Helen Rowe from CoDesign Studio to present on ‘Reinventing Neighbourhoods through Tactical Urbanism’

Helen Rowe, Principal of CoDesign Studio to present at the Australian Regional Development Conference being 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.

Helen Rowe

Helen Rowe

Speaker Introduction: Helen Rowe has over twelve years’ experience in transport, urban planning and engagement, gained through positions with the Victorian State Government in transport policy, planning, community consultation and program delivery, as well as consulting and research roles.

Before joining CoDesign Studio, recent roles included Director of Sustainable Transport Programs and Senior Policy Manager for Transport Strategies.

Presentation Title: Reinventing Neighbourhoods through Tactical Urbanism
Co-Author: Alex Mengel

Overview: Over the last half-century, Australian regional towns have been in transition, faced with the challenges of economic and technological restructuring, changing demographics, and shifts in public policy (Baum and Stimson 2005).

Typically, these challenges are addressed with policy tweaks or major capital investment programs. While such strategies do play a role, the top-down shaping of our communities strips locals of their capacity to meaningfully contribute. The end result is either weak (up to 80% of long-term visions are never implemented, HBR, 2011) or out of sync with the needs of the community. This stops regional towns from achieving their full potential, as the resulting plans do not reflect the diversity, flexibility, local variation and long-term sustainability that comes from connected and engaged regional communities.

We can break through these regional development barriers with entrepreneurial models like Tactical Urbanism. This approach offers a set of tactics for engaged neighbourhood development, characterised by low-cost temporary projects that drive incremental long-term change. This bottom-up approach helps bridge the gap between traditional top-down planning and the need for immediate action.

The presentation will draw on CoDesign Studio’s recent body of work to demonstrate how Tactical Urbanism can transform regional towns, by building local capacity and achieving measurable results for both people and places. A recent project in Tasmania, Launceston City Heart, mobilised people from all sections of the community in the planning and design of seven key redevelopment sites across the city. Potential solutions were prototyped in situ; this enabled immediate place activation while testing designs and measuring the success of infrastructure before committing to capital investment.

This simple process of collectively implementing a shared vision illustrates the powerful impact of Tactical Urbanism and its ability to reinvent regional towns.

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

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.

Ken Johnson of The Gloucester Project to present on the changing economic and social conditions of regional development

Ken Johnson, President of The Gloucester Project to present at the Australian Regional Development Conference being 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: Ken holds a degree majoring in Geography and Education. Prior to retirement he was a Principal in the NSW Department of Education, a part-time lecturer at a number of Universities and a representative on government working parties. He was the principal designer in a program to combine multiple professional inputs to individual cases. Adaptation of this model to the needs of a community is the basis of The Gloucester Project. He was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for his professional contribution to Special Education.

Presentation Title: Regional Development Under Changing Economic and Social Conditions

Overview: The notion of “development” implies change, incremental to radical change. New Scientist (15 Oct, 2008) published a list and graphic presentations of areas of 24 significant social and economic changes issued by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program in 2004.  These included major climatic and economic changes, and showed “how the last 50 years have been a period of dramatic and unprecedented change in human history”.

Dependence on large capital from outside the region, with the region restricted to diminishing “trickle down” economic benefits is common. Currently, capital invested in regions can be readily transferred, in the search for increased capital growth opportunity. Overall population growth and rural-urban transfer rates continue to rise.

The Gloucester Project has developed and won a number of awards for its model for regional economic growth because it addresses many of these changed conditions in its Food Future program. TGP has received great encouragement, support and validation. It has also experienced many of the impediments to adaptation, from the inertia of tradition to the powerful opposition of conflicting interests. This has offered considerable experience of aspects of regional development in the face of the need to meet the “unprecedented changes”.

The presentation will offer a descriptive analysis of factors facing regional development decision-makers, from the position of capable and informed business people and residents of the region. It will draw on actual examples and relate these to the region’s plans for adaptive responses to well documented changes requiring adjustment by regions.

It is hoped to stimulate rational and objective dialogue, using the continuing experience of The Gloucester Project as a platform.

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.