Is Australia's big infrastructure spend delivering value?

Is Australia's big infrastructure spend delivering value?

Nov 17
How can Australia get better value out of its infrastructure spend and how can we better coordinate and collaborate to maximise our talent pool and minimise cost blowout, time delays and community dissatisfaction? 
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David Hallinan, Deputy Secretary, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications
Michael Huggins, Head of Australia/New Zealand, Partners in Performance
Romilly Madew AO FTSE, Chief Executive Officer, Infrastructure Australia
Kate West, Co-Chair, Arup

Event Overview

Already-record levels of spending on infrastructure have been further increased amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as our governments have sought to stimulate activity by further increasing investment.
While infrastructure spend at this scale can be transformative for economies and societies, it comes with significant ultimate risk for taxpayers – particularly within the context of a global pandemic.
This boom in investment has seen greater competition for resources and materials and has highlighted the need for better collaboration between government and private industry as well as at the state and national level.
While it’s critical to balance both the needs of taxpayers and the price of value, the goal should be projects that deliver excellence and value derived from a fair, honest, and collaborative relationship between governments and contractors.
Issues to address:
  • Improving project performance: boosting productivity, avoiding delays and cost overruns 
  • Addressing risk of significant cost increases: inflationary pressure on underlying cost drivers such as supply chain disruption and COVID related requirements 
  • Bridging the skills gap: managing supply and demand, education and skills sharing 
  • Building sustainably: meeting Australia's NetZero ambitions, understanding big infra's carbon footprint, opportunities for technology and innovation to reduce emissions and climate adaption and mitigation considerations. 
This livestream is part of an ongoing CEDA national project answering: is Australia’s big infrastructure build delivering value to taxpayers? Under the series we are also convening invitation only Industry Co-labs with relevant state infrastructure and transport Ministers in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney. This project will culminate with a full day conference in Sydney in early 2022. Get in touch for more details.
Livestream start times:
NSW/ACT/VIC/TAS: 12.00pm
SA: 11.30am
QLD: 11.00am
NT: 10.30am
WA: 9.00am

Please note all livestream events will be recorded and registered participants will receive exclusive access to the recording following the event, ahead of the general public. Substitutions for the livestream can be made at any time. Please forward details to


Meet the panel

David Hallinan
Deputy Secretary, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications

David was the acting Deputy Secretary, Ageing & Aged Care Group of the Australian Government Department of Health in 2019. David’s role from 2016 to 2019 was as the First Assistant Secretary responsible for leading the Health Workforce Division.
David worked in the Department of Health for the 10 years to 2011, in areas spanning primary care, Medicare benefits, population health and portfolio budget and review functions. From 2011 to 2016, David worked in the Department of Finance in policy advisory roles across a wide range of portfolios before returning to the Department of Health in January 2016.

Michael Huggins
Head of Australia/New Zealand, Partners in Performance

As the head of the Australian practice, Michael has brought over two decades of experience to his clients and colleagues in transaction services, operational improvement and capital optimisation in the heavy industrial, infrastructure and resource sectors. Specifically, he sets up businesses to drive accountability and results. As a former Rhodes Scholar, Michael spent time as a Strategy Consultant with McKinsey & Company and an Engineer with Rio Tinto before coming to Partners in Performance. He also sits on the board at Coates Hire as a non-executive director.

Romilly Madew AO FTSE
Chief Executive Officer, Infrastructure Australia

Romilly Madew AO FTSE was appointed Chief Executive Officer, Infrastructure Australia, in early 2019 and is responsible for overseeing Infrastructure Australia’s critical role in helping governments prioritise projects and reforms that best serve our communities. Before joining Infrastructure Australia, Ms Madew was CEO of Green Building Council of Australia for 13 years. In acknowledgment of her contribution to Australia’s sustainable building movement, Ms Madew was awarded an Order of Australia in 2019.
She is currently a Member of Placemaking NSW Advisory Committee, Independent Chair of the Currawong State Park Advisory Board (NSW) and a member of the City of Melbourne’s Design Excellence Advisory Committee.

Kate West
Co-Chair, Arup

Kate West is the co-Chair of the Arup Australasia Region.  With a background in engineering and architecture, Kate has been a Management Consultant and Project Director in Australia, the UK and Ireland. Her career is distinguished by creating high performing teams, collaborating with clients at the highest levels and delivering exceptional outcomes.  In her previous role, Kate led Arup’s Consulting Group in Western Australia. Building off a historically strong track record in the transport market, she diversified the Consulting business into the energy, health and city precinct markets, delivering projects across the full lifecycle, from concept to delivery.

Meet the moderator

Jarrod Ball
Chief Economist, CEDA

Jarrod joined CEDA as Chief Economist in 2017 with over 15 years of experience as an economist across the public and private sectors. He has held senior roles at the Business Council of Australia, in EY’s advisory services practice and more recently at BHP. Jarrod also worked in the Federal Government and was a lead adviser on microeconomic reform for the Victorian Departments of Premier and Cabinet and Treasury and Finance. He is a member of CEDA’s Council on Economic Policy and the Melbourne Economic Forum. 

Supported by CEDA members

Major series sponsors

Public event advice – Coronavirus

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