Optimising Australia's rail system for the future

Optimising Australia's rail system for the future

Dec 14
Australia has the sixth largest rail network in the world. It plays a critical role connecting markets, cities and regions, and enabling valuable supply chains and Australian exports to the world.
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The Hon. Michael McCormack, Deputy Prime Minister, Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
Mark Campbell, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Rail Track Corporation
Dean Dalla Valle, Chief Executive Officer, Pacific National and Chair, Freight on Rail Group (FORG)
Melinda Cilento, Chief Executive, CEDA

Event Overview

Globally, the rail industry continues to expand. Here at home Australia’s rail network is focussed on improving our global competitiveness through efficiency, establishing an optimised rail transport system and improving infrastructure to deliver on safety, reliability and to enable the transport of goods vital to Australia’s economic success.
Hear how new technologies and innovations in our rail transport system are driving productivity and resilience and enabling economic growth across the country and across key sectors.
Livestream start times:
SA: 12.30pm
NT: 11.30am
QLD: 12.00pm
WA: 10.00am


Meet the keynote speaker

The Hon. Michael McCormack
Deputy Prime Minister, Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport

Michael was elected as The Nationals’ Member for Riverina 2010 and has held the roles of Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance; Assistant Minister to Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss; Assistant Minister for Defence; Minister for Small Business; Minister for Veterans' Affairs; and Defence Personnel. In February 2018 Michael was elected the 14th Leader of The Nationals and was sworn in as Australia's 18th Deputy Prime Minister as well as the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development. Prior to entering Parliament, Michael began professional life with a journalism cadetship with The Daily Advertiser newspaper in Wagga Wagga in 1981 and became editor at the age of 27, making him the youngest person appointed to edit of a daily newspaper in Australia at the time.

Meet the panel

Mark Campbell
Chief Executive Officer, Australian Rail Track Corporation

Mark is overseeing a team of more than 1,800 people at Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) in five states across Australia who manage the transit of around 450 trains per day. With more than 30 years of international experience in light and heavy industrial fields, Mark joined ARTC in 2020 from leading construction materials firm Holcim, where he led the company’s Australia and New Zealand divisions for eight years. A civil engineer by trade, Mark also has significant board experience as a former director of Holcim Australia and New Zealand; Cement Australia; Cement Concrete & Aggregates Australia; Penrith Lakes Development Corporation; Skills DMC; and Metromix.

Dean Dalla Valle
Chief Executive Officer, Pacific National and Chair, Freight on Rail Group (FORG)

Dean is Chief Executive Officer of Pacific National, having been appointed to the role in July 2017. Pacific National is Australia’s largest private rail freight company employing more than 3,200 skilled workers across 70 locations in Australia. He is Chair of the Freight on Rail Group (FORG) of Australia and a member of the NSW Freight and Logistics Advisory Council and Victoria’s Rail Freight Working Group. In May 2020, Dean was appointed by the Australian Government to chair an industry-led group to advise on ways to help fast-track home-grown, state-of-the-art train control technology on the nation’s interstate rail network.

Meet the moderator

Melinda Cilento
Chief Executive, CEDA

Melinda is a company director, economist and experienced senior executive. She is a Non-Executive Director of Australian Unity and Co-Chair of Reconciliation Australia. Melinda is also a member of the Parliamentary Budget Office panel of expert advisors. Melinda was previously a Non-Executive Director with Woodside Petroleum, Commissioner with the Productivity Commission and Deputy CEO and Chief Economist with the Business Council of Australia. Melinda has also previously held senior roles with the Federal Department of Treasury, Invesco and the International Monetary Fund.

Supported by CEDA members

Livestream sponsors

Public event advice – Coronavirus

At CEDA we are proud to regularly convene and engage speakers and audiences as an essential element of our efforts to broaden discussion and debate of the most important policy issues facing Australia. In doing so, our first priority is always the safety and wellbeing of our guests and staff.

CEDA is currently delivering a digital program of public events, podcasts and virtual Trustee roundtable discussions; hybrid events with both a livestream and audience in attendance; and face-face events, where there is member demand and they can be delivered in accordance with government health advice for a specific state.

For face-to-face gatherings, CEDA is working closely with our hosts and venues to ensure that social distancing can be maintained and facilities and equipment have been properly sanitised. Attendance numbers will strictly adhere to government guidelines for each state.In line with government advice we request people that are unwell with cough or fever or other respiratory symptoms do not attend CEDA events. We also ask that you follow government advice and maintain social distancing by refraining from shaking hands or exchanging physical greetings, and wherever possible, staying at least 1.5 metres away from others.

CEDA will continue to closely monitor government advice regarding public gatherings and will follow all relevant health advice from the Australian government in relation to COVID-19.

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

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