7th Annual Victorian Major Projects Conference
The seventh edition of the Victorian Major Projects Conference was held from 19 to 20 April 2016 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, with an attendance of more than 250 delegates. The conference presented an opportunity for government and construction industry members to review and discuss the different infrastructure developments taking place across the state.
Ministers who were present at the event to address the delegates included Tim Pallas MP, treasurer of the Victorian government, as well as Jacinta Allan MP, minister for public transport and minister for employment in Victoria. The conference featured presentations from more than 24 key speakers from some of the state’s largest infrastructure projects, which included topics such as the CityLink Tulla Widening (CTW) Project and Plan Melbourne Refresh. Other topics at the conference included presentations on prioritising infrastructure for Melbourne’s outer suburban growth areas, as well as the vital role of the urban development sector in the Victorian economy.
There was a comprehensive panel discussion on the residential construction sector, featuring Danni Addison, CEO of the Urban Development Institute of Australia; Asher Judah, Victorian deputy executive director of the Property Council of Australia; and Radley de Silva, CEO of Master Builders Victoria.
With the theme Shaping Victoria’s Infrastructure for the Future, the conference maintained a large focus on urban renewal projects, such as the multibillion-dollar Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal and the Ballarat West Employment Zone. The Ballarat West Employment Zone is an initiative to drive economic growth over the next 20 years within the city, which intends to release up to 60 hectares of industrial land to businesses, with extensive provisional infrastructure. Manager of Economic Infrastructure Delivery at City of Ballarat, Angelique Lush, spoke on the Ballarat West Employment Zone and its benefits for the community. Lush stated, “There are so many opportunities coming from metro and regional Victoria. For Ballarat, this means the key infrastructure growth to enable expansion and to remove barriers for effective planning.”
Director Development & Delivery of the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority, Peter Wilkinson, provided updates on the Melbourne Metro Rail project, which is expected to envision the state’s first underground metro service, as well as foresee the construction of five new underground stations. The metro rail project is expected to allow for an extra 20,000 passengers to utilise the service during peak hour traffic and save up to 10 minutes each way, equivalent to taking over 18,000 cars off the road.