Past Seminars

2014

Date: 4th Mar 2014

Speaker: John Austen, General Manager, Policy; Infrastructure Australia

Topic: Does having a transport policy help to identify infrastructure projects


Abstract

In 2007-08 the Australian Transport (Ministerial) Council agreed a national transport policy framework. The Office of the National Infrastructure Coordinator has proposed more detail to this framework along three themes identified by Infrastructure Australia: international gateways, a national freight network and transforming our cities. This presentation outlines the assumptions, methods and results of that work. It considers ports, freight, urban transport, roads and 'people' matters. It considers how this work could be used to identify infrastructure projects. The Office is a small group which provides support to the National Infrastructure Coordinator and Infrastructure Australia. Most of its research is published: http://www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au/publications

Bio

John Austen holds degrees in Economics and Law from the Australian National University. He has been a career public servant in labour, manufacturing and transport agencies with roughly equal time in the Commonwealth and NSW. He currently is with the office working on transport matters. He has lived in south western Sydney for 20 years. Experience prior to the office includes: some of the Hawke/Keating government economic policies; formal evaluation of government programs; international benchmarking of non-traded services; changes in NSW and national land transport; competition policy and access regimes; reviews of NSW rail, freight, urban transport; external governance in transport.


Peter Thornton

Date: 18th Mar 2014

Speaker: Peter Thornton, General Manager - Infrastructure, WorleyParsons

Topic: Planning for a second Sydney airport


Abstract

The Australian and New South Wales (NSW) Governments jointly developed an Aviation Strategic Plan (the Plan) for the Sydney Region which was released to the public in March 20121. To support the development of the Plan, a Joint Study was undertaken identify options and strategies to meet the aviation capacity needs of the Sydney Region over the short, medium and long terms (defined as 10, 25, and 25+ years respectively). A key input to this was the work lead by the authors to identify sites within the Sydney region which could potentially support the development of airports ranging in scale from a single runway commuter and general aviation scale to a full service, multi runway international scale airport.

For the purposes of the overall Sydney Region Aviation Capacity (SRAC) Study, the Sydney Region was initially considered to extend north to the Hunter Valley, south to beyond Nowra, south-west to Canberra and west to Lithgow and later encompassed about 20,000 sq. kms of terrain to be analysed.

The study proceeded through a number of stages firstly to identify localities which met a set of 10 high level Greenfield airport location criteria and. were broadly capable of supporting airport development then to reduce those localities using an evaluation process fields by assessment against 32 criteria on advice from the Steering Committee, the 18 localities were reduced to initially nine and, latterly, seven localities for which 'representative airports' concepts were prepared; those seven localities and the representative sites within them were subjected to a Rapid CBA assessment and further reduced to five "suitable site" localities. These five localities were then assessed in detail in four phase process:

  • Phase One - using GIS methods, coarse screening of five localities within the Sydney Region to identify broadly suitable land for airport development;
  • Phase Two - using GIS methods, application of key criteria to identify the more suitable lands within those areas;
  • Phase Three - using 1:25,000 scale mapping to provide enhanced detail, identification of suitable sites within the more suitable lands using airport site location planning principles and development of concept plans for both airport types for each site identified.
  • Phase Four - site and location specific analyses to identify the more suitable sites.

Following the identification, of the more suitable sites, of which Badgerys Creek was determined by the Steering Committee to be the most suitable site, a detailed analysis of the only major contender to Badgerys Creek - located near Wilton, NSW was undertaken.

This paper described the background, analytical process and summarizes the major findings of the study which has provided a platform for Government to make a decision as to where to develop additional aviation capacity in the Sydney Region. It is now widely reported that the Government will finally affirm the site that it already owns at Badgerys Creek as that place.

Bio

Peter is now Principal of his own consulting firm Transportation Associates Pty Ltd. Until recently he was one of WorleyParsons global leaders in infrastructure and transportation based in Sydney and General Manager - Infrastructure. Peter's personal area of practice is now mostly focussed in the strategic development, planning and design of transportation and infrastructure projects, drawing on his skills in engineering, environmental planning, and project economics. He has more than 40 years of experience in transport infrastructure across roads, airports, rail and ports. Over the period 2010 - 2013 he was the Project Director and Lead Author for a series of airport planning studies commissioned by the Department of Infrastructure and Transport to support the Sydney Region Aviation Capacity Study.

Peter holds Masters Degrees in Business Administration and Environmental Planning from Macquarie University and a first class honours degree in Civil Engineering from Sydney University, where he has been president of the Civil Engineering Foundation since 2007.

He is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia and of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Australia and a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, London.

Before the acquisition of TMG by WorleyParsons, he was Managing Director of TMG International (Australia) Pty Ltd for 5 years. Prior to this, he was a Director and Principal of Arup Australia for 13 years and before that an Associate Director of MacDonald Wagner.


Andre de Palma

Date: 25th Mar 2014

Speaker: Prof André de Palma, ENS Cachan, France

Topic: Residential mobility, mode choice and risky choice: the household point of view


Bio

André de Palma has a PhD in Physics and a PhD in Economics. He was Professor at Queens, Northwestern University and University of Geneva. He is currently professor at Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan, in France. He is a specialist in transportation and urban economics, industrial organization, and decision under risk. He has published more than 230 articles in international Journals, as well as 7 books (one, in MIT Press, was quoted 2000 times). He is currently working on couple decision making projects in the context of transportation and urban economics.


Michael Lindfield

Date: 1st Apr 2014

Speaker: Dr. Michael Lindfield, Former Principal Urban Development Specialist at Asian Development Bank

Topic: Financing international urban development infrastructure


Abstract

Emergent technologies will radically change the shape of our economies and consequently of our cities. From the $35,000 robot, to AI, to the self-driving car, technology will impact our lives in fundamental ways - potentially for good and ill. It provides both the promise of a more sustainable society and the threat of increased social instability. The presentation will explore the role of infrastructure in maximising the former and minimising the latter - in both OECD and emerging economies.

Bio

Michael Lindfield is an economist/ financial analyst with over thirty years experience in international sustainable urban development policy formulation and in designing the institutional and financial mechanisms to implement urban development and infrastructure policy. He is a Senior Advisor to the SMART Infrastructure Facility. He has recently retired from the ADB, having attained the positions of Lead Professional (Urban Development) and Chair of the Urban Community of Practice. Concurrently, he was the program manager for the Cities Development Initiative for Asia, an infrastructure project development facility. He has also served as Department Head of the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies in the Netherlands and as Deputy Director/ Senior Research Fellow, in the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute at the Queensland University of Technology. He has worked as a consultant for the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the United Nations, as well as for private sector and government agencies. He has a Bachelors degree in Architecture from Sydney University and a Masters degree in Commerce from the University of New South Wales in Australia. He obtained his PhD in Economics from Erasmus University in the Netherlands on the topic of Infrastructure Project Risk Assessment.


Date: 8th Apr 2014

Speaker: Dr Marcus Enoch, School of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University, UK

Topic: Are we sleepwalking into a radically different local passenger transport future?


Abstract

The world is changing faster than ever. Yet a core assumption made by most people - transport policy makers and practitioners included - is that cars, buses and taxis will remain as the dominant local passenger transport modes in the coming decades. This discussion paper draws on a range of literature sources and on discussions with industry leaders to look anew at the local passenger transport sector in the light of broader societal trends to challenge this assumption, and to offer some insights as to possible implications for practice and policy.> The paper finds that significant changes are already occurring in how transport services are being provided. Thus, the traditional modes of car, bus and taxi are already beginning to lose market share to a range of 'new' intermediate modes - e.g. shared taxis, lift sharing schemes, DRT services and car clubs. Meanwhile a whole range of societal trends - e.g. the global recession, growth in smart phones, attitudes to collaborative consumption, increasing proportion of elderly people - are combining such that this process of 'modal convergence' is accelerating. In effect, cars, buses and taxis are gradually morphing into a single mode that is of better quality than the bus, cheaper than a taxi, and does not require one to buy the vehicle as with a car. In addition, rapid developments in autonomous car technology are proceeding apace. Taken together then, these trends threaten a revolution in how we move about, potentially within a relatively short space of time. Particular challenges for policy makers and practitioners will include public resistance to the idea, economic issues over who would pay and how this would be done, and the effect on social groups and the environment.

Bio

Dr Marcus Enoch was appointed as a lecturer in Transport Studies in the School of Civil and Building Engineering at Loughborough University in January 2003 and has been a senior lecturer since May 2007. Prior to that he was a research fellow at the Open University for four years, and before that he was a news and features writer for the professional journal Local Transport Today.

In research terms, Dr Enoch has an interest in sustainable transport systems - specifically in how they are designed, implemented, and operated and in how they could be improved. He has published more than 100 articles - including two research monographs, 42 peer reviewed academic journal contributions and ten book chapters - and presented more than 80 international conference papers.


Date: 29th Apr 2014

Speaker: Professor Stephane Hess, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, UK

Topic: Putting behaviour back into choice modelling: what are the potential benefits for transport research?


Abstract

Mathematical models of choice behaviour are used to understand people's choices across a range of topic areas, with transport being one of the most active fields. Their outputs form a key component in guidance underpinning government and industry decisions on changes to policy, infrastructure developments or the introduction of new services or products. In recent years, there has been a growing trend to seek to improve the behavioural realism of the models, often through bringing in ideas from behavioural economics and mathematical psychology. This presentations gives an overview of a number of key concepts in this area, showing the extent to which existing data supports the notion that the assumption of purely compensatory (and often linear in preferences) decision making is not representative of real world behaviour. The talk then focusses on whether (and how much) this matters for transport research and real world transport planning, and identifies some key priorities for future developments.

Bio

Stephane Hess is Professor of Choice Modelling in the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds. He is also Honorary Professor in Choice Modelling in the Institute for Transport and Logistics Studies at the University of Sydney, and affiliated Professor in Demand Analysis at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. His main research interests lie in the use of advanced discrete choice models for the analysis of travel behaviour, primarily with the use of stated preference data. Here, Hess has made contributions to the state of the art in the specification, estimation and interpretation of such models, notably in a valuation of travel time savings context, while also publishing widely on the benefits of advanced structures in actual large-scale transport analyses. His contributions have been recognised for example by the 2014 Outstanding Young Member of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) award for exceptional achievements in transportation research, policy, the 2010 Fred Burggraf award handed out by the Transportation Research Board, the 2005 Eric Pas award for the best PhD thesis in the area of travel behaviour modelling, and the 2004 Neil Mansfield award handed out by the Association for European Transport. He is also the founding editor in chief of the Journal of Choice Modelling, the founder and steering committee chair of the International Choice Modelling Conference, and the co-chair for the 14th International Conference on Travel Behaviour Research, to be held in London in 2015.


Howard Collins

Date: 7th May 2014

Speaker: Howard Collins, CEO, Sydney Trains

Topic: Sydney trains


Bio

Howard Collins is the Chief Executive of Sydney Trains. Howard, previously the Chief Operating Officer of the London Underground, had a 35-year career with London transport and his achievements included the development of an integrated transport system with Transport for London. Howard was made an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in 2013 in recognition of his success as the Lead Director for the London Underground and London Rail for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Howard was also responsible for the restoration and recovery of the London Underground following the 2005 London bombings. He was a member of the British Transport Policy Authority and the leader of the Authority's Performance Committee.

On his appointment to the new role at Sydney Trains, Howard said "Sydney is a world-class city and I am looking forward to working with the NSW Government to deliver a world-class rail system."


Date: 13th May 2014

Speaker: Peter Koning, MD NR consulting +CILTA NSW

Topic: Leading Major Transport Projects


Abstract

New transport infrastructure facilitates the prosperous growth of our cities. Key programs are now emerging which will deliver transport solutions for the next 100 years. Critical to the successful of the on time and on budget delivery is the role of the project leader. The discussion will examine what makes a successful program leader? How should leaders behave when faced with the demanding challenges from multiple stakeholders? Critically, the presentation will focus on the role the team and the leader must play in driving forward their project vision.

Bio

Peter is currently the General Manager for Network Rail Consulting for Australia and New Zealand and has held this position since 2013. Network Rail is the owner and operator of the United Kingdom's rail network and its consultancy arm works with railways throughout the world to enhance best practice operations. He has over thirty years' experience in the Australian and European rail industries and has extensive knowledge and experience in rail operations management, strategic network planning and contract management. He is currently the Chairman of CILTA (NSW Section).

Peter is an experienced transport business manager having worked in both the public and regulated private sectors. He held a variety of front line management positions with British Rail prior to becoming deeply involved in the rail reform and privatisation process. On joining Railtrack in 1993 he assumed commercial responsibility for Great Western Trains before being appointed as Director for European Affairs based in Brussels. On returning to the UK 1, Peter worked on some of the largest rail schemes in the world including the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and the London Crossrail program in a variety of senior roles. In 2007 Peter was appointed as a Director for the International consultancy, AECOM based in Australia.

Peter lives in Sydney with his family.


John Wagner

Date: 20th May 2014

Speaker: John Wagner, Chairman of Wagner Global Services

Topic: The construction & Future of Wellcamp Airport


Abstract

Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport is currently under construction and will be operational by the end of 2014. Hailed as a game changer for the Toowoomba region, this jet capable public airport will be available for regular passenger services, charter flights, fly-in-fly-out services and airfreight. The airport is designed to cater for large jets up to 747 size allowing for even the largest of airfreight direct into the region.

Toowoomba is the second largest agricultural region in Australia behind Moree Plains in New South Wales with the Western Downs area also ranked in the top 10 for agricultural output. The airport will provide direct agricultural export opportunities for numerous markets including fresh fruit & vegetables, chilled beef, flowers and live equine movement to potential destinations such as New Zealand and parts of Asia.

Bio

John is the Chairman of Wagner Global Services and one of the founders of the Wagner Group of Companies, also known as Wagners. Wagners is a diversified group of companies comprising cement, flyash and lime production, contract crushing, on site concrete supply, bulk haulage, reinforcing steel, precast concrete, composite fibre products and an oil and gas engineering services business. Wagners is based in Toowoomba and has operations in Australia, Malaysia, PNG and Mongolia. The company employs in excess of 1000 full time staff plus subcontractors and is currently building an airport in Toowoomba which is the first greenfield public airport built in Australia in the last 47 years. Wagners will be the owner and operator of this facility.


Date: 3rd Jun 2014

Speaker: Neil Smith, CEO Tower Transit Operations Ltd

Topic: The Foundations of an Effective Bus Network


Abstract

Neil sits in a unique position in the urban bus industry, with a current involvement in the delivery of services in Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and London. This provides a perspective on the essential elements that comprise a 'successful' urban public transport system. These elements focus on defining clear goals, implementing consistent policies over time, and delivering a network built around simplicity, frequency, interchange, information and connectivity. Drawing on the lessons learned from the extraordinary growth in the usage of the London bus system over the past 15 years, and the experience of operating in three Australian cities over the past 18, recommendations for the principles that should underlay future development of urban passenger transport in Sydney will be offered.

Debate will be encouraged.

Bio

Neil is a founder and Director of the Transit Systems Group and Chairman of Tower Transit Ltd. Transit Systems is a major provider of contracted urban passenger bus services within Australia, currently operating in Perth, Adelaide and Sydney. It is also the largest privately owned ferry operator in Australia, with operations in South East Queensland and Gladstone. Tower Transit is an associate of Transit Systems, operating 420 buses under contract to Transport for London.

Neil has worked in the bus industry since 1973. With initial trained by Dick Rowe of Busways, he commenced his own business with the purchase of Manly Bus Service in 1975. He has been an active participant in the outsourcing of urban bus services, from winning the first contract awarded in Perth in 1996 to leading the only successful bid by a non-incumbent to provide services in Sydney in 2013. His advocacy of the benefits of competitively tendering urban transport services has been less than popular within the Australian bus industry. Neil relocated to London in 2013 with the purchase of part of First's London business, now operating at Tower Transit.

Neil is also active in developing leadership training colleges in central Africa, with a focus on post-conflict regions in Sierra Leone, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

He is a graduate of the University of Sydney (BA 1972, MTM 1994) and a former lecturer with ITLS.


Jia Yan

Date: 24th Jun 2014

Speaker: Dr. Jia Yan, Washington State University

Topic: Open Skies: Estimating consumers' benefits from free trade in airline services and policy recommendations from a US perspective


Bio

Jia is an Associate Professor of Economics at Washington State University (WSU). He is an applied economist with expertises in transportation economics and industrial organization. His recent research projects cover the following topics: 1. Measuring the heterogeneity in commuters' values of time and time reliability; 2. Policy design accounting for the heterogeneity in commuters' preferences for travel time; 3. Measuring efficiency of transport infrastructure including airports and ports; 4. The effect of institutional arrangements on airport efficiency; 5. Privatization of transport infrastructure including airports and highways; and 6. The effect of open-skies on airline markets. His research papers on these topics have appeared in journals such as Econometrica, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Urban Economics, Brookings-Wharton Papers on Urban Affairs, Transportation Research Part B, Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, and Transportation Research Record.


Date: 29th Jul 2014

Speaker: Professor Greg Marsden, ITS The University of Leeds

Topic: What can we learn from Disruptions?


Abstract

Managing disruptions is a fact of life for transport planners and operators but the primary focus of disruptions is typically to get the system back up and running as fast as possible. This presentation describes the key findings from a major three year study in the UK into what we can learn by studying how people react (both in terms of activity choices and mobility choices) when faced with disruptions. This builds on a tradition of work on cities which suggests that moments where infrastructures fail to work properly reveal critical and taken for granted insights into why we behave as we do. The presentation will introduce a framework which has been used to bring together information on different disruptions (e.g. flooding, snow and ice, planned events and closures) and provide new empirical evidence on a sample of the disruptions we have studied. The presentation will then turn to what we have learnt about flexibility and adaptability. The ultimate aim of the project is to provide new insights into how we might design more effective travel behaviour change programmes and these will be put forward for debate.

Bio

Greg is Director and Professor of Transport Governance at the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds. His research interests relate to understanding decision-making processes within local and national government, performance management, governance reform processes and citizen participation. He is currently working on issues relating to carbon governance, disruptions, resilience and energy demand reduction. He has acted as specialist adviser to the UK Parliamentary Transport scrutiny committee.


Date: 12th Aug 2014

Speaker: Professor Steve Ison, Loughborough University

Topic: Emerging Issues in Parking Policy


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Bio

Stephen Ison is Professor of Transport Policy in the Transport Studies Group, School of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University, UK. He has published widely in the area of air transport and transport demand management and parking in particular. He has guest edited a number of Journal special issues including 'Parking' for the Journal of Transport Policy Vol. 13, No. 6, 2006. He is a member of the Scientific Committee of the World Conference of Transport Research, Editor of the Journal of Research in Transportation Business and Management [Elsevier], Book Series Editor of Transport and Sustainability [Emerald Group Publishing] and has edited, authored or co-authored 7 books.