Australia has spent half a trillion dollars on infrastructure in the past decade. Yet performance is not improving as fast as we are spending, and names like East-West Link or WestConnex are, for different reasons, bywords for controversy.
The problems are chiefly political. As Garry Bowditch of Sydney University points out, the frequent argument that infrastructure decisions should simply be depoliticised is not right.
Garry Bowditch recently spoke to the Australian Financial Review about the need for a coherent national strategy for infrastructure in Australia.
Marc Vogts speaks to the Australian Financial Review about whether companies should be pulling back from risky fixed price resources jobs.
The University of Sydney’s John Grill Centre for Project Leadership and the federal government’s Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development will collaborate to help get infrastructure right through a new Leadership Partnership agreement over the next four years.
"Exploiting land value capture to fund big transport projects appears to be back in fashion, but is it a panacea?" writes Garry Bowditch.
Infrastructure Australia (IA) is under new management, with a grand plan and reform agenda that at first blush seems sensible enough.
However, there are early signs of an identity crisis in IA as it wrestles with the need for more market efficiency in infrastructure and how it will evolve from its purpose of anointing projects through an administrative selection process that can produce 'hit or miss' result.
The Federal Government has released a blueprint to modernise Australia's cities. The John Grill Centre's Garry Bowditch was interviewed on his thoughts on the new plan.Read more...
An infrastructure revolution to help investors and economic recovery(AFR, 15 Feb 16) Subscription required
Australia could save billions of dollars if it shifted infrastructure spending away from "building big things" to improving existing infrastructure networks.
A new research initiative based at the University of Sydney's John Grill Centre for Project Leadership aims to eliminate the 'hit-and-miss' nature of Australia’s major projects and help deliver infrastructure benefits sooner and to greater effect for customers and the community.
The federal government's willingness to debate the Harper Review recommendation to introduce cost-reflective road pricing is an opportunity to move a difficult issue forward; provided it recognises the root and extent of the problem its seeks to fix.
The University of Sydney is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Ken Henry AC and Bob Rollinson as new members of the John Grill Centre for Project Leadership’s advisory board.
These appointments support the Centre’s ambition to undertake targeted applied research to address the infrastructure, energy, business and technology transformation challenges facing Australia.
The University of Sydney is pleased to announce the appointment of Garry Bowditch as Executive Director of the new Better Infrastructure Initiative at the John Grill Centre for Project Leadership.
As head of this new infrastructure initiative, to be based in Sydney, Garry will bolster the University’s capacity to forge close and purposeful collaborations with industry and government, both nationally and abroad. He will work to create a world-class applied research and thought leadership program in infrastructure, and is set to take up this new position in mid-October. Read More
Marc Vogts, Chief Executive of the John Grill Centre of Project Leadership notes that “more the ever organisations are under intense pressure to deliver successful major projects and capital investments to ensure returns are realised”. Working with industry and government over the past year the importance of effective governance has been highlighted as key to meet the challenges of major projects and those projects in the pipeline. Read More
"The learnings gained by professionals completing the Executive Leadership in Major Projects program are being translated into immediate action, making positive changes to the major projects they are leading", said Marc Vogts, Executive Director of the John Grill Centre of Project Leadership at the University of Sydney.
The first cohort of project professionals from infrastructure, oil & gas, telecommunications, construction and banking & finance industries joined the ELMP program in August 2014.
The commencement of this program signals a new era in executive education and a landmark step for the John Grill Centre, established to enhance leadership capability and develop a new calibre of project leaders for the future. Read more
Why infrastructure costs more in Australia than France (AFR, 2 Aug 14) Subscription required
Charged with delivering long-term project pipelines, better leadership and communication with the private sector, simplifying tender processes, creating more flexible labour practices and making savvier purchasing decisions, governments should not underestimate the task ahead, Marc Vogts says. Read more
Governance required in major projects (AFR, 17 Jan 2014) Subscription required
Research by project management consultants Caravel undertaken in 2012-2013 has estimated cost overruns on projects average 40 per cent, with an estimated $30 billion in capital lost annually because projects are not completed on time or on budget. Marc Vogts, John Grill Centre speaks to the the need for governance and education on governance. Read more
Centre will fill gaps in leadership - Santos (The Australian , 5 Oct 2013)
The human resources head of mining giant Santos says a new national centre for project leadership will help fill a deep skills gap in management candidates able to run major projects.
"Project leadership is a big gap; this country for the last few years has been riding on the back of mega projects, but we really didn't have the history around mega project leadership," Coventry says. "That centre is actually going to be critical for this country, but also be a nice feeder for some of the other countries in Asia." Read more
Leaders wanted as project management gets a promotion (BRW, 9 Oct 2013) Subscription required
Being in charge of a project needs more than technical competence; leaders must consider the broader strategic context Leo D’Angelo Fisher reports. Read more Subscription required
The John Grill Centre hosted its inaugural roundtable dinner on 25 September 2013. Guests included The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, Leigh Clifford, Chair, Qantas and Bechtel, Ged Kearney, President, ACTU, Catherine Livingstone, Chair, Telstra, and John Mulcahy, Chair, Coffey International and Mirvac. View dinner photo gallery
2013 news articles
- Public works to offset resources slowdown, says mining expert - Marc Vogts, Executive Director, John Grill Centre (Australian Financial Review, 13 September 2013)
- Business Council of Australia supports the need for project leadership education following a detailed investigation by the BCA Project Costs Task Force into the drivers of the costs of Australian investment projects. Read more
- John Grill Centre appoints first Executive Director - Marc Vogts
- Project blowouts caused by leadership vacuum - John Grill (Australian Financial Review, 3 July 2013)