Director of AURIN, Andrew Dingjan to present on ‘Harnessing Data to Support Regional Development’

Andrew Dingjan, Director of AURIN 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.

Andrew Dingjan

Andrew Dingjan

Speaker Introduction: Andrew was appointed Director of AURIN in March 2015.

He joined from CSIRO where he worked for 9 years in executive level business, technology commercialisation and research management leadership positions. Having worked across CSIRO’s Digital Productivity and Health Flagships and led a research team within CSIRO’s Mathematics and Statistics Division, Andrew’s contributions were substantial. Most recently as CSIRO Senior Technical Advisor to Boeing where he successfully negotiated and executed a $25million/5 year strategic research alliance, in the process, identifying an opportunity for a new line of business for CSIRO in network enabled manufacturing. Prior to that, as Research Theme Leader for the Decision Technologies Theme, Andrew successfully led the first forays for CSIRO’s decision sciences into the business & government ‘services economy’ resulting in the $20 million/ 3 year Department of Human Services (Centrelink) contract and the $6 million/3 year CSIRO-Monash Superannuation Research Cluster. In 2012 Andrew was corecipient of the CSIRO Medal for Research Achievement for his role in the successful commercialisation and licensing of a new aerospace technology.

Prior to joining CSIRO Andrew held Group Executive Level Marketing roles with a number of Australia’s largest financial institutions, including ANZ. His passion for R&D driven innovation was reinforced early on as Communications and Policy advisor to Australia’s original applied R&D business, Invetech Vision Systems. During this time Andrew was active in re-focussing debate in Australian industry on R&D investment levels as a percentage of revenue turnover and encouraging increased expenditure on product and process innovation as a means of achieving business advantage.

Andrew attended the University of Melbourne, was a resident of Trinity College, and graduated with a BA (Hons). He earned his MBA from RMIT University’s Graduate School of Management. He holds a Diploma in Corporate Management from the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators/Australian Graduate School of Management and is a 2013 graduate from the Boeing Executive leadership Program at the Boeing Leadership Centre in St Louis, Missouri.

Presentation Title: Harnessing Data to Support Regional Development: An Australian Case Study
Co-Author: John Barton, Urban Data and eResearch Officerat AURIN

Overview: As the environmental and demographic pressures are placed on our rural and regional communities, there is need for ambitious approaches to provide the right data and analytical tools to support smart regional growth and planning. This paper introduces the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network which is currently enabling a network of researchers, planners and policy-makers from across Australia in evidence-based decision making, via access to an online workbench of data and tools. The workbench comprises of almost 2,000 datasets, over 100 spatial statistical routines, and a select number of planning support systems and geodesign tools. We will outline the data and analytical capability the online workbench, introduce a couple of the PSS tools and spatial statistical capabilities through a case-study approach which can be applied to the Australian regional context. We also discuss the user outreach and capacity building capability program which is a critical component to assist with user adoption. We conclude with some thoughts and suggestions on how previously urban-focussed research programs can be re-prioritised to support excellent decision making in our peri-urban, regional and remote communities.

About the Conference
The Australian Regional Development Conference is an initiative of the Association for Sustainability in Business Inc., a non-Government ‘not-for-profit’ organisation. The 2015 theme is “Redefining the Future of Regional Australia”, it will explore the issues and opportunities facing Regional Australia today and into the future.

Concurrent streams will focus on the following topics:

  • Sustainability / Renewables
  • Population Movements
  • Community Development
  • Government Policy
  • Innovation
  • Infrastructure
  • Cultural Tourism / Regional Tourism Development
  • Free Trade Agreements
  • Transport and Logistics
  • NBN / Broadband Communication
  • Banking / Finance

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.

Decline on the cards for small towns


(via The Land)

AN ambitious goal of 40,000 new jobs for regional NSW is at the core of the Coalition’s Regional Kick Start plan, but what’s happening behind the headlines?

According to the latest labour force data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) jobs growth in regional NSW has been static for the last three years.

There were 1190 jobs in regional NSW at the start of 2011, the same as the most recent figure recorded in December 2014 but unemployment had increased by 16,000 to 90,000.

Regional growth is now more pressing than ever, with widespread decline predicted by the NSW Department of Planning across much of NSW from 2011 to 2031 (see graphic).

However, NSW Deputy Premier and Nationals leader Troy Grant said despite the negative data from the ABS, the Coalition had actually met its target.

“More than 39,000 jobs have been created outside Sydney since 2011,” he said.

“While employment statistics provide a measure of past economic activity, job vacancies indicate future economic performance.

“The latest job vacancy figures for regional NSW are very encouraging, showing a 6.9 per cent increase in internet job vacancies from November 2013 to November 2014.”

Opposition regional affairs spokesman Mick Veitch said the latest labour force figures disproved the claim.

“The ABS has belled the cat and exposed their broken promise,” he said, “if ever there was a policy whacked together on the back of an envelope it was the Decade of Decentralisation.”

The Land has campaigned for more than a year on the need to boost investment in regional infrastructure, including bridges, roads, freight rail, hospitals and small towns…

Read more by Mike Foley, The Land 12 February 2015

Perth and Adelaide airports gain master plan approvals


Image: Steve Christo via My Wealth News

The federal government has approved master plans for both Perth and Adelaide airports, saying expansion will support future growth in both airport employment and the number of visiting passengers.

Perth Airport currently facilitates more than 17,000 jobs and contributes an estimated $2.61bn to Western Australia’s gross regional product (GRP). These figures are expected to increase to 42,000 jobs and a GRP contribution of $7.04bn by 2034, according to an airport press release.

The Perth master plan approval sees the airport move one step closer to building a proposed third runway and terminal.

Perth Airport will also work with the Western Australian state government to finalise a route and station locations for the proposed Forrestfield-Airport rail link, an 8.5km rail link that will connect Forrestfield to Perth city with a new train line.

“The Master Plan recognises that the airport needs to develop integrated plans that complement Perth’s broader urban and infrastructure plans, and take into account the impact of airport development on surrounding communities and the environment,” said Perth Airport chief executive, Brad Geatches.

Formal approval was granted for the master plan of Adelaide Airport, which is the largest single site employer in the state, contributing more than $1.9bn to the South Australian economy, based on the airport’s figures.

Jobs supported by the airport are expected to double to 37,100 by 2034.

“The investment programme recognises the importance of expansion to support a growing airport jobs and customer base, and includes plans to better integrate regional airline services into the main terminal,” said Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss…

Read more by Emily Guterres, My Wealth News 19 January 2015


ASB Logo

Do you see what I see? Rural land use

Rural land use planners and policy-makers often face claims and counter claims regarding the impacts of land use change. For example, some residents claim wind turbines have crippling health impacts, while others see only a community asset and environmental gain. Some people suggest plantations decimate rural communities, while others see them as harmless and “just another crop”. How do we go about identifying the true impacts in these situations?

Our recently published study sought to untangle social change and impact in the context of complex land use shifts occurring in southwest Victoria and southeast South Australia. We focused on increases in cropping, dairying, grazing and plantations that occurred between 1991 and 2006, and examined the impact of these changes on rural population and employment. Where many changes occur at once in a region, sorting out the impacts of any one land-use change is not a simple matter.

We used independent data from a range of sources to understand what kinds of social changes were associated with increases in these land uses. We explored whether changes resulted in fewer people living in an area, or an ageing population, or changes in the percentage of the adult population in full-time employment.

We used interviews and surveys to understand how people living in the region viewed and experienced these changes. For example, we asked whether they believed increased plantations or cropping had a negative impact on population, and what any changes meant for them and their neighbours.

A comparison of independently observed social changes with impacts reported by residents revealed some surprising patterns. Increased cropping was the largest and most widespread change in land use across this region, yet very few residents were aware of this change.

Where cropping had increased, analysis of independent data showed it was almost always linked to negative social changes including an ageing population and fewer jobs available. Despite this, the majority of residents did not report experiencing negative impacts of increased cropping.

This contrasted sharply with patterns related to increased plantations. Plantation forestry in rural areas has received a great deal of media attention over the past two decades and the majority of residents were well aware of increases in this land use.

Social changes associated with increased plantations depend somewhat on the previous land use. Where the land was previously used for dairying, analysis of independent data suggested that a shift to plantations was linked to decreased population and employment. However, the more common shift from grazing to plantation was not always linked to population loss or decreased employment.

In some districts outcomes were relatively positive, in some negative, and in others there was little change at all. Despite this, the most common perception was that plantations have negative social impacts, decreasing the number of residents and the jobs available in these communities.

The conflict between actual and perceived changes makes more sense when viewed in the light of another finding. Independent data revealed that increased plantations were consistently linked with higher levels of population turnover. In other words, where plantations increased, it was more likely that former residents would move out of district and new residents move in. This pattern of change fits with a common practice in which whole farms were sold and redeveloped by plantation companies, with farm houses leased or sold to new owners.

When people described the impact of population-loss attributed to plantations, this undoubtedly reflected very real loss of longstanding friends, family and neighbours. Where new residents moved into the area, they could not simply replace the vital social networks within this community.

The impacts of these population changes are real and important. Land-use planners and policy-makers have a responsibility to consider how land-use change can be planned to minimise negative effects for rural communities.

This work reveals some of the complexities of both understanding and addressing impacts of rural land-use change. It suggests that people are not always aware of land-use changes. It also shows that perceived social change and impact are not always consistent with independently available evidence regarding that change.

Where a land use is less visible, we may be unaware of quite significant social changes. On the other hand, we may sometimes incorrectly attribute impacts to more visible land-use changes.

The research suggests that what we might think of as the “real” impacts of land-use change – the points at which independent evidence and experience agree – are not necessarily those we most commonly hear in public forums or media reports.

If land-use planners are to adequately address public concern about land-use change, they must understand both the change and the experienced impact of that change, and dig below the surface to understand the nature of that experience.

Kathryn Williams was a key researcher in the CRC Forestry. The following organisations contributed cash and/or in-kind funding to the project (in alphabetical order): Central Victorian Farm Plantations, Cooperative Research Centre for Forestry, Corangamite Catchment Management Authority, Forest and Wood Products Australia, Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority, Glenelg Shire Council, Green Triangle Regional Plantation Committee, Moyne Shire Council, Southern Grampians Shire Council, Victorian Government Department of Primary Industries, and Wattle Range Council.

Jacki Schirmer receives funding from the Cooperative Research Centre for Forestry.

The ConversationBy Kathryn Williams, University of Melbourne and Jacki Schirmer, University of Canberra

This article was originally published at The Conversation.
Read the original article.

Rural Land use plans

RDA ConferenceAustralian Regional Development Conference

15-16 October 2014, The Commercial Club Albury
Secretariat (T) 61 7 5502 2068 (F) 07 5527 3298
Email: URL: