Past Seminars


Phil Potterton

Date: 1st Sep 2009

Speaker: Phil Potterton, Executive Director, Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics; Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government

Topic: Transport and the carbon pollution reduction scheme

Abstract: The Australian Government is implementing a comprehensive strategy for tackling climate change in Australia. The strategy is built on three pillars: reducing Australia's carbon pollution; adapting to unavoidable climate change; and helping to shape a global solution. Transport emissions in Australia's make up approximately 14 percent of national greenhouse gas emissions. Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) modelling suggests that without intervention the business as usual scenario would see emissions from the sector grow by about 30 percent between 2005 and 2020. The importance of transport emissions is recognised through the inclusion of transport in the proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS), the government's primary mechanism for achieving Australia's emission reduction objectives. This presentation outlines the major elements of the CPRS, its current status and highlights some of the transport data behind the Treasury modelling of the CPRS, which was supported by BITRE.

Bio: Phil has been Executive Director of the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics, the research and analysis unit in the Australian Government Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, since July 2004. Phil joined the Bureau in 2001 as Deputy Executive Director, Transport Research following two years with the Northern Territory Treasury, where he was involved in government business reform issues. From 1993 to 2000, Phil held senior management positions in program evaluation and policy in Canberra in the Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs and its forerunners. Phils previous career was with the Department of Finance, AusAid and predecessor agencies of the Department of Transport and Regional Services. Phil holds an Honours degree in history and masters degrees in international relations and public policy.

Richard Lowson

Date: 17th Nov 2009

Speaker: Richard Lowson, Australian Representative of Advanced Transport Systems

Topic: Personal Rapid Transit systems: A sustainable approach to transport

Abstract: Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) consist of small vehicles running on their own guide way with off line stations providing point to point, non-stop travel. The transport is available on demand and will go anywhere within a network. There is no waiting or queuing prior to, during or at the end of transit. The systems have a capacity equal to or better than Light Rail or Guided Bus while having significant cost savings and environmental benefits. PRT was selected for the land-side operations at London Heathrow Airport and is presently undergoing commissioning trials at Heathrow. PRT is not a universal panacea for the 21st century's transport needs. It is not a replacement for large mass transit systems such as heavy rail or large city Metro, rather it compliments and integrates with these existing forms and is a solution for 'last mile' problems associated with existing mass transit systems. The presentation will focus on design parameters underpinning PRT, policy issues surrounding the introduction of PRT, and PRT as an environmentally sustainable transport option.

Bio: Richard is an Australian representative of Advanced Transport Systems and brother of Professor Martin Lowson, the developer of the Urban Light Transport system, ULTra. Richard arrived in Australia in 1969 to take up a research position with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Association. During his 35 years as an ANSTO employee he developed a strong environmental science profile of research and consulting, both within Australia and overseas, and held senior research positions within ANSTO. His retirement in 2004 allowed him to develop and promote Personal Rapid Transit systems in Australia while at the same time finalising his research interests through a visiting fellowship with ANSTO. Richard holds an Honours degree in applied chemistry, a Diploma of Imperial College and PhD in physical chemistry.