Discussion forum: An inter-governmental deal on better cities

Posted August 02, 2022

Experts in this area:
  • Local government
  • State government
  • Federal Government
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What principles should guide a genuine partnership between the Commonwealth, the states, territories and local government to plan and deliver better cities?

  • Discussion forum
  • This event was held on Wednesday 24 August
  • The Shine Dome 15 Gordon St, Acton ACT

All levels of Government seek a return on their investments in infrastructure and services to create productive, attractive and sustainable places and communities. But how can their interests work together for a better outcome?

Join SGS Economics and Planning and Planning Institute of Australia to discuss the institutional, funding and accountability pre-requisites for successful Commonwealth policy on cities.

Experts will consider a framework for Commonwealth engagement in urban and regional development and present actionable propositions on shaping better cities.

Hear from:

  • Marcus Spiller Principal & Partner at SGS Economics and Planning and MPIA (Life Fellow) of the Planning Institute of Australia
  • Darren Crombie National President and RPIA (Fellow) of the Planning Institute of Australia and Principal at E3 Advisory
  • Anne Tiernan Managing Director at Constellation Impact advisory
  • Luke Nicholls Director of Western Sydney Planning Partnership and MPIA of the Planning Institute of Australia
  • James Collett Canberra Office Leader, and Government Leader, Federal – Australia, Aurecon

This event was moderated by Elizabeth Crouch, SGS Economics and Planning Non Executive Director.

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    Who's this event for?

    People who shape places, communities and economies across all tiers of government, universities, peak bodies, co-operatives and mutual organisations, not-for-profit organisations, the development industry and other private businesses and consultancies. People with an interest in urban policy.

    Dr Marcus Spiller is a founding partner at SGS, Marcus is formally qualified in commerce and urban planning. He has practised as a consultant for much of his career, though he has also worked as an academic, local government town planner, Ministerial Adviser and senior bureaucrat in State and Commonwealth Government agencies. He is an expert in regional economic development, housing policy, infrastructure funding and metropolitan governance. This includes writing and co-editing two books on urban management. Marcus is past National President of the Planning Institute of Australia. He has served on the Commonwealth Government’s National Housing Supply Council and a similar advisory committee set up by the NSW Government. He is a Ministerial appointee to the Housing Supply Expert Panel for South East Queensland and sits on the Ministerial Advisory Committee on planning mechanisms for affordable housing in Victoria. He is a former Board member at Development Victoria.

    Dr Anne Tiernan is one of Australia’s leading political scientists. Her career at the interface of strategy, research, policy and practice has been devoted to improving public policy and public-purpose outcomes. Anne is deeply passionate about Australia’s democratic institutions and governance traditions and ensuring they reflect and work for all people, particularly the most vulnerable. Anne’s unique combination of academic and applied public policy experience has taught her the importance of bridging the knowing-doing gap and that the most effective way to address that gap is to respond with a diverse coalition of key organisations and talented individuals to tackle complex issues. To help other organisations address this gap, Anne founded Constellation Impact Advisory in 2021. Anne has reduced the knowing-doing gap across a wide range of programs and initiatives by assembling an active network that spans governments, academia, industry, the community sector, as well as the social and cultural innovation sectors.

    Luke Nicholls is qualified in urban & regional planning and environmental law and is a member of the Planning Institute of Australia. He has practised for over 25 years, including as a Chief City Planner and Executive in local government in NSW as well as being a public policy consultant in the private sector. He is an expert in urban & regional planning, local & regional governance and in policy areas including housing, infrastructure funding and local economic development. He has previously had a leadership role in the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, was a Lead Officer for local government in the negotiation of the Western Sydney City Deal and is currently the Director of the Western Sydney Planning Partnership, established as a result of the City Deal as a collaborative planning partnership.

    Darren Crombie is a Principal and Director with E3 Advisory, an independent, employee owned infrastructure advisory firm providing strategic services to clients across Australia and internationally. Darren has some 25 years experience in the Australian infrastructure, planning, economic development, and transport sectors. In that time, he has held senior executive roles in the infrastructure, planning and economic development portfolios in the Queensland Government, and in the transport and infrastructure portfolio in the Australian Government. His most recent role prior to joining E3 was as Queensland’s Deputy Director General infrastructure policy and planning. Darren holds an Honours degree and a research Masters degree in Regional and Town Planning from the University of Queensland, and an Executive Master of Public Administration from the Australian National University and the Australia New Zealand School of Government. He is a Registered Planner and has been a member of PIA since 1996 and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He has previously represented Australia on UN and APEC bodies. Darren became the National President of the Planning Institute of Australia in November 2020 after having served as the Queensland Director and chair of the Policy and Advocacy Committee since 2014.

    James Collett joined design, engineering and advisory company Aurecon in 2017 after nearly 18 years in the Australian Public Service, the last 12 with the now Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts. His roles in the Department included stints leading the Major Cities Unit, the Office of Northern Australia, the Joint Study on aviation capacity in the Sydney region, and Rail Policy and Planning.

    Elizabeth Crouch is an experienced Board Chair with extensive expertise and experience including 16 years with the Federal Government and more than a decade in the private sector. Elizabeth is a Non Executive Director of the SGS Board, Chair of the Customer Owned Banking Association and Sydney Children's Hospital Network. She is on the Boards of Health Infrastructure and the NSW Institute of Sport. Elizabeth chairs Audit and Risk Committees for the City of Sydney. She is an Emeritus Deputy Chancellor of Macquarie University Elizabeth has notable experience in the public and private sectors including as Chief Executive of the Housing Industry Association.

    Additional Resources

    This event will draw on the history of Commonwealth involvement in urban and regional development. Below is a brief history and timeline of selected events that have shaped national cities and urban policy.

    This event is being held jointly by SGS Economics & Planning and Planning Institute Australia.

    SGS Economics and Planning is an urban and public policy consultancy and certified B Corp, we work so that all Australians can benefit from equitable and sustainable cities and regions. Our evidence-based insights help understand how places and economies function, assess what projects and programs work, and plan future places and precincts.

    The Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) is the national body representing planning and the planning profession. Through education, communication and professional development, PIA is the pivotal organisation serving and guiding thousands of planning professionals in their role of creating better communities.

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    Experts in this area:
    • Local government
    • State government
    • Federal Government