Committee Communiqué

Lord Mayor Sally Capp on thinking boldly about the future

A big thank you to Lord Mayor Sally Capp for celebrating her first 100 days in elected office with our members over lunch on 5 September, hosted by the 'Law Firm of the Year' and member, Herbert Smith Freehills.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp

The former Committee for Melbourne CEO and 104th Lord Mayor shared thoughts on her first 100 days, built on 'Purpose not Politics' and her plans for the future – 'taking ideas to outcomes'. 

Melbourne is a great city of opportunity, she said, but Australia's fastest growing city has challenges.  

She noted that Melbourne has excellent assets to manage sustainable growth with plentiful inner urban space for sustainable development (Fishermans Bend and Arden Macaulay) and abundant intellectual capital as Australia’s most innovative city. However, we need to lift our game in commercialising that capital for our prosperity. 

Committee for Melbourne CEO Martine Letts and Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp 'in conversation'

The Lord Mayor was eloquent about transparency and community consultation on city shaping projects such as the Queen Victoria Market development and her ambition to make Melbourne Australia’s first 5G city. Other areas of focus are:

  • building the city’s resilience
  • tackling homelessness
  • safety
  • waste management. 


She praised Committee for Melbourne’s contribution to city shaping ideas for Melbourne’s benefit. She looks forward to collaborating closely with us in promoting the next generation of big ideas to ensure Melbourne’s growth is well-managed so we can remain a city of quality and opportunity for all citizens.

It was an energising event with an engaging and determined Melburnian "thinking boldly about the future rather than incrementally about the now". 

L to R: Martine Letts; Sally Capp; Herbert Smith Freehills Partner and Committee for Melbourne Director Jane Hodder; Committee for Melbourne Chair Scott Tanner 

View the event photos.

Melbourne has hit 5 million ahead of forecast, so what's next?

It will not have escaped your attention that Melbourne hit the 5 million mark on 1 September.

This is only eight years after publication, in 2010, of the Committee for Melbourne’s three volume report entitled Melbourne Beyond 5 Million:Getting better as we get bigger. Read vol 1, vol 2vol 3.

Melbourne Beyond 5 Million: Getting better as we get bigger 

From the 1800s to 2008 we grew to 4 million and it took only ten years to grow by another million – the rate of growth has surpassed all forecasts.

The very notion that we needed to prepare for a city bigger than 5 million eight years ago was queried by many at the time the report was launched.

The report anticipated the speed of Melbourne’s growth and the strains this would put on Metropolitan Melbourne’s physical infrastructure and connectivity, governance and economy.

Its recommendations, such as the elimination of level crossings and the creation of an independent infrastructure advisory body for Victoria have since been implemented.  

The report’s co-authors – Committee for Melbourne Board Director Pru Sanderson, Life Members Roger Poole and Tom Fricke – have now completed a score card on the Committee’s 2010 report, focusing on how well Melbourne is prepared to manage its projected growth to 8 million by 2050.  

While many commentators have focused on how to put the brakes on population growth, the Committee for Melbourne authors have listed a series of planning objectives which Melbourne must tackle now to stop the trend of an increasingly economically polarised city, a trend which was also identified in the Committee for Melbourne’s Melbourne 4.0 report. 

The score card will call for the reunification of the emerging 'two Melbournes' through a dynamic and bold city planning approach across the areas of:

  • infrastructure investment
  • energy provision
  • metropolitan-wide density
  • equal opportunity for all


Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks.

Read a feature article by Committee for Melbourne, The Age [paywall].

Matthew Guy to address the '3Cs' if elected

Congestion, crime, and cost of living. These are the big issues the Liberal Party of Victoria will tackle, should they win power in November.
Leader of the Opposition Mathew Guy was the guest speaker at the Committee for Melbourne member lunch, kindly hosted by Gilbert + Tobin on Tuesday 28 August.

Matthew Guy addressing Committee for Melbourne members 

The state leader of the Liberal Party, who became Opposition leader in 2014, addressed our members on his plans for the November election, and the actions his party will take to help deliver growth and prosperity, as well as enhance our liveability.  

He praised the work of the Committee, especially on the recent advocacy for a rail link to Melbourne Airport, and other initiatives outlined in our Melbourne 4.0 report.
In a lively Q&A session, he discussed the recent Andrews Government announcement of a proposed suburban rail loop, its funding options, and timing. He mentioned he looked forward to Infrastructure Victoria’s assessment of the rail loop proposal.
The discussion also addressed the need for government to invest in long-term integrated planning for our growing metropolitan areas.

The Committee will continue to work closely with all politicians in the lead up to State election and we look forward to further connecting with all Victorian MPs at the Committee for Melbourne Annual Parliamentary Drinks on Wednesday 19 September.

Airport rail link momentum continues

Yesterday, the Victorian Government, through Rail Projects Victoria, opened a Registration of Interest (ROI) process seeking businesses, investors and constructors to help deliver the Melbourne Airport rail link.

If re-elected, the Andrews Government says it will commit up to $5 billion to the project, which will run from the CBD to the airport via Sunshine. The full business case is currently underway in partnership with the Commonwealth, with construction set to begin by 2022.

The Committee has been advocating for a mass, direct transit link to Melbourne Airport since 2010 when we called for the feasibility for an airport link to be carefully examined as part of our Melbourne Beyond 5 Million report. More recently, we have ramped up our adviocacy:

  • In November 2016 we called for an airport link for Melbourne in an opinion piece in the media
  • As part of our Melbourne 4.0 agenda, we created the Airport Link Taskforce to discuss the merits of the strategic priorities for delivery 
  • We developed five guiding principles for an airport link, outlined in our January 2018 submission; Airport link: from concept to commencement.

Our members at one of our Melbourne Airport link forums this year 

We have since expressed support for the proposed Sunshine Route on the basis that it delivers a Melbourne Airport rail link which is a world-class, dedicated service for those travelling to and from the airport.

The government's published appraisal announced the preferred Sunshine route considering a number of factors including: 

  • Superior connections to more areas of Melbourne through its integration with the Metro Tunnel
  • Superior connections to regional Victoria through an upgraded Sunshine interchange
  • Earlier deliverability at a lower cost


We believe this major asset should provide a fast, reliable, reasonably priced and competitive service which unlocks broader benefits for Melbourne and Victoria. Therefore, it should not form part of the current commuter train system, nor can the journey from the airport to the CBD exceed 20 minutes.  

We welcome the Commonwealth and State's collaboration in moving us closer to realising this important piece of infrastructure for Melbourne and will continue to work with our members and government in supporting this important project.

Australia's digital divide is real

Last month, Committee for Melbourne attended the launch of the Third Australian Digital inclusion index which explores the digital connectivity of Australian citizens.

L to R at the launch of the report - Committee for Melbourne Engagement Director Clive Dwyer; RMIT University's Julian Thomas; RMIT University's Chris Wilson; Telstra's Michael Parks; Telstra's Abigail Brydon; Telstra's Tully Smith

The report – produced in partnership by Committee for Mebourne members Telstra, Swinburne University and RMIT University, along with Roy Morgan research – investigates the digital access, benefits, and shortfalls for our community.

With the growing amount of interaction occurring online it should be our ambition to ensure every citizen can make full use of digital technologies no matter what their socio-economic or geographical situation.

Over the three years of the survey, Australia’s digital inclusion rate has improved from 54.0 to 62.2 and the extended reach of broadband and mobile phone technologies has assisted.

However, the report identifies a range of ‘digital divides’ which are growing in every state and city. It is imperative we address this as we prepare for the Fourth  industrial revolution.  

Australia's digital divide 

Support the men going through a rough time

The 2017-18 Future Focus Group project which aims to support men's mental health and wellbeing through a Men’s Shed at the Parkville Precinct has been shortlisted in the Victorian Government's 'Pick my Project' program!

The program is now open for public vote and the team need your support to get the project funded! You can vote for Men's Shed NOW by clicking HERE.

With men less likely to seek help than women, Men’s Shed is a community based non-profit organisation established to support programs to improve men’s health and wellbeing.

While Australia counts approximately 1,000 Men's Sheds, this would be the first Men's Shed in a Victorian hospital offering visiting men an opportunity to meet other men undergoing treatment or caring for someone with similar health experiences.

Open to all visitors to work shoulder to shoulder on small projects such as building wooden toys, bike repairs and health education sessions, the Men's Shed aims to reduce social isolation and improve mental health.

What's on our radar

eSports Arrives in Melbourne - Move aside Roger Federer and Serena Williams! Earlier this month, the inaugural Melbourne eSports Open – a professional gaming tournament – was held at Rod Laver Arena. Bringing together some of the Australia’s leading gamers, the eSports Open featured competitions on some of the world’s most popular video games. Think it’s a passing fad? Think again. Industry revenues are now more than double global box-office receipts for films!
Bringing the Valley to Melbourne - The Victorian Government has launched an ambitious campaign to lure some of the world’s leading technology businesses to Melbourne. Minister for Trade and Investment, Innovation and the Digital Economy, the Hon Philip Dalidakis MP, is leading the charge and hopes the campaign will help position Melbourne as a desirable location to launch operations throughout the Indo-Pacific.

The good news is...

In ‘World First’, Ultra-Cheap Printable Solar Panels Are Launched in Australia - University of Newcastle professor Paul Dastoor has created inexpensive organic solar panels which could signal the start of a groundbreaking new market for renewable energy. Less than one millimetre thick and held down with double-sided sticky tape, the panels are similar in texture to a potato chip packet and can be produced for less than $10 per square metre. The first commercial installation was completed in a day by five employees, and a lab-size printer can produce hundreds of metres of the product in one day. 

Our vision for Melbourne:

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