Day One

Registration and welcome coffee
Opening Remarks From Chair

Emma de Jager
Executive Officer
Planning Institute of Australia

Infrastructure: The reforms and investments Australia needs

In the next 30 years, Australia will be home to 36 million people with about 75% of that growth to be centred in our largest cities—Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. Although we will need more infrastructure, we won’t be able to just build our way out. We will also need to focus on policy reform and getting more out of what we already have.

This session will include:

  • Australia's funding reform
  • Road user charging and better-use investments
  • Making existing infrastructure more resilient

Philip Davies
Chief Executive Officer
Infrastructure Australia

Leveraging technology to optimise the use of existing infrastructure

Sydney’s Rail Future is a long term plan to increase the capacity of Sydney’s heavy rail network through investment in new services and upgrading of existing infrastructure through modernisation.

  • Discover the 5 key stages of Sydney’s Future Rail plans
  • How will TfNSW deliver shorter journey times by retrofitting existing infrastructure with smart technology?

Pascal Labouze
Executive Director of Operational Systems
Transport for NSW

How economically feasible is retrofitting infrastructure?

Australia’s cities are expanding and with this, there’s the need to plan and build infrastructure and transport that can safely and reliably support the population, while also lowering our individual and collective environmental impact.

  • How do we address the issue of population growth?
  • Is the cost of retrofitting existing infrastructure creating diseconomies of scale?
  • How do we invest in modern infrastructure in order to reduce our per capita impacts on the environment?

William Bourke
President and Secretary
Sustainable Australia

Morning tea and exhibition viewing
Panel Discussion: How can Australia turn ‘smart’ ideas into a reality?
  • How can smart technology facilitate infrastructure construction projects?
  • Do we have the right construction power to turn these infrastructure plans into a reality?
  • How can the industry and government collaborative better to deliver economic prosperity for Australia?


Cynthia Mitchell
Professor of Sustainability
Institute of Sustainable Futures


Philip Davies
Chief Executive Officer
Infrastructure Australia

William Bourke
President and Secretary
Sustainable Australia 

Annie Manson
Manager - Planning & Policy
Urban Taskforce Australia

Extracting more value from the Australian freight supply chain

Digital technology has the potential to transform every aspect of moving freight through a supply chain. New and retrofitted technology could radically change the way freight is moved, optimising operations and increasing productivity while partially offsetting the need for ever-increasing infrastructure investment.

  • How can Australia’s urban networks better prioritise passenger and freight services in the most effective manner possible?
  • Discover how the national freight and supply chain strategy has been developed to increase the productivity and efficiency of Australia's freight supply chain

Simon Morgan
Director - Government & Communications
Australian Logistics Council

Driving the adoption of smart roads for the future

Transport for NSW and Roads and Maritime Services have partnered with Motorway operator Transurban and some of the world’s leading car makers to test cars with the latest technology on NSW motorways and roads. 

  • Discover how the most technically advanced vehicles work with our current motorway infrastructure. 
  • Determine where changes may be needed in how we maintain and improve our current road infrastructure, as well as how we design, build and manage smart infrastructure in the future. 
  • Preliminary results and learnings will be shared through this presentation.

Dr Natalie Pelham
Executive Director, Innovation Research and Reform
Transport for NSW

Lunch and exhibition viewing
Roundtable sessions

Attendees will have the option of attending 3 of 6 concurrent sessions (25 min per session). Roundtables are interactively moderated group discussions where delegates get the chance to debate and discover common issues, challenges and solutions.

1. Planning for the ever increasing demand for infrastructure 

Australia’s estimated residential population soared by 1.61% in the last year however, the urban planning for this growth is inadequate. Discover NSW’s population growth for the next 20 years and how Australia is planning to respond to this demand on infrastructure.

Chris O’Dell
Director of Housing and Population Insights
Department of Planning & Environment

2. Demographic changes and infrastructure impact

Australia’s population is not only increasing, it’s changing. With the increase in obesity, the aging population, and also the change in climate, how can we take advantage of smart technology to enhance the flexibility of this ever changing world?

Richard Denniss
Executive Director
The Australia Institute

3. Interoperable challenges of connected infrastructure

While smart infrastructure projects have been early adopters of IoT, the impact of implementing connected devices can often be considered one-dimensional at best - most of these projects are currently standalone initiatives and are unable to interconnect or work alongside other projects. Why is interoperability the key to delivering real value from IoT-connected states?

Catherine Caruana-McManus
Meshed IoT Integrators

4. Public value and infrastructure investments

Infrastructure can underpin Australia's quality of life so when issues with our infrastructure emerge, Australians expect our governments to step in and fix the problem. What is often missing from discussions about infrastructure is how we pay for the services we use and the improvements we expect.

Jed Horner
Policy Manager
Standards Australia

5. What is an infrastructure fit for the future?

Infrastructure (such as transport, water, energy, and communications) underpins our ability to live in cities and our quality of life. And most infrastructure is very, very long-lived. Therefore, our infrastructure investment decisions matter enormously, especially for tomorrow. Discover what we can do is set ourselves up for a resilient future where our infrastructure is at its core - flexible and adaptable.

Cynthia Mitchell
Professor of Sustainability
Institute of Sustainable Futures

6. How to future proof Australia?

Infrastructure assets are utilised every day for electricity, gas or water and is essential to everyday life. So how do we maintain the longevity of Australia’s infrastructure? How can we improve the productivity, network efficiency and reliability of our infrastructure while reducing lifecycle costs?

Emma de Jager
Executive Officer
Planning Institute of Australia

Networking break and exhibition viewing
How can Sydney grow in a faster, more sustainable way?

Sydney’s population growth is forecast to  increase by 735,000 by 2036.

  • How can this growth can be accommodated in a sustainable, practical and sensitive way?
  • What are the pros and cons of urban planning, design and development?
  • How can we deliver sustainable growth quickly with agile and flexible planning systems?

Chris Johnson
Chief Executive Officer
Urban Taskforce Australia

Sustainable Infrastructure Investments

To meet Australia’s long-term infrastructure needs, governments need to be smarter about how we invest. Discover how the IPFA intend to:

  • Support better informed investment decision and management for the Commonwealth
  • Enhance the attractiveness of public infrastructure for private investments

Margaret Makeham-Kirchner
Infrastructure and Project Financing Agency

End of day one and networking drinks