Keynote Address

Hon Michael McCormack MP
Deputy Prime Minister 
Leader of The Nationals

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport

Parliamentary service
Elected to the House of Representatives for Riverina, New South Wales, 2010, 2013 and 2016.

Ministerial appointments
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance from 18.9.13 to 21.9.15.
Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister from 21.9.15 to 18.2.16.
Assistant Minister for Defence from 18.2.16 to 19.7.16.
Minister for Small Business from 19.7.16 to 20.12.17.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs from 20.12.17 to 5.3.18.
Minister for Defence Personnel from 20.12.17 to 5.3.18.
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC from 20.12.17 to 5.3.18.

Keynote Speakers

The Hon Jeffrey Kennett AC

Mr Kennett was an Officer in the Royal Australian Regiment, serving at home and overseas.He was a Member of the Victorian Parliament for 23 years. Leader of the Opposition 1982-1989; 1991-1992 and was Premier of the State from 1992 to 1999.

Mr Kennett is currently Chairman of EQT Holdings Limited and a Director of Seven West Media Ltd. He is also Chairman of Open Windows Australia Proprietary Limited, Chairman of CT Management Group Pty Ltd, and Chairman of Amtek Corporation Pty Ltd. Mr Kennett is the Chairman of The Torch, a program assisting incarcerated Indigenous men and women and post their release.

Mr Kennett was the founder of beyondblue: the national depression, anxiety and suicide initiative and was Chairman from 2000-2017. Mr Kennett is also President of the Hawthorn Football Club, having previously served as President from 2005-2011.

Mr Kennett is associated with many other community organisations.

Mike Blake

Mike Blake was Tasmanian Auditor-General from 10 May 2004 to 29 March 2016 and is now focussing on board positions. Prior to accepting the position as Tasmania’s Auditor-General, he was Auditor-General for the Northern Territory. His career has involved working in both the private and public sectors, firstly with Deloitte Ross Tohmatsu for 16 years starting in Zimbabwe and ending in Western Australia, where he joined the Audit Office of Western Australia rising to the position of Deputy Auditor-General. Mike was a partner with Deloitte Zimbabwe for 8 years.

Mike has been active in standard setting in Australia being a member of the Consultative Committee to the former Public Sector Accounting Standards Board from 1994 to 1998 and he was a Board member in 1999, a member of the Australian Accounting Standards Board’s Urgent Issues Group representing Auditors-General from 2003 to 2005 and was appointed to the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board on 1 January 2006. While with this Board, Mike played a key role in developing standards for performance and compliance auditing in the public sector and, until stepping down from the Board on 31 December 2011, he was joint chair of a project group developing an assurance standard for general purpose water accounting reports.

Mike chaired the Advisory Board to the University of Tasmania’s Faculty of Business for three years, Regional Chair of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Tasmania from 2007 and 2008 and he is currently a Board member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand where he chairs its audit and risk committee.  He also chaired the Tasmanian Council of Professional Bodies for three years and is currently a member of the Australian Accounting Standards Board and of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board. He also chairs Tasmania’s Electoral Commission and TasTAFE, Tasmania’s public provider of vocational educational training.

Mike has a BCom from the University of Natal, Durban, is a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia, CA ANZ Australia, CPA Australia and of GIA, an Honorary member of the Institute of Public Accountants and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

He is married to Jenny. They have three children and two grandchildren and three fostered grandchildren. Mike and Jenny love living in Tasmania.

John Comrie

John is a former head of the South Australian Government’s Office for State/Local Government Relations and prior to that the Local Government Association of South Australia.

He has written guides on local government financial sustainability and asset management for state governments and local government associations in NSW, Victoria, SA, WA and Tasmania and is a co-author of the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia’s Australian Infrastructure Financial Management Manual.

In 2015 he was co-opted onto the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal to assist in reviewing the ‘Fit for the Future’ submissions of each NSW council.

He strongly believes that with careful planning and sensible, responsible use of debt most councils can be financially sustainable and address warranted asset management needs.

In recent times he has through his work with Deloitte Access Economics helped the Essential Services Commission in Victoria in the design and administration of that state’s local government rate capping arrangements.

Les Wielinga AM

Les has more than 40 years’ experience in the management of transport issues, strategic planning, development, design and delivery of road and rail infrastructure, program and project management. His professional qualifications are in civil engineering and management.

He is a former Chief Executive of the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority and Director General of Transport for NSW.

In these positions, he operated within highly visible and dynamic portfolios that affects the day-to-day lives of the people of the State, businesses, and the environment.

As Director General Transport he led a significant change process in NSW Transport which included the creation of an integrated transport agency, new rail entities and cultural change.

Les has substantial experience working closely with senior members of the transport industry and leading large multidisciplinary teams with legal, financial, economic and engineering expertise.

His skills and experience also include Governance, Strategic Planning, portfolio including asset management and project management of large complex projects. He maintains a strong interest in effective administration of infrastructure systems and in recent years has provided advice on energy, water, road, rail and communication systems.

Bernard Lauinger 

Bernie Lauinger is KPMG’s lead Partner for delivering asset management services within Australia across a range of industries. He provides a different perspective, with experience gained in operational environments over many years working in the military, industry and management consulting. He is passionate on ensuring that assets make a real difference to our communities and that investment is wisely managed and delivered.

Bernie brings a global mindset having worked and studied in Australia, the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States. A highlight in his career was helping restore peace and essential services to Kosovo following the 1999 military intervention. He is grateful to have raised his family in a ‘lucky country’ and hopes that we will continue to have a ‘good community’ in 2030 where everyone has the opportunity to fulfil their potential. Bernie also hopes that the Western Bulldogs can win another premiership before 2030!

Paul Lindwall

Paul Lindwall is a full-time Commissioner, appointed for a five-year term commencing on 1 January 2015. Paul was an Associate Commissioner for the Public Infrastructure Inquiry.

Paul has served as a senior official with the Australian Treasury, the Department of Finance and the Productivity Commission with a focus on macroeconomic policy, financial markets, industry policy, national security and social policy. He has also worked as a senior economic adviser to then-Treasurer Peter Costello and then-Leader of the Opposition Malcolm Turnbull.

He has represented Australia at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also coverning the European Union and United Kingdom. Paul also later worked as a consultant to the Office of the Secretary-General and the Public Governance Directorate of the OECD.

Paul has degrees in economics from the Australian National University (ANU) as well as a diploma in Ancient History and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Adrian Hart

Adrian Hart is an Associate Director of BIS Oxford Economics, effectively managing research across the construction, maintenance and mining industries. He has managed infrastructure and mining research and forecasting at BIS Oxford Economics since 2007, having worked as an Economist with the company since the late 1990s. In 2017, he became responsible for managing building research and forecasts in Australia, New Zealand, and across Asia.

Apart from managing a range of BIS Oxford Economics’ subscription services, Adrian is also widely involved with privately commissioned research studies and consulting exercises. These include the analysis of construction costs and development of escalation forecasts, workforce capability analyses in Australia and New Zealand, the provision of unique BIS Oxford Economics estimates and forecasts of civil construction activity and product demand forecasting models for companies with links to the construction and mining industries.

Adrian undertakes presentations and workshops with senior management of organisations operating in the construction, maintenance and mining sectors, discussing the outlook and implications of BIS Oxford Economics analyses and forecasts for planning and strategy.

Adrian holds a 1st class Honours degree in Economics from the University of Sydney.

Jeff Roorda

With an academic and professional background in surveying and civil engineering, Jeff has worked in asset and facilities management for over 20 years with a strong background in information technology and project management.

Jeff holds an Honors Degree in Civil Engineering

Jeff’s experience relevant to this project is currently involved in:

• Training in Asset Management for Local Government Across Australia for CPA’s, ALGA, IPWEA for the past 15 years in all Australian States and Territories
• Primary training and development resource for CPA’s asset management training for the past 12 years.
• Lecturer at Post Graduate Level at a number of Australian Universities for the past 10 years.
• Involvement in developing the training and implementation for the International Infrastructure Management Manual

Jack Archer

Jack Archer has been with the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) since its inception in 2012, and developed the RAI’s policy and research program including major products such as [In]Sight: Australia’s Regional Competitiveness Index and [In]Form: Australia’s Online Library of Regional Research. Jack took up the role as Chief Executive Officer on 1 July 2015.

In previous roles as a consultant and public servant, Jack contributed to major regional reforms in water, climate change, indigenous issues and industry.

Jack holds a Bachelor of Natural Resource Management (Hons 1) from the University of New England and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Originally from Paterson in the lower Hunter Valley of NSW, he now lives in the hills west of Canberra.

Alex Lawrie

Alex Lawrie has been with the University of Technology Sydney’s Institute for Public Policy and Governance and Centre for Local Government since 2012. He is one of Australia’s most insightful policy analysts, and a sought after advisor to governments across Australia and internationally. An expert in city policy, governance and funding, Alex has led a wide range of policy research projects that have shaped major environmental, economic and social reforms at local, state and national levels. Alex has a Bachelor of City Planning (1st Class Hons), Master of Urban Policy and Strategy (Excellence), and his PhD investigates the evolution of national urban policy across western democracies since the Global Financial Crisis.

Catherine Caruana-McManus

Catherine is a global expert in smart cities and has over 25 year’s experience across the infrastructure, Telco and IT sectors and is one of Australia’s leading thinkers and innovators in big data and smart cities. Catherine is also the Chairperson of the IoT Alliance Australia Sectoral Engagement Work Stream and is responsible for client and industry engagement for Meshed.

Prior to joining Meshed, Catherine was the Director of IBM’s Smarter Cities ANZ and has held other executive positions for PMP Limited, Telstra and MC2 Consulting.
Catherine holds university qualifications in Urban Planning, Economics, Management and Finance.

Professor Barbara Norman 

Professor Barbara Norman is the Foundation Chair of Urban and Regional Planning and Director of Canberra Urban and Regional Futures (CURF) at the University of Canberra. Professor Norman is Chair of the ACT Climate Change Council, an Honorary Professor at the University of Warwick and a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University. Barbara is a Life Fellow and past national president of the Planning Institute of Australia and a Life Honorary Fellow of the Royal Town Planning Institute (UK). Barbara’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Town & Regional Planning, Masters of Environmental Law and a PhD on sustainable coastal planning. She also has a substantial professional background having worked at all levels of government and run her own practice. Her current research and teaching interests include sustainable cities and regions, coastal planning, climate change adaptation and urban governance. Barbara was a contributing author to IPCC 5 WG 2 report on Impacts 2014. Professor Norman advises the public and private sector in Australia and has strong international linkages within Asia, Europe and the United States. Barbara was awarded an Australian Centenary Medal for her contribution to the community through urban and regional planning.

David Aber

Retired CEO of Bluett Award winning NSW Regional Council.


Chris Champion

Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) for 15 years and now responsible for their international operations. Prior to this a practicing local government engineer with 30 years’ experience holding senior executive positions.

Led IPWEA to become internationally recognised as leaders in the implementation of sustainable approaches to infrastructure asset management and financial planning. IPWEA is an acknowledged leader in association management.

In 2015, appointed Secretary General, and is a Past President, of the International Federation of Municipal Engineering (IFME) representing some 20 countries globally. Appointed by the US Federal Highways (FHWA) to their Asset Management Expert Task Group.

Awarded Emeritus Membership of IPWEA in 2013. A regular inclusion in Engineers Australia’s Top 100 Most Influential Engineers in Australia list since its inception in 2004 and a continuous member since 1971.

Peter Way

Peter Way is Chairman at IPWEA – NAMS.AU. The aim of the National Asset Management Strategy (NAMS) Group of the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) is to provide better tools, resources and training to practitioners to improve their AM outcomes, lift competencies and enhance decision making by key stakeholders across a wide range of sectors dealing with public works infrastructure assets. In my current role as Chair of the NAMS Group, I have been fortunate to be able to provide high level advice on infrastructure asset management to government and practitioners across Australasia and internationally. That and my involvement as part of the Standards Australia Committee in developing the ISO AM Standards has lead to a number of Conference presentations throughout Australia and in South Korea, Portugal, Canada and New Zealand.

Key Dates

Congress Dates: 14-15 August 2018