Pandemic and Olympics the hot topics at flagship infrastructure event

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the challenge of preparing for and delivering the 2032 Olympic Games are set to be major topics for debate at a high-level infrastructure conference beginning in Brisbane tomorrow.

Sep 07, 2021, updated Sep 07, 2021
Prominent economist Ross Garnaut pictured at Barcaldine which he sees as integral to meeting Australia's future solar energy needs. (file photo)

Prominent economist Ross Garnaut pictured at Barcaldine which he sees as integral to meeting Australia's future solar energy needs. (file photo)

The Infrastructure Association of Queensland’s Infrastructure Assembly is aimed at bringing together people with a stake in ensuring the state is able to deliver the transport, communications and other projects needed to ensure Queensland’s continued growth.

With organisers encouraging more active participation from attendees, the assembly will feature keynote presentations from renowned international speakers as well as debate led by some of the state’s top public servants and political leaders.

Ross Garnaut, author of the landmark Climate Change review report in 2008, will talk about how Queensland goes about building a green economy that can underpin investment, create jobs and ensure the state leads o way in new industry development.

Garnaut, now Professor of Economics at the University of Melbourne and sometime resident of Longreach, is a vocal champion of renewable energy and its potential to bolster economic growth.

A fixture at the highest levels of government, academic and corporate worlds since the 1980s, his latest focus is on how Australia’s emerges from pandemic induced recession.

Martin O’Malley, a prominent figure in US local and state politics, is an advocate of data-driven decision making, having introduced major reforms to police operations when he was mayor of Baltimore.

Infrastructure Australia chief Romilly Madew will expand on the thinking behind the national infrastructure plan after declaring on its release last week that all states needed to update their individual approaches to infrastructure delivery to take the pandemic’s effects into account.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles, who will also speak at the assembly, is putting the final touches on Queensland’s updated infrastructure strategy.

One of the state government’s longest serving department chiefs, Main Roads and Transport director-general Neil Scales, Cleanco chief executive Maia Schweizer and Inland Rail’s interim chief executive Rebecca Pickering will also speak at the assembly.

One of the event’s most anticipated presentations will be from international consultant Simon Wright, who was infrastructure director of the London Olympics Delivery Authority.

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