By The Editor
Today, VECCI is hosting the 2009 Victoria Summit in Parliament House.
As a business, community and Government partnership, the Victoria Summit seeks to respond to the key issues that face not only our business community, but the broader Victorian and national economies. In particular, the Summit aims to establish a strong policy agenda for the next two years to help Victoria recover from the current economic challenges and build a platform for competitive and sustainable growth well into the future.
For those unable to attend, The VECCI Blog will be providing live updates during the Summit, covering outcomes and discussions from key speakers.
This post will be updated throughout the day with extensive coverage of the Summit, including presentations and discussions on the four key topics, as well as links to policy papers and further information.
7:30am | Registration opens for attendees.
8:10am | Summit has formally started, with a welcome by Mr. Jeff McMullen, Master of Ceremonies.
8:25am | Opening address from Mr. Wayne Kayler-Thomson (full transcript of speech found here)
8:37am | Key note address from Mr. Erik Peterson: “7 Revolutions – The main drivers of changes to 2025 and beyond”
- The main drivers of change have been occurring in the following areas:
1. Population Revolution: rapid migration (large population shifts between countries); an aging population (increased life expectancy); and hyper-urbanisation (large migrations from rural to urban centres)
2. Resource Revolution: environmental changes have impacted supply and production of natural resources such as agriculture, water and energy.
3. Technology Revolution: significant increase of deep and pervasive computing technologies will impact issues surrounding privacy and information security.
4. Knowledge Revolution: boom in rapid information discovery and delivery mean we will face the challenge of trying to keep up with a constant wave of knowledge.
5. Integration Revolution: as the world “grows smaller” with convergence, there will be a greater level of economic interdependence.
6. Conflict Revolution: the rise in terrorism and issues of homeland security have led to multi-faceted challenges in monitoring and preventing threats in the face of increased international involvement.
7. Governance Revolution: the de-centralisation of the structures of leadership and government have led to a world where true power lies beyond the reach of traditional government.
- This paints a future filled with extreme degrees of both promise and peril. How we meet these challenges will determine how far we swing in either direction.
- Further information:
- Centre for Strategic & International Studies
- Global Strategy Institute (7 Revolutions Overview)
10:10am | Address from The Hon. John Brumby, Premier of Victoria.
- Provided summary of the various projects – in the field of energy, water and transport – undertaken by the government in its commitment to the support and growth of Victoria.
10:30am – 11:30am | Stream 1: Infrastructure – “The Urgent & the Important”
Speakers: The Hon. David White (Director, Hawker Britton); The Hon. Tim Pallas MP (Minister for Roads & Ports); Mr. Ted Baillieu MLA (Leader of the Opposition)
Overview of Discussions: In light of recent developments, the issue of infrastructure has moved to the top of the Victorian and national policy agenda. Given the breadth and implications of this subject area, there is a call to thoroughly explore every known dimension associated with infrastructure.
Success in this aspect requires:
- A shortlist of agreed infrastructure priorities for Victorian business and the policy outputs required to underpin this.
- A powerful and clear message on the funding and project planning commitments that business wants to secure, leading into the next State election.
- A vision of what Victoria should look like and what’s needed to turn it into a reality; as well as the possible consequences of not achieving this vision.
Three key challenges:
- To accelerate State economic and productivity growth into the next decade and beyond, including the stimulus necessary during the current global economic downturn.
- To ensure those industries driving economic activity into the future benefit from having infrastructure in place that supports their operational and strategic activities.
- To prepare for Melbourne’s potential of becoming Australia’s largest city by 2028, in relation to the infrastructure required to ensure liveability and underpin Melbourne’s status as Australia’s premier city.
Recommendations that emerged from this stream include eight short term project areas (2009-2011); five medium term project areas (2012-2014); and five long term project areas (2015-2025) in the field of transport, water, tourism, legal and social infrastructure.
Highlights: Mr. Ted Baillieu MLA, emphasised that housing would be an integral part of Melbourne’s projected population growth. Success will require a mix of government funding, business partnerships and regional centre growth. Mr. Baillieu cautioned that if Victoria does not properly manage this issue, we may potentially fall behind as a state.
To read the full report and access further detailed information on VECCI’s recommended considerations, download our Task Group Report on Infrastructure.
11:30am – 12:30pm | Stream 2: Innovation & Industry Policy – “Accelerating 21st Century Business Competitiveness”
Speakers: Professor Elizabeth Harman (Vice Chancellor, Victoria University); The Hon. Martin Pakula MLC (Minister for Industry & Trade)
Overview of Discussions: Innovation is a widely-invoked, but rarely well-understood concept. Yet now more than ever, it is vital to reach a shared understanding of innovation as Victoria strives to recover from the effects of the GFC and set the foundations for future, sustainable growth.
The discussions surrounding this stream aimed to take up the challenge of defining innovation in Victoria’s unique context, explore the connection with industry, and understand the implications for industry policy.
Correcting the Myths:
…NOT just about technology – it requires practical applications
…NOT just about creativity – it must add real value
…NOT just about R&D – it must meet consumer needs
…NOT the result of luck – it requires a process and ongoing commitment
…NOT just about major breakthroughs – it also involves incremental improvements and adoption of existing innovation
…NOT just for large businesses – success depends on businesses of all sizes getting on board
The challenge for Victoria in the period to 2025 is to create a clear competitive advantage across a range of capability areas that:
- Help us meet our many economic, social and environmental challenges; and
- Has the potential to capture a major share of the benefits generated by national and international trade over this period.
Recommendations were aimed at complementing the ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of existing Government innovation and industry policy and program settings, and efforts by the private sector to accelerate its innovation and international trade performance.
This included overarching recommendations that provided general principles of practice; specific recommendations that addressed what could be done in the present; and future recommendations that offered a “road map” that would provide a strategic direction for an “innovative Victoria”.
A failure to act will lead to:
- Victoria falling behind the rest of the world, on economic and social fronts
- Loss of competitiveness
- Fewer job opportunities
- Higher business and living expenses
- Loss of trade earnings
- Less financial income for both private and public sector investment
In order to be well-positioned as a dynamic, innovative and competitive State into the future – Victoria requires enhanced collaboration, ongoing investment in skills and infrastructure, and a greater international focus.
To read the full report and access further information regarding VECCI’s recommendations, download our Task Group Report on Innovation & Industry Policy.
1:30pm – 3:00pm | Stream 3: Sustainability – “Fostering Investment Innovation and Confidence”
Speakers: Vicki Macdermid (Partner, Pitcher Partners); The Hon. Gavin Jennings MLC (Minister for Environment & Climate Change); Mr. Peter Ryan MLA (Leader of the National Party)
Overview of Discussions: While the issue of sustainability is relatively new territory for some, VECCI acknowledges that it is a vital element for a prosperous, competitive, resilient and vibrant economy.
Sustainability is a vital aspect of policy design and investment, and is increasingly seen as being synonymous with innovation.
For Victoria, addressing climate change and delivering sustainability requires a revolution and ongoing innovation in our energy system, including the plant, infrastructure, consumption patterns and the policies and regulatory frameworks that govern all of these aspects.
In a concerted effort to reduce carbon emissions, Victoria’s traditionally coal-reliant industry structure must find sustainable solutions to drive towards a low-carbon economy which benefits our:
Innovation and policy attention from all levels of Government, as well as from business and the wider community is needed for successful investment in energy systems and supporting structures.
More specifically, Victoria needs a strategic sustainability agenda that:
- Addresses the scale of the challenge for our industries
- Drives and delivers clear and consistent policy and investment signals
- Identifies what needs to be done and what is achievable
- Supports emerging industries and opportunities for sustainable, competitive business growth
In order to succeed, there needs to be a strategic approach to investment in a full energy system and needs (beyond emissions trading) to ensure our future energy system is appropriately linked to a cleaner, sustainable and prosperous economy.
This in turn will be beneficial for industry, as it will facilitate and drive:
- job growth across existing and new industries;
- new opportunities;
- new markets;
- greater awareness amongst consumers; and
- a more sustainable State.
Highlights: In his address, Mr. Peter Ryan MLA encouraged Melbourne to consider regional and rural Victoria as part of the solution to our long term challenges rather than part of the problem. Mr. Ryan also commended VECCI’s infrastructure aspirations and said that a superhighway between the regional cities is a great goal.
He also encouraged thought to be given to promote and support regional infrastructure (e.g. towns along the Murray River in Victoria, such as Swan Hill, don’t have access to natural gas while others nearby only have limited access. If these towns were given such access, they would improve their productivity and desirability in terms of attracting new business).
To read the full report and access further information regarding VECCI’s recommendations, download our Task Group Report on Sustainability.
3:00pm – 4:00pm | Stream 4: Workplace Futures – “Realising Our Human Capital Potential”
Speakers: Mr. Kean Selway (Chief Executive Officer, DeakinPrime; and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise), Deakin University); The Hon. Jacinta Allan MP (Minister for Skills & Workforce Participation)
Overview of Discussions: Much has been discussed surrounding Victoria’s need to invest in appropriate infrastructure to secure its future success. But in order to achieve the vision laid out by the previous streams, Victoria requires a bigger and smarter workforce that what is currently available.
However, having the right people, with the right skills – in sufficient numbers – presents its own challenges.
Four key challenges and opportunities have been identified as crucial to achieving medium and long term success:
- Globalisation and diversity
- Demographic shifts
- Changing social values
- Technological advancement
While Victoria is doing very well on a range of indicators, there is still much more that needs to be done. How we choose to meet these challenges will have a profound impact on the future success and prosperity of our State.
If the right decisions are made, the future will see:
- Maximised productive capacity
- Improved sustainability performance
- Maintenance of our high standard of living
If the wrong decisions are made, Victoria is likely to experience:
- Declining levels of local production
- Lower workplace productivity
- Cuts in services
- A reduced standard of living
VECCI’s vision for the future of the Victorian workplace sees:
- Flexibility and adaptability as common practice, which allows for individualised transitions for new and older workers as they progress through the different phases of life.
- Increased productivity and responsiveness through the adoption of technological advancement, allowing virtual offices where employees can work “on-the-go”.
- Established connections between Victoria and international markets, through the support of skilled migrants and an “alumni of international students”.
The recommendations outlined in the task group report, and in today’s discussions, offer important first steps towards creating a creative, flexible and inclusive workforce for Victoria.
To read the full report and access further information regarding VECCI’s recommendations, download our Task Group Report on Workplace Futures.
4:00pm | Summit concludes and delegates depart.
If you would like further information, visit the 2009 Victoria Summit page on our website. You’ll find all the relevant media releases, speeches, task group reports and contact information.