Committee Communiqué

Annual parliamentary drinks

Last night, the Committee hosted our second Annual Parliamentary Drinks event at Parliament House. Senior representatives from Foundation member organisations and Members of Parliament from all political parties – including Premier Daniel Andrews, Treasurer Tim Pallas and Leader of the Opposition Matthew Guy – gathered together to enjoy some informal networking and great conversation. As was the case with our inaugural event in 2014, last night’s event was a great success and we look forward to welcoming Committee members to next year's Parliamentary Drinks.

Inaugural Leading Thinkers series

As part of our role in raising the conversation around issues of importance, the Committee is pleased to announce our first Leading Thinkers Series. This breakfast series will involve four leading thinkers in their fields and will provide their insights on a particular topic. Our first series will focus on the topic of 'The Australian Economy – Now and WhereTo From Here', and will kick off on 18 November with our first speaker  Kathryn Fagg, who currently serves on the boards of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Incitec Pivot and Djerriwarrh Investments. Our second speaker John Wylie, Special Advisor to Lazard and past Australian Chairman of investment bank Credit Suisse First Boston will join us on 2 December. The series will continue in February and March of 2016 when outgoing ANZ CEO Mike Smith will join us along with another yet to be confirmed outstanding speaker. Please mark 18 November and 2 December in your diaries. Further details on venue and time will be circulated shortly, along with dates and speaker confirmations for 2016.

Lunch with Adam Fennessy

Today, Secretary of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning Adam Fennessy, joined Committee members for lunch to discuss issues of importance in creating liveable and sustainable communities. Adam noted the importance of recognising the link between the built and natural environment and protecting our heritage, while at the same time continuing to maintain our high level of liveability. Some of the key issues discussed included future planning, and in particular how we manage people, jobs and connectivity as the city continues to grow rapidly. The importance of Infrastructure Victoria and the role it will play in developing a cohesive 30year plan was acknowledged, as was the need to ensure that planning in an urban development sense, and planning of infrastructure, go hand-in-hand.

Committees for Cities

Earlier this week CEOs from the collective Committees for Cities and Regions organisations met in Wagga Wagga for our biannual conference. Since its inception in 1985, the Committee for Melbourne has been the guiding force behind the establishment of many Committees for across Australia and New Zealand. These entities all share the same ethos of representing members on issues of importance to their city or region in an independent and apolitical manner. Each year, the Committees for gather together in a city or regional area to discuss issues of importance to both individual organisations and the collective group. Across the groups, infrastructure development continues to be a key issue of concern along with jobs creation and economic stimulation. There was also a great deal of interest among both the Australian and New Zealand representatives in the recently created Federal Minister for Cities role. While it remains to be seen what Minister Jamie Briggs' remit will be, there is a general upbeat feeling that cities have been placed on the federal agenda in their own right.

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