From the CEO - March 2018


I am writing my article this month on a flight to Melbourne ahead of the launch of Infrastructure Australia's Future Cities report.

The IA report aims to help with planning for the future of Australia’s four largest cities Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. With Sydney and Melbourne predicted to become metropolises of eight million people each, almost double the size they currently are, they will grow to become as populous as New York and London are today. Perth’s growth to more than four million people will challenge the status quo and require new ways of planning for and accommodating almost two million more residents. We look forward to continuing the conversation generated by this report with policy and decision makers so as to ensure Perth remains liveable, vibrant and sustainable as our population grows. I was pleased to have been appointed as a member of the expert panel to shape the IA report and review the final draft, I found it rewarding to have been involved in such an interesting thought-leadership project at the national level. Read the report here.

Our Board has recently signed off on the FACTBase agenda for the year and we now have the exciting challenge of delivering on the most ambitious research program we've ever undertaken. During 2018 we will be publishing more research for our Bigger & Better Beyond the Boom project with FACTBase Bulletins on the workforce, innovation, global connectivity and the economy. In April, we will publish a FACTBase Special Report - a case study on the Kwinana Industrial Area which documents the development of this important economic zone. It is a reminder of the role that government and the private sector plays in planning for and sustaining new industries and jobs which grow Perth’s capability and connectivity.

To keep gender on the agenda and advance the recommendations made in our Filling the Pool report, we will also publish a Bulletin by guest researcher Professor Morten Huse on Norway’s experience with gender boardroom quotas which has resulted in 40% of female directors on listed boards. During his week-long visit, Professor Huse will hold a number of briefings and academic sessions and at his only public event, will be sharing the very interesting findings of the FACTBase Bulletin. With the issue of quotas on boards being grappled with around the world, it’s an event I’d encourage you to attend.

Our events program is as busy as our research agenda. At the first Chairman’s 20 event for the year, we welcomed guest Eric Lumsden PSM, Chairman of the Western Australian Planning Commission. Eric reflected candidly on his long career in planning and the public service. Although not retiring for a few months, I wanted to personally thank Eric for the respect he has shown to the Committee for Perth as a legitimate stakeholder in planning for the future of the Perth and Peel region.

The need for further reform and better integration were key themes in reports released during February. As were more rigorous businesses cases and greater levels of accountability and transparency. All things that the modern-day government, working on behalf of an increasingly astute community expects. It is good to see these issues being broadly discussed because over the past decade the Committee’s reports have continually called for these reforms.

We are currently working on extracting the key learnings from the seven case studies produced for our What We Thought Would Kill Us series. These will then be presented at the Australian Smart Communities Conference in May, and will no doubt reinforce the need for greater levels of genuine community engagement before major projects are undertaken

In closing, it’s been very satisfying to see that many of the issues that the Committee for Perth has been advocating on and carrying out research into over the years becoming topics that are being discussed within the broader community and by policy and decision makers. There is no doubt in my mind that as an organisation we are often at the forefront of though-leadership. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our members for their ongoing intellectual and financial commitment to helping shape the Perth and Peel region by supporting landmark research that is independent, unbiased and future focused.

Other articles from Insight, March 2018 (view email newsletter):