Bundaberg eyed as Queensland’s next big export port

The Courier Mail


Bundaberg could become one of Queensland’s export meccas after the Palaszczuk Government announced plans to investigate establishing a state development area at the sugar city’s port.

The Co-ordinator-General will consider whether to bring more than 5000ha of land next to the existing port under the State Development Act, meaning it would be dedicated for industry and infrastructure corridors.

Bundaberg now has Queensland’s northernmost port unaffected by the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and the UNESCO sustainable planning laws.

The port is used to export sugar, wood pellets and sand, and it is hoped it could expand to minerals in the future.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said yesterday there was significant potential to expand the number of products exported from Bundaberg.

Ms Palaszczuk said there was also an opportunity to establish a biofuels plant in the Bundaberg state development area and capitalise on world demand, including the United States Navy.

State Development Minister Anthony Lynham said Bundaberg could be the unwitting beneficiary from the UNESCO decision as it was Queensland’s northern most port unaffected by the Reef heritage area.

“I can see a sustainable economic future for this region,” he said.

“It is sustainable already, we are already seeing the exports of wood pellets, which is a replacement for coal, going to Europe from this port – two shipments have left already.”

In Bundaberg, the Government also announced it would spend almost $20 million on a new gas pipeline.

Read more.

Keynote Highlight: Len Olyott, Senior Consultant, Industry Solutions at Esri Australia

The Australian Regional Development Conference is pleased to announce Mr Len Olyott, Senior Consultant, Industry Solutions, Esri Australia will present a Keynote at the Commercial Club Albury on the 26– 27 August 2015.

The Conference is an initiative of the Association for Sustainability in Business Inc., a non-Government ‘not-for-profit’ organisation.

Len Olyott

Len Olyott

With over 18 years of Geographic Information System (GIS) technology experience, Len Olyott has a passion for helping government and industry organisations to realise the potential of GIS. As a senior consultant for the Esri Australia Industry Solutions team, Len specialises in working with government and private sector entities to develop location-based solutions to support organisational growth.

The author and co-author of several scientific articles, popular magazine articles and book chapters, Len’s experience has provided him with the opportunity to share his knowledge at a number of industry conferences around the world. Len’s particular passions include local government, geodesign and web GIS.

About Esri Australia

Esri Australia is the nation’s leading Geographic Information System (GIS) specialist. From humble beginnings in 1977 – a single office based in Perth – we have expanded into seven capital cities and have the capacity to service clients across the country. For almost 40 years we have worked with thousands of clients, across a diverse range of sectors. This gives us the confidence and capability to tackle any challenge, in any industry.

To us, geography is everything. GIS employs the science of geography to map and analyse information. As market leaders for GIS in Australia, we use cutting-edge technology to deliver valuable location-based intelligence to our clients – a process that helps them to see more and do more with their information. We are at the forefront of the $2.1 billion Australian GIS industry and have a peerless reputation for delivering solutions that transform how organisations identify opportunities and unlock potential.

Our people are problem solvers. Armed with premium products, the Esri Australia team applies an investigative, analytical approach to find solutions to the most complex challenges. We’ve successfully assembled Australia’s largest and most skilled group of GIS professionals including business analysts, environmental scientists, surveyors, cartographers and software developers. As a result, Esri Australia’s services continue to set both national and international benchmarks.

Underpinning our market position is a genuine passion for what we do. We are committed to making a difference – in the corporate world and wider community. This passion for the science behind GIS and our considered, insightful approach enables us to deliver exceptional results.

Collaboration is also central to the way we operate – with every assignment we bring our extensive experience and expertise. We’ve been an integral part of some of the most exciting GIS projects on Australian shores and work with the nation’s most progressive geo-enabled enterprises.

State and local governments and Federal agencies across the country, and fellow industry leaders, are among those who look to Esri Australia for truly transformative solutions.

Government releases Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper

Excerpt below taken from Australian Government’s ‘White Paper at a Glance’

Stronger farmers, stronger economy

Agriculture has always played an important role in the success of our nation—it touches all Australians.

The Government is committed to strengthening the sector and ensuring it remains as competitive as possible, because stronger farmers mean a stronger Australian econ​omy.

The opportunities for the sector are enormous. We sit on the edge of the strongest growing region in the world, have a developed agriculture sector, have world-class food safety and environmental credentials, possess modern technology, have a strong economy and employ skilled labour.

The agriculture sector is well placed to prosper.

For the past 18 months the Government has listened to the challenges that farmers are facing and discussed what is required for them to be successful on the land. From this feedback we h​ave developed the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.

The White Paper outlines the initiatives and commitments by the Australian Government for each of our five priority areas for action. It is a $4 billion investment in our farmers.

For more details on the White Paper, visit the Government’s dedicated page here.

To download the White Paper click here.

GM of Industry Strategy & Public Policy at Vodafone Hutchison Australia to present at Australian Regional Development Conference

Matthew Lobb, General Manager, Industry Strategy & Public Policy at Vodafone Hutchison Australia will present at the Australian Regional Development Conference will be held at the Commercial Club Albury on the 26– 27 August 2015 .

The conference is an initiative of the Association for Sustainability in Business Inc., a non-Government ‘not-for-profit’ organisation.

Speaker Introduction: Matthew Lobb has overall responsibility for Vodafone’s government and stakeholder relations, regulatory affairs and public policy reform agenda. A key focus of this work is to advocate the need for a level competitive playing field in Australian telecommunications that fosters innovation and drives improvements to customer service.

Matthew joined Vodafone in 2011 after working as General Manager for Industry Engagement at NBN Co from 2009. Prior to this Matthew had an eight year stint in Telstra and held a range of roles including Director, Telstra Consumer Pricing, Group Manager, Commercial Development and Group Regulatory Manager, Telstra Wholesale.

Matthew also has extensive experience within Government having worked as an advisor to the Minister for Transport and Roads in NSW and to the Minister for Competition and Consumer Affairs in the Federal Government.

Matthew is a Rhodes Scholar and has Honours degrees in Economics and in Law from the Australian National University, a MA from Oxford University and a MSc (International Relations) from the London School of Economics.

Presentation Title: Utilising the NBN to deliver improved regional mobile telecommunications coverage and choice


Regional consumers are demanding mobile coverage and 83 percent of regional consumers agree that being able to choose their mobile provider is important.

Overcoming the roadblocks to mobile competition in regional areas will ensure consumers and businesses receive more coverage, better value, better service, choice and innovation.

Australia’s telecommunications market has undergone a profound change in the last 15 years and Australian consumers have become some of the most technologically savvy in the world. These changes and the rapid uptake of new technology have fundamentally changed our lives and benefited our economy.

In many places in regional Australia the economy and consumers are being denied access to reliable mobile phone coverage and the benefits that flow from mobility. The Australian telecommunications market is not driving sufficient investment in regional mobile infrastructure to deliver the benefits of the mobility to all Australians. Incentivising investment and removing the roadblocks to coverage expansion is a policy challenge that must be overcome.

In many areas of Australia it is only economically viable to build one set of mobile infrastructure. The best approach to deliver improved mobile coverage and increase consumer choice is for Government to facilitate telecommunications industry collaboration that reduces costs by better sharing infrastructure.

This includes leveraging the substantial investments that the NBN is undertaking in regional Australia. There are also a range of other policy levers that can be used to encourage infrastructure sharing. This includes better utilisation of the $300m per annum Universal Service Obligation payments that are currently not directed to mobile infrastructure.

The needs of mobile networks are technically similar to other uses of the NBN. In regional areas the NBN can reduce the costs of building mobile networks to expand coverage by utilising the NBN’s fixed-line network for ‘access backhaul’ services. NBN’s fixed-wireless network which is currently being built can also provide a foundation for the expansion of mobile coverage across Australia.

To view and/or download the Australian Regional Development Conference program, please click here.

Max Eastcott General Manager of Gwydir Shire Council to present on funding local roads


Max Eastcott

Max Eastcott

Max Eastcott General Manager of Gwydir Shire Council  will present at the Australian Regional Development Conference will be held at the Commercial Club Albury on the 26– 27 August 2015.

Presentation Title:   An Innovative approach to local road funding

Presentation Overview:  The Australian Rural Roads Group Inc. (ARRG) signed an agreement on Australia Day 2014 with Infrastructure Australia, which is known as the Bingara Accord.


The Accord stated that:

The parties agree:

  1. to seek to bring roads into line with the mainstream practices of Australia’s infrastructure sectors;
  2. to employ user pays-user says trials for road improvements to test this approach;
  3. that the Australian Rural Roads Group asset and investment template is appropriate for local roads throughout regional Australia;
  4. that submissions should be made to include suitably aggregated proposals in Infrastructure Australia’s national infrastructure audit and infrastructure priorities list.

As a result of this Accord five North West NSW Councils known as the North-West Network (Gwydir, Moree Plains, Gunnedah, Warrumbungle and Narrabri Shire Councils) commissioned a report to submit to Infrastructure Australia that detailed how additional Federal Government funding for rural local roads could be justified as economically responsible based upon productivity improvement outcomes.

The North-West Network is a road investment and sustainability program designed for a 57,000 square kilometre agricultural powerhouse region of north-western New South Wales. It has two main features:

  • Road productivity and
  • Roads sustainability

The network – over 12,000 kilometres of roads – has little opportunity to secure major new capital funds from governments in the prevailing fiscal climate. Yet at the same time, the public sector roads ‘system’ does not offer significant avenues for productivity-based funding allocations. This program has been designed to be submitted to Infrastructure Australia and in turn to the New South Wales government and Infrastructure NSW for formal recognition as a ‘national infrastructure priority list’ project, based on:

  • National agricultural productivity;
  • Links to the proposed Inland Rail;
  • Innovative market investment approach to financing roads;
  • Economic Merit; and.
  • It is Deliverable.

The presentation will outline the process followed and the methodology adopted and why it should be used as a template for an improved road funding model.

National Road Asset Reporting PilotFor more information on the National Road Asset Reporting Pilot or to view/download the Bingara Accord please click here.