link one step closer
Finally, we welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement that it backs the Sunshine route supported by the State Government. We hope this will bring us a step closer to building that much needed airport link. Now we need to focus on the details of the business case, and in particular, the need for speed, reliability and competitiveness.You can read the Committee’s latest position paper on this topic here.

Happy reading!

Think Big over dinner...

There are exactly six months to go before our 2019 Annual Dinner!

Taking place on 22 May in the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre's expansion, our members will come together to think big...

Invitations are being prepared for our annual black tie event. If you have a ‘big idea’ about shaping Melbourne’s future you would like to share on the night we are keen to hear from you.

We are also able to discuss advance table bookings, explore branding and sponsorship packages and our VIP guest hosting program. If you would like to be part of the planning for  Melbourne’s premier gala dinner event, please contact us! 

View the photos from our 2018 Annual Dinner.

Fostering a culture of giving in Australia

A well-regulated not-for-profit sector is essential to support and foster a culture of giving in Australia, which in turn benefits the community. 

It is for this reason that Committee for Melbourne’s Not-for-profit Taskforce invited the Commissioner of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), The Hon Dr Gary Johns, to discuss with members the work the Commission is doing to ensure the sector is well-regulated. 

Kindly hosted by Foundation member PwC Australia on 1 November, Dr Johns discussed the work being undertaken to ensure a more visible and transparent charity sector. He acknowledged that part of the ACNC’s challenge was to get a sense of a charity's lifecycle, and to measure each charity in terms of its vibrancy, independence, robustness, and innovative capacity.  

The Hon Dr Gary Johns 

A panel session followed Dr Johns keynote presentation, which included Guide Dogs Victoria CEO Karen Hayes and Hall and Wilcox Special Counsel Frank Hinoporos. The panellists reiterated the importance of transparency in the not-for-profit sector as well as the need for not-for-profit organisations to show sponsors and donors that they are making efforts to generate revenue from multiple sources.

L to R: Committee for Melbourne CEO Martine Letts, Frank Hinoporos, The Hon Dr Gary Johns, Karen Hayes 

Guide Dogs Victoria Ambassador Dog Willow

An equitable energy future

Following the review of our 2010 blockbuster report 'Melbourne Beyond 5 Million' and in the lead up to the State Election, Committee for Melbourne called for an Equitable Energy Future for residents, business and industry, with affordable, reliable, dispatchable and environmentally responsible power provision.

While Melbourne in 2018 is a success story, 'Melbourne Beyond 5 Million, Revisited' has identified a number of challenges to our prosperity and liveability, including energy.
While energy initiatives in recent times have focused on sustainability, the issues of affordability, reliability and dispatchability now require increased attention. 

For example, electricity and gas prices continue to rise and we are running out of gas. The risks is that our electricity transmission networks will not be able to cope with the diverse range and distribution of intermittent energy sources being introduced in locations remote from the centres of energy demand.

We need to be bold in considering our energy options and transparent in putting all ideas forward. We must develop energy solutions that enable city productivity, are aligned with industry policy and which can power future transport modes.

Read our latest policy paper.
Read the media coverage.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is a metaphor for change

Earlier this month, as part of our Leading Thinker Series, we hosted an event with Foundation member Telstra to delve into implications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for governments and institutions. At the commencement of proceedings Foundation members Telstra, represented by Tully Smith, and GHD, represented by Jacyl Shaw, were presented with recognition awards for 10 and 16 years of membership respectively.  

L to R: Jacyl Shaw, Committee for Melbourne CEO Martine Letts, Tully Smith

Committee for Melbourne Director of Policy and Research, Sander van Amelsvoort, framed the event by detailing the Committee’s work on the Fourth Industrial Revolution as part of our Melbourne 4.0 agenda including the AI taskforce, VAPPGAI and work for the World Economic Forum (WEF).

WEF Head of Society and Innovation Nicholas Davis gave the keynote address, noting the Fourth Industrial Revolution is a metaphor for the change that is happening and therefore should not be considered a historical or academic exercise. Ethics of technology were discussed in depth, with Nicholas stressing outcomes of technology are not deterministic, meaning technology can and must be embedded within societal values.

Nicholas Davis 

Joining Nicholas for the panel discussion, Swinburne University's Professor Aleksandar Subic detailed how partnerships with industry are important to prepare students for the coming changes and represented a system of trust was needed for society to embrace new technologies. The willingness of leaders to be prepared for change and reimagine how their organisations are structured was identified as a key challenge by fellow panellist Nous Group's Tanya Smith – a point strongly endorsed by the panel.

L to R: Prof. Aleksandar Subic, Tanya Smith, Nicholas Davis, Sander van Amelsvoort

If you are interested in further reading, Nicholas’ book Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution covers many of the points discussed.

Future Focus Group update

Members of the FFG Class of 2017-2018 completed their 21 months of participation with a Graduation Dinner on Tuesday that was kindly hosted by Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. We will be sharing more on their projects in future editions of Communiqué. 

The graduating class of 2017-2018

We have been busy receiving nominations for the FFG 2019-2020 Program, which commences with an Induction Weekend in February, and interviewing nominees. To give new member organisations of the Committee the opportunity to nominate an emerging leader for this program, we have kept the nomination window open, but we are looking to finalise the class composition before the Christmas break.

Please contact General Manager Future Focus Group, Matt Gaffney, if you would like to find out more.

Preparing for the unexpected

Urban resilience is a hot topic. Not only are cities the world over preparing to better respond to natural and manufactured disasters, they are taking steps to prevent disasters from occurring in the first place.
As Melbourne is far from being immune to a suite of potential shocks, members were fortunate to hear – as part of our Leading Thinker Series – from Leader of Arup International Development Jo da Silva on how we can begin to prepare for the unexpected. 

Leading Thinker Jo da Silva 

Hosted by Foundation member Arup earlier this month, Jo discussed the need for Melbourne to shift gears from ‘response’ to ‘resilience’, and to understand that predicting the future and preventing unwanted disruptions from occurring is no longer relevant.

With uncertainty and complexity now forming the basis for city resilience, it is critical that Melbourne understand its particular stresses, whether social or environmental (or both), and develop cohesive systems-based responses for shocks when they occur.       

Resilient Melbourne's Maree Grenfell moderated a panel discussion involving Leading Thinker Jo, Telstra's Ranil Sharma and the Victorian Planning Authority's Stuart Moseley. Given the breadth of expertise on the panel, it elicited a fascinating discussion concerning Melbourne’s capacity to respond to unexpected shocks from a variety of viewpoints.   

Research, tech and passion can bring rock art to the masses

The monumental scale, inaccessibility and fragility of rock art means very few people can experience the art form which is possibly one of human’s earliest mediums of expression.

On 22 October, Committee for Melbourne partnered with Kimberley Foundation Australia (KFA) and foundation member Allens to present a project that has been years in the making, The Adventure of Rock Art (TARA).

Allens Partner Paul Kenny, shared the pro-bono work his organisation undertakes for KFA then graciously accepted an award from the Committee recognising Allens' 17 years of membership.

Paul Kenny and Committee for Melbourne Director of Engagement Clive Dwyer 

TARA Project Leader Martin Marquet, discussed the many years of collaboration between his organisation and KFA. He then shared the culmination of their research journey over the past 10 years, the creation of a collective virtual reality platform called ‘The Erodor’. The Erodor will allow the wonders of rock art, including Australian Indigenous rock art, to be transplanted, in a well-researched and authentic way, to cities around the world. In addition, TARA will reinvest a portion of ticket sales into research and preservation of rock art sites around the world.

Martin Marquet 

TARA is currently seeking to start conversations with organisations interested in presenting Australian Indigenous rock art using the virtual reality platform. Any members interested in the program should contact us.

What's on our radar

In an Australian-first, our corporate member, Racing Victoria, has announced a racing event called All-Star Mile. The event will rotate between three of Victoria’s fine racing tracks and is the first racing event in Australia allowing fans to select the field. With a winner’s prize of $2.25 million, it will be the richest 1600 metre race in the world. Keep your eye out for the nominations opening in January.

The ABC’s program 'This is not a drill' recently aired an episode addressing the emergence of a hypothetical supercity in 2033. Melbourne’s population is set to increase by 60% by 2033 therefore the topics raised in the panel are a poignant reminder of the need to think for the future. We were delighted to have three individuals from member organisations represented; Ishaan Nangla, Partner, McKinsey and CompanyProfessor Rob Adams, Director, City of Melbourne and Ali Moore, Fellow, Asialink, The University of Melbourne. You can watch the full episode here.

The good news is

Social media isn’t all bad: Facebook fundraising has generated over $1 billion in donations for charity - A new report from Facebook shows that social media can be used as an invaluable tool for good. The platform recently announced that their fundraising tool and 'Donate' buttons have collectively raised over $1 billion for nonprofits and personal causes since it was launched in 2015. The initiative has been so successful with over 1 million nonprofits across 19 countries receiving direct donations from social media, that Facebook says they will soon be launching the fundraising tools in Australia and Canada.

Our vision for Melbourne:

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