“TAKE INFRASTRUCTURE OUT OF POLITICS”
Consultants urge candidates to think long-term

CANBERRA (12/10/16) – Australia’s leading industry body for consulting firms in the built environment, Consult Australia, has urged political parties find ways to take politics out of infrastructure and think long term.

Consult Australia has released five policy recommendations entitled: ‘Think in Decades’ calling for candidates to commit to a thirty-year infrastructure plan and ‘respect contracts’ signed between industry and government.

Kevin Keith, Consult Australia ACT Manager, said: “Great cities require decades of foresight. They understand the importance of people, and the challenges and opportunities associated with increasing urbanisation, technological change and connectivity. They are smart and future-focused.”

“This is why we are calling for a 30-year infrastructure plan, why Canberra should be Australia’s capital of smart city technology, and why we believe the ‘tearing up’ of the Light Rail contract is a dangerous precedent. It damages industry confidence at a time when it is needed most, raises sovereign risk issues, could cost taxpayers as much as $300 million, and debilitates long term planning.”

Consult Australia’s FIVE recommendations are as follows:

1.     Think in decades: Develop a 30-year plan of necessary infrastructure to sustain a population expected to double by 2060.

2.     Respect contracts: Maintain all contracts signed between government and industry.

3.     Redefine relationships: Develop new engagement guidelines on industry, citizen and government engagement.

4.     Capital of SMART: Become leader in the development, implementation, and governance of smart city technology and related innovation.

5.     More for Less: Develop positive professional procurement culture based on open relationships, quality and value for taxpayers.

Consult Australia members range from some of the world’s largest companies combining local and federal work, to independent sole traders using their skills to make Canberra a better place. Members include firms employing engineers, architects, economists, planners, management consultants, surveyors and more, who work in the built environment.

You download the Consult Australia Election platform here: http://bit.ly/ACT2016CA

CONSULTANTS WELCOME SMART BUDGET

CANBERRA (09/06/16) - Representatives from the professional association of consulting firms working in the built environment, Consult Australia, have welcomed the ACT Government’s budget 2016 / 2017.

Consult Australia ACT Manager Kevin Keith said: “Canberra is Australia’s first knowledge economy. It’s the original smart city. Its economic future is linked to its ability to efficiently connect firms, employees, and researchers to each other across a culturally alive, talent-attracting centre, within a region of sufficient scale to attract further investment.”

“This is why the four-year investment of $2.9 billion in infrastructure, investment in roads and an integrated transport system, and further commitments to strengthen regional and international connections is welcomed, as are the figures for private sector jobs growth.”

“There is always more that can be done, but the economic direction is there in this smart budget.”

Consult Australia members range from some of the world’s largest companies combining local and federal work, to independent sole traders using their skills to make Canberra a better place. Members include engineers, architects, economists, planners, management consultants, surveyors and more, who work in the built environment.

SMART AND FUTURE FOCUSSED

Consultants welcome ‘State of Territory’ address

31st March 2016 CANBERRARepresentatives of Australia’s industry association for consulting firms working in the built environment, Consult Australia, have welcomed the Chief Minister’s State of the Territory address [31/03/16] and ‘Canberra - A statement of ambition’ document.

Consult Australia State Manager Kevin Keith said: “This Address was an important acknowledgement of progress around strategic investments in infrastructure, renewable energy and urban renewal, alongside the continued growth of the knowledge-based economy, but of greater significance was the emphasis on future directions of travel.”

“Great cities require decades of foresight. They understand the importance of people, and the challenges and opportunities associated with increasing urbanisation, technological change and connectivity. They are smart and future focussed.”

“This is why the launched ‘Statement of Ambition’ is a step in the right direction. Four themes of talent retention through liveability, diversifying the economy, connecting to the city and region, and leading on smart city initiatives set an important framework from which agendas must be aligned, objectives set, and progress made.”

“Furthermore, continued commitment to density so as to encourage innovation and creativity, alongside smart city initiatives, will provide a strong point of differentiation, enhancing reputation and supporting future global competitiveness.”

Consult Australia members range from some of the world’s largest companies combining local and federal work, to independent sole traders using their skills to make Canberra a better place. Members include firms employing engineers, architects, economists, planners, management consultants, surveyors and more, who work in the built environment.

You can find out more by visiting www.consultaustralia.com.au

ENDS

CRITICAL FOR FUTURE PRODUCTIVITY

Consultants welcome Canberra light rail announcement

2nd February 2016 CANBERRA - Representatives of Australia’s largest professional association of consulting firms working in the built environment, Consult Australia, have welcomed the announcement of the winning consortia, Canberra Metro, to construct and manage the first stage of Canberra’s light rail project – Capital Metro.

Consult Australia’s state manager, Kevin Keith, said: “This announcement is important for today, through the immediate creation of jobs and opportunities in related urban renewal projects. It is equally important for tomorrow, as a strategic investment in the future economy of Canberra: high connectivity, enabling employees to flow efficiently in and out of business districts, is critical for future productivity and competitiveness.”

“Light rail is evidence that Canberra can do long-term infrastructure planning in the same vein as that upon which it was founded. The challenge now is to do so again and again, to develop a pipeline of projects, and leave industry in no doubt, that this is a city full of confidence in which to invest, to develop, and grow.”

“Consult Australia looks forward to working with Canberra Metro and the ACT Government, to ensure opportunities stemming from this announcement are maximised.”

Consult Australia members range from some of the world’s largest companies combining local and federal work, to independent sole traders using their skills to make Canberra a better place. Members include engineers, architects, economists, planners, management consultants, surveyors and more, who work in the built environment.

You can find out more by visiting www.consultaustralia.com.au

ENDS

ACTON TUNNEL HIGHLIGHTS TIME TO ACT ON RESILIENCE

22nd October 2015 CANBERRA – The incident involving a truck smashing an excavator into Acton Tunnel, Parkes Way on Tuesday [20/10/15] highlights the importance of building city resilience, say members of built environment body Consult Australia working to reopen the site.

City resilience is the capacity of people and places to survive, adapt, and grow in the face of chronic stresses and acute shocks. It considers the impact of sudden sharp events like the failure of critical infrastructure such as Acton Tunnel, alongside longer term issues including population growth, city planning and environmental change.

“Resilient cities are those with organised buildings and services; practised governments and response systems; and engaged communities who contribute to broader conversations about risk and change at a social, economic, technological, and environmental level,” said Kevin Keith, ACT Manager for Consult Australia. “In context of Acton Tunnel this means applauding the excellent response work of agencies, communication with communities, and adaptability of Canberrans who amended their routine accordingly. It also means thinking about population growth, infrastructure maintenance, over-reliance on one mode of transport, impact on productivity and other factors to minimise the impact of a similar future event. It is about making sure resilience is an integrated part of government policy framework.”

More information on resilience is available through the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council [ASBEC] who has published a Built Environment Adaptation Framework, or through visiting 100 Resilient Cities set up by the Rockefeller Foundation, who are seeking to improve resilience through a global worldwide network. Consult Australia is the main professional body working for consulting firms working in the built environment and includes engineers, architects, planners, and surveyors. You can find out more by visiting www.consultaustralia.com.au

ENDS

“THIS LETTER SHOULD WORRY ALL THOSE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT CANBERRA’S FUTURE.”

Industry body blasts Canberra Liberals ‘anti-investment’ letter

10th June 2015 - The leading industry body for consultants in the built environment have blasted the Canberra Liberals for ‘playing politics’ with infrastructure, ignoring lessons from other states, and potentially presenting taxpayers a multi-million dollar bill with no return.

Consult Australia, who represent 48 000 firms across Australia, have called on the Canberra Liberals to better understand how industry operates following a letter sent to consortiums involved in the ACT Government’s Light Rail project, warning that a future Liberal government would end the project.

Kevin Keith, Consult Australia ACT Manager, said: “You cannot play politics with long-term infrastructure plans: it costs the tax-payer, it jeopardises long-term growth, and decimates industry-confidence.”

“This letter should worry all those optimistic about Canberra’s future. It is a letter that implies Governments can chop-and-change infrastructure plans every four years; it is a letter that renders planning irrelevant as new governments can simply tear-up the work of the previous and start again; it is a letter that raises sovereign risk issues and could see the taxpayer having to pay hundreds of millions of dollars for nothing in return – as has just happened in Victoria. It is anti-growth, anti-industry, and anti-investment.”

“Our advice to the Canberra Liberals is not to set this precedent, not to decimate Canberra’s ability to have vision or a long-term plan, by threatening intervention at a time when Canberra’s economy needs less politics not more.”

Consult Australia is made up of some of the world’s largest companies combining local and federal work, to independent sole traders using their skills to make Canberra a better place. Members include engineers, architects, economists, planners, management consultants, surveyors and more, who work in the built environment. You can find out more by visiting www.consultaustralia.com.au

Built Environment Consultants Welcome ACT Budget

3rd June 2015 - Representatives of Australia’s largest professional association of consulting firms working in the built environment, Consult Australia, have welcomed the ACT Government’s budget 2015 / 2016.

Consult Australia Chief Executive Megan Motto said: “There are clear long-term structural changes which need to take place in the ACT: a movement away from finite land / asset sales and dependence on the federal government, to one of growth through increased participation in a productive knowledge-based economy.”

“This budget, whilst clearly having to address short-term issues like the Asbestos Eradication Scheme, manages to retain a sense of strategic direction.”

“Emphasis on infrastructure as part of a longer term plan for growth; innovation to establish a knowledge economy; improving urban inward investment through a marketable and attractive brand, are all welcomed by our members.”

“There is more that can be done: we feel we can collaborate with government more at a strategic level on Canberra's long term vision, and help with efficiency around procurement, so it is not just about how money is spent, but how best money is spent, and we look forward to doing this in the future.”

Consult Australia members range from some of the world’s largest companies combining local and federal work, to independent sole traders using their skills to make Canberra a better place. Members include engineers, architects, economists, planners, management consultants, surveyors and more, who work in the built environment.

FUTURENET EVENT - 14th MAY



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At the first of The Future Sessions 2015 you will learn from experts about how to do things differently, how to step outside the box, and why this is a necessity for you and for our city to achieve more.

Terry Shaw of Stomping Ground Collective and COO SHL Development and Sarah Pearson, CEO of CBR Innovation Network, will give their take on why things ‘should never be the same again’, and an interactive session will help you understand why.

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Tickets cost $35 and include breathtaking views over Lake Burley Griffin, a few drinks, and a space full of innovators, pioneers, leaders.

Click here to book online or here to download the form.

PUTTING ‘CAN BE’ IN CANBERRA

A pioneering group of young professionals will bring Canberra’s new brand to life at the launch of a series of events called ‘The Future Sessions’ on April 29th 2014 at the National Library of Australia.


Image (Left to Right): Future Net team - AJ Bala, Jessica De Rome, Sam Dunning, Nicole Kopras, Michael Smith and Michael Hill (Chair). Image from the Canberra Times.

Made of up of consulting engineers, architects, and recruitment specialists, the group known as Future Net, volunteered their time on the project, with support from professional services body Consult Australia and the CBR Brand Canberra team.

  • Mix personal development with city development through inspirational speakers, innovative training sessions, and the championing of Canberra.
  • Collaborate across sectors and experience levels, so as to encourage creative thinking and mentoring opportunities.
  • Develop in work as good professionals and in life as good citizens, through awareness of ‘bigger picture’ issues and donating 10% of event ticket sales to a local charity.

Michael Hill, Chair of the Future Net group, said: “Having a city-focus provides common ground for all young professionals to get involved in The Future Sessions, whether you are from the public or private sector. We can all learn from each other and have a good time along the way.”

“Canberra is full of bright, inspiring and innovative people that are renowned for their ideas and collaboration. We see The Future Sessions as a way of further promoting the brilliant possibilities available in Canberra.”

Planning for the first two ‘Future Sessions’ is advanced. ‘Growth’ at the National Arboretum on Monday 12th May includes Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh MP talking about economic growth; ‘Glass Ceiling’ at the Canberra Glassworks in July will see the launch of the inaugural Chief Minister’s Challenge - young professionals with differing skills to work collaboratively on a project set by Katy Gallagher MLA.

Kevin Keith, ACT Manager for Consult Australia, said: “The Future Sessions is about the ‘can be’ in Canberra: supporting what young professionals ‘can be’ and what our city ‘can be’ so as to inspire others to become part of it.”

The launch of “The Future Sessions” will commence at 5.30pm (Tuesday 29 April) in the foyer of the National Library of Australia.

To find out more about The Future Sessions contact Kevin Keith at kevin@consultaustralia.com.au or
 0420 901 276, or follow @CBRFuture on Twitter.

ACT News

New guidelines, new direction in ACT

 Industry association, Consult Australia has welcomed the release of the ACT Government’s new guidelines for major projects at a boardroom luncheon held with ACT Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr earlier today.

Consult Australia’s new ACT Manager, Kevin Keith said the guidelines signal that the Government is serious about attracting private sector investment to the ACT, and that industry looks forward to working with them to achieve this goal.

“Value capture, bond banks, and recycling capital are just some of the money-saving methods industry representatives highlighted to Minister Barr at our boardroom lunch,” said Mr Keith.

“The architects, engineers, quantity surveyors and planners in our industry are ready and waiting to do what they can to support economic growth through greater collaboration.

“We know that the public and private sectors are stronger united, and that we have a collective responsibility to lead the ACT towards a more balanced, progressive economy.”

Consult Australia represents an industry comprising some 48,000 firms across Australia, is estimated to employ over 240,000 people, and generate combined revenue exceeding $40 billion a year. Approximate 40 percent of work undertaken by Consult Australia’s 270 member firms is for public sector clients, including roles in the creation of some of Australia’s most iconic public infrastructure. Attendees at the Association’s boardroom lunch ranged from representatives from both large multi-nationals and locally-based firms including GHD, SKM, URS, AECOM, SMEC, Aurecon, Brown Consulting, Webb Australia Group, and Indesco.

At the meeting Minister Barr acknowledged the changes within the economy and welcomed the opportunity to work more closely with Consult Australia members and the industry in the future.

“The ACT Government is committed to attracting more private sector jobs and investment to Canberra,” said Minister Barr. “We’re focusing on our strengths in areas such as ICT, knowledge-based industries, construction and education but welcoming investment across all areas of the economy. Our new framework will provide a clear path for the private sector to bring forward innovative ideas, solutions and projects.

“This renewed focus on investment comes at an important time for Canberra and I look forward to working closely with Consult Australia to help grow our economy.”

“This meeting represented the start of what Consult Australia hopes will be an increasingly open and collaborative relationship with the government, and is part of our exciting new direction for Consult Australia in the capital,” said Mr Keith.

ACT Newsletter
 

The ACT Newsletter is emailed to all ACT Division Members on an as required basis; it contains updates on what is happening in ACT, branch updates and other items of interest to our members. To subscribe to the ACT Newsletter, please contact kevin@consultaustralia.com.au


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