Leadership and Policy Seminar Series

Established in 2003, the ITLS Leadership and Policy Seminar Series benefits from leading national and international experts (CEOs, Visiting Professors etc) speaking on topical transport and logistics issues relevant to business and academia. The seminar series attracts a broad audience from industry, government and academia as well as our own faculty and research students. Seminars are usually one hour long including the presentation and time for Q&A.

Our seminar convenors are Professor Corinne Mulley, Chair in Public Transport and Dr Rico Merkert, Senior Lecturer in Aviation Management. As seminars are confirmed details are listed below.

Seminars are normally held fortnightly on Tuesdays, between March and November (with a break in July), from 11am to noon with coffee and tea available from 10.30am. The venue is: Lecture Theatre 1, Level 1, 173-175 Phillip Street, Sydney CBD. See directions.

Invitations are sent to our mailing list at least one week in advance. Seminars are free, however, an RSVP is required, so please respond to the seminar invitation.


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Chris Selth

Date: 16th Jun 2015 11:00 am

Speaker: Christopher Selth, ADC Forum

Topic: Paying our way on infrastructure, New approaches

Abstract: Government capital recycling – selling brownfield assets to investors and using the proceeds to finance new projects – has been a step forward. But is it sufficient to underwrite the broad infrastructure needs of the community? The scale of what is needed by Australia demands we expand the tools at our disposal, including generating new revenue sources with public support to underpin project development.

There are reforms we can make in how we develop infrastructure, how we finance it, and how we facilitate investment by our pension system and other pools of capital. These are attractive in themselves, and would drop costs and increase potential revenues. But the impact could be dramatically more powerful when combined into a unified data and process platform, which would allow stakeholders to scrutinise all aspects of the development process, and consider choices.

To get the full benefits we need more than just access to the facts. We need to leverage technology to advance and develop stakeholder engagement processes and supporting tools.

Stronger connections between community, government, and business can boost the confidence to raise revenue streams from a broader pool of options. This improves project economics, increasing the range of projects that can be developed, supplying needed assets to the pension pool, and opening up additional finance for project development. It is more than a matter of words. New processes and technologies are evolving to better manage that conversation. Possibly the most important investment we need to make is in social capital, using new tools and a renewed commitment to better communication.

From the perspective of the man on the street the gist of our report can be reduced to two simple questions:

‘Would you pay the local government levy, congestion charge or toll needed to support this piece of infrastructure because otherwise there is insufficient revenue to build and service it?’

‘Would you buy this asset with your pension fund?’

We propose structures that would make answering those questions much easier. Currently, it is virtually impossible for the average person to make such assessments.

Bio: Chris is an investor, entrepreneur, researcher, and thinker. Currently he is working with ADC Forum as the Chair of their Infrastructure Funding & Finance Work Group, which is developing new initiatives built around originating infrastructure through stakeholder collaboration. Previously he was Chief Investment Officer at Five Oceans Asset Management, an international funds management business he co-founded in 2005, and before that Head of International Equities at BT Funds Management and an Executive Vice President. Chris’s career is marked by top tier investment performance over 25 years, multiple industry awards, and an experience set assessing global economic and business trends, interviewing thought leaders and business leadership, and building business models and economic assessments.

Date: 11th Aug 2015 11:00 am

Speaker: Sara Stace, Link Place

Topic: Saving $1 billion for the national economy, by foot or cycle

Abstract: In  Australia, cycling for transport contributes $1.43 per kilometre cycled; while  walking contributes $2.12 per kilometre.

That means  a 20-minute commute by bike contributes around $14 to the economy; while a  walker contributes $8 every day.

There is  huge potential to increase the mode share of cycling and walking: Fourteen  percent of Australian adults drive less than 5km to work or study, and a  further 16 per cent live within 5-10km, totalling 1.3 million adults. If a  quarter of them could be convinced to swap 2-3 hours per week for cycling or  walking instead, it would save $1 billion for the national economy every year.  That’s a very big potential return on investment.

This  presentation outlines four broad steps to facilitate greater mode share of  active travel:

  1. Plan and integrate walking and riding facilities  when planning for land use and transport 
  2. Build appropriate infrastructure for walking and  riding needs 
  3. Encourage greater participation through  ‘soft’ approaches such as events and social media
  4. Manage and coordinate across agencies and levels of  government, and work with communities and organisations.

This  presentation will illustrate how these four steps cascade from a national  perspective down to regional, metropolitan and local level. It will present key  statistics and case studies to demonstrate how these policies are linked across  portfolios - from infrastructure and planning to health and education. A true  whole-of-government approach.

Bio: Sara Stace has a reputation as a  strategic thinker, consensus broker and change agent. As executive director of  Link Place Consulting she writes policy on cities and urban transport. She was  recently commissioned by Infrastructure Australia for a paper on ‘Urban  Development, Housing and Liveability’ as part of the National Infrastructure  Audit  (due for release Q2 2015).

Stace previously worked in the  Australian government for Infrastructure Australia and Major Cities Unit where  she led six years of policy development including the national urban design  protocol ‘Creating Places for People’ and a new policy on ‘Walking, Riding and  Access to Public Transport: active travel in Australian communities’.

Stace is a board member of Bicycle  NSW and the Australian Cycle Alliance. She is a prolific user of social media;   co-founder of cycle.org.au and founder of ‘Humans On Bikes’.