Lively discussions were held around a range of local government infrastructure issues at ALGA’s 2023 National Local Roads, Transport & Infrastructure Congress at the ANU in Canberra from 6-7 September.
Some of the highlights included Rohit Srivastava from the Berrigan Shire Council and Dr Jeremy Smith from the Australian National University discussing how local government can better manage infrastructure in the face of increasing natural disasters. Delegates were interested in Dr Smith’s work in nature-based solutions to mitigate severe flooding risks.
Ben Rippingale from VivaCity Labs also highlighted advances in using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve local road safety when paired with CCTV and other sensors. Combining the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) and AI, companies like VivaCity Labs are working with local governments to use big data to shape safer and more productive urban environments.
Delegates also heard about innovations in active transport from Associate Professor Ben Beck from the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University. Other experts on this panel included Stuart Outhred from the Amy Gillett Foundation, and Michael Jollon from the City of Parramatta who highlighted the opportunities for local governments and their communities by investing in active transport infrastructure solutions.
The Congress also featured an engaging discussion on housing and planning by Robyn Briese from the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation, Matthew Deeth, Chair of the National Growth Areas Alliance, and Maree Wauchope, Chief Executive Officer of Barunga West Council in South Australia. The presenters discussed structural barriers and opportunities for housing development, and the need for better planning in the delivery of supporting infrastructure.
Finally, Warren Sharpe, OAM and former Director of Infrastructure Services at Eurobodalla Shire Council, Christina Cawkell from Telstra and Jennifer Medway from the Regional Tech Hub gave presentations and answered questions about how local governments can ensure communities remain digitally connected.
A small group of delegates also attended a guided tour on 5 September of two projects in the Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (QPRC) local government area. Guided by the QPRC Director of Infrastructure Services, Phil Hansen, attendees visited the Googong Water Recycling Plant, and the near complete Regional Sports Complex. QPRC staff outlined the council’s success with funding models, and innovative new technologies that are delivering cost effective and sustainable facilities for the community.
Thanks to sponsors and exhibitors
ALGA sincerely thanks all Congress partners, sponsors and exhibitors. Please see some photo highlights of the exhibitors.