20 January 2012 – The Federal Government on Friday announced its new Urban Policy Forum of 30 members.

It will include former South Australian Premier Mike Rann, former Deputy Prime Minister Brian Howe  current head of the Local Government Association Genia McCaffery, and the deputy chief executive of the Business Council of Australia Maria Tarrant.

Other members include the Green Building Council of Australia’s Romilly Madew, the Property Council of Australia’s Peter Verwer,  the Planning Institute of Australia’s Kirsty Kelly, the Australian Institute of Architects’ David Parken and Consult Australia’s Megan Motto.

It will be chaired by the Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure and Transport Mike Mrdak.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the forum would complement earlier urban policy initiatives:

  • Creation of the Major Cities Unit
  • Release of the National Urban Policy—Our Cities, Our Future—a long term blueprint for Australia’s 18 biggest cities and regional centres
  • Development of Creating Places for People: an urban design protocol for Australian cities, a tool to improve the quality and useability of our public spaces and city buildings
  • A commitment of more Federal infrastructure dollars to urban public transport than all our predecessors combined since Federation ($7.3 billion)
  • Establishment of a $20 million Liveable Cities program to support high-quality demonstration urban design projects and better urban plans
  • Requiring all state and territory governments to have strategic planning systems in place for their capital cities
  • Publishing a regular State of Australian Cities report to monitor the performance of our 18 biggest cities over time so policy-makers can measure and assess progress towards more productive, sustainable and liveable cities.

The full list of forum members and brief profiles comprises:

  • Mike Mrdak (Chair) –Mike Mrdak is the Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure and Transport, having previously been the Deputy Secretary (Governance) at Prime Minister and Cabinet. Mr Mrdak has extensive experience in government, and has served much of his public service career in the Infrastructure Department and its predecessors.
  • Mike Rann – Mike Rann was the member for Ramsay in the South Australian Parliament until his resignation on 13 January 2012. He is the former Premier of South Australia. First elected to the Parliament of South Australia in 1985, Mr Rann entered Cabinet in December 1989 as Minister for Employment and Further Education, Minister of Youth Affairs, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Minister assisting in Ethnic Affairs. In September 1992 he became Minister for Business and Regional Development, Minister of Tourism and Minister of State Services. After Labor lost government in December 1993, Mr Rann was elected Deputy Leader of the Opposition, and in September 1994 was elected unopposed as the Leader of the Opposition. He then served as Premier from March 2002 till his resignation as Premier in October 2011.
  • Genia McCaffery – Genia McCaffery is President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA). Ms McCaffery was elected President in November 2010, and has been a Director of ALGA since June 2006. Ms McCaffery was President of the Local Government Association of New South Wales from 2004–10, and has been a member of the Executive since 1998. Ms McCaffery was elected as full-time Mayor of North Sydney in 1995 and was re-elected in 1999, 2004 and 2008. She is also on the Board of the Sydney Metropolitan Catchment Management Authority, the NSW Environment Protection Authority, and the NSW Environmental Trust.
  • Lisa Scaffidi – Lord Mayor Ms Lisa Scaffidi is the chair elect of the Council of Capital City Lord Mayor’s. Ms Scaffidi was elected as the Lord Mayor of the City of Perth in 2007, and again in 2011, after serving seven years as a Councillor. For 10 years prior to her election she was Executive Director of the Western Australian office of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia.
  • Clover Moore – Clover Moore was elected Lord Mayor of Sydney in March 2004 and re-elected in 2008. Ms Moore chairs the Central Sydney Planning Committee and the Sydney Festival. She represents Sydney at the C40 major cities conference established to address global warming, and in 2009 was chair of the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors. Ms Moore is also the State Member for Sydney (formerly Bligh) and is currently serving her sixth term as an independent in the Legislative Assembly of the NSW Parliament.
  • Val Schier – Valerie “Val” Schier is the inaugural Mayor of Cairns Regional Council in Queensland, following the amalgamation of three regional in March 2008. She also holds a number of senior positions in a range of community organizations.
  • Prior to becoming Mayor Ms Schier held a number of senior management positions in the state government public service, and has a diverse background of experiences in the private and public sector.
  • Paul Pisasale – Paul Pisasale is the Mayor of the City of Ipswich in Queensland. Mr Pisasale was elected to Council in March 1991, elected Deputy Mayor in April 2000 and has been Mayor of the City of Ipswich since March 2004. Mr Pisasale has an active interest in business and youth initiatives, community organisations and employment enterprises and is Patron of over 40 organisations. He is currently Chair of the National Growth Areas Alliance representing local governments experiencing significant growth pressures.
  • Brian Howe – Professor Brian Howe is Chair of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Cities Expert Panel. Elected to the federal parliament in 1977 Prof. Howe represented the seat of Batman until 1996. Elected to the Ministry in 1983 and appointed to the Minister for Defence Support he subsequently served in social policy related Ministries including Social Security, Health and Housing. He was Deputy Prime Minister from 1991–1995. Since leaving politics in 1996 Prof. Howe has been a Professorial Associate at the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Public Policy. He is also Chairman of the Victorian based Disability Housing Trust and a member of the Board of the Australian and New Zealand School of Government.
  • Owen Donald – Dr Donald is Chair of the National Housing Supply Council. Dr Donald is a social policy consultant and was formerly the Victorian Director of Housing. Dr Donald has held senior positions in the private and public sectors including Executive Director of the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, General Manager of the IPA Group Pty Ltd and Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Employment Services Regulatory Authority.
  • Sue Holliday – Sue Holliday is Chair of the Built Environment Industry Innovation Council and a member of the COAG Cities Expert Panel. From 2003 to 2006 Ms Holliday worked for a strategic business consultancy firm, DEGW, before establishing her own consulting company called Strategies for Change in 2007. Ms Holliday is an urban planner and economist and was Director General of Planning in NSW from 1997 to 2003.
  • John Thwaites – John Thwaites is Chair of the Australian Building Codes Board and a Professorial Fellow at Monash University. He also chairs the Monash Sustainability Institute, ClimateWorks Australia, the Climate Group Ltd in Australia, the Peter Cullen Water and Environment Trust, and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. He is also a director of the Australian Green Building Council. Prof. Thwaites became a Member of the Victorian Parliament in 1992 and was Deputy Premier of Victoria from 1999 until his retirement in 2007. During this period he was Minister for Health, Minister for Planning, Minister for Environment, Minister for Water, Minister for Victorian Communities and Victoria’s first Minister for Climate Change. Prior to entering Parliament he was a barrister practicing in planning and administrative law, and was a Councillor for the City of South Melbourne (1985–1993) and Mayor in 1991–1992.
  • Monica Richter – Monica Richter has been the Sustainable Australia Program Manager for the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) since 2003. Prior to this Ms Richter worked for Greenpeace as the Corporate Environmental Campaigner, and at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
  • Peter Verwer – Peter Verwer is Chief Executive Officer of the Property Council Australia. Mr Verwer is also Chair of Liveable Housing Australia, the Construction Forecasting Council, and the National Counter Terrorism Committee (NCTC)—Mass Gatherings Strategy Group (MGSG), as well being a member of many other public and private sector bodies. He has also been appointed one of six Disability Community Leaders by the Australian Government.
  • Romilly Madew – Romilly Madew is the Chair of the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) Cities Task Group and Chief Executive of the Green Building Council of Australia. Ms Madew is also Chair of the International Rating Tools Committee for the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC), and a committee member of the World GBC International Policy Task group. She is also a steering committee member of the Business Leaders Forum on Sustainable Development, and the Built Environment Meets Parliament (BEMP) initiative. She was also the national winner of the Telstra Business Women’s Awards 2009 (Community and Government).
  • Megan Motto – Megan Motto is Chief Executive Officer of Consult Australia (formerly the Association of Consulting Engineers Australia). Ms Motto is also a Director of the Australian Construction Industry Forum, Vice Chair of the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC), and a Councillor of the NSW Business Chamber and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Prior to being appointed CEO in 2005, she had served in senior positions at the Association of Consulting Engineers Australia.
  • Brendon Lyon– Brendan Lyon is the Chief Executive Officer of Infrastructure Partnerships Australia. Brendan joined IPA in early 2006 and he initially served in IPA’s policy and research team and later led the organisation’s media and government relations functions. He was appointed to head the organization in 2008. Brendan also serves on the Board of the Sydney Business School, the Federal Government’s Infrastructure Finance Advisory Group; the ACCC’s Infrastructure Regulation Advisory Group and was recently appointed to serve on the steering group of the Commonwealth Government’s High Speed Rail Study.
  • John Lee – John Lee was appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer of the Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) in 2010. Prior to that, Mr Lee had held a range of senior management positions in the public and private sector including as Director General of NSW’s Department of Premier and Cabinet, and Department of Commerce, and CEO of the State Transit Authority of NSW.
  • Maria Tarrant Maria Tarrant is the Deputy Chief Executive of the Business Council of Australia (BCA). Ms Tarrant has worked at the BCA since 2001 and prior to her appointment as Deputy Chief Executive in 2011 she held the position of Director of Policy. Prior to joining the BCA she was Chief Executive of RMIT Training P/L, and has worked in both the public and private sectors in the fields of infrastructure, education services, human resources management and marketing.
  • Kirsty Kelly – Kirsty Kelly is the Chief Executive Officer of the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA). Prior to being appointed CEO, Ms Kelly had served in a number of roles with PIA including Chief Operating Officer, National Policy Manager, SA State Manager, SA Division President, SA National Councillor and National Young Planner Convenor. Ms Kelly is a Certified Practising Planner and before joining PIA she worked in consulting, and in state and local government in South Australia and in the Northern Territory.
  • David Parken – David Parken is the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Institute of Architects. For the past eight years he has also served as a Director of the Institute’s associated publishing company Architecture Media and more recently as a Director of Insurance Brokers (IBL) Limited and Archicentre which are both wholly owned by the Institute. David is also a Director of the Australian Services Roundtable, a member of the Executive of the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC), Chair of ASBEC’s Climate Change Task Group, and a member of the Australian Construction Industry Forum.
  • Stephen Hodge – Stephen Hodge is Government Relations Manager for the Cycling Promotion Fund. Mr Hodge is also a Board member of the Amy Gillett Foundation, Vice President of Cycling Australia and also fulfils several roles for charitable causes in Australia. He is also a Director of corporate affairs firm Day & Hodge Associates. Notably, Mr Hodge competed at 10 World Championships, Commonwealth and Olympic Games and finished 6 Tours de France in his 10 year professional cycling career.
  • Adrian Pisarski – Adrian Pisarski is the Chairperson of National Shelter. He has a 30 year history in the community sector including roles with housing and youth peak bodies in Tasmania, Victoria, NSW, Queensland and nationally. He has been the Executive Officer of Queensland Shelter since 2002, is a member of the Affordable Housing Summit Group, and has served as Deputy President of ACOSS.
  • Cassandra Goldie – Cassandra Goldie is the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Council of Social Service. Dr Goldie was appointed CEO in July 2010 and prior to that had been the Director of the Sex and Age Discrimination Unit at the Australian Human Rights Commission. She has previously been the Director of the Homelessness Legal Rights Project at UNSW, a consultant to UN Habitat, Solicitor in Charge of Client Services with Legal Aid in Western Australia and Executive Officer of the Darwin Community Legal Service. Ms Goldie has also been President of NTCOSS and Board Member of ACOSS (2001–2002) and was an ACOSS Law and Justice Policy Advisor (2000–2006).
  • Robert Morris-Nunn – Robert Morris-Nunn is a Director of Circa Architecture. Regarded as one of Tasmania’s most adventurous architects, he has won over 40 state and 3 national architectural awards, his work has been illustrated in international publications and he has been invited to lecture at many Australian and international conferences about his work. In 2008 he was appointed the Adjunct Professor of Architecture at the University of Tasmania.
  • Stephen Alchin – Stephen is the Executive Director, Planning at Infrastructure Australia. Since joining Infrastructure Australia in 2008 Stephen has overseen the development of the Infrastructure Priority Lists that have been recommended to governments, a review of major infrastructure approval processes sponsored by the Council of Australian Governments, and also worked on projections of long-term infrastructure costs. Prior to joining Infrastructure Australia, Stephen gained extensive experience in urban and infrastructure planning (especially transport planning) in the private sector, and in state and local government.
  • Gary White – Gary White is the Government Planner at the Queensland Government’s Department of Local Government and Planning (DLGP). Prior to joining DLGP, Gary held key planning positions within the Redlands, Gold Coast and Ipswich councils. Gary has been President of the Queensland Division of the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) and is Queensland’s representative on the National Council of the PIA. He chairs the national Planning Officials’ Group which comprises heads of State and Territory planning agencies and provides strategic planning advice to ministerial councils and actions relevant Council of Australian Governments reforms.
  • Richard Lindsay – Richard Lindsay is the Chief Executive Officer of the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA). Prior to his role at UDIA he held a number of senior industry positions including, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Seafood Industry Council, General Manager—Government and Public Affairs with the Australian Information Industry Association, Manager—Government Affairs with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, and as a Senior Consultant with political consulting firm Government Relations Australia. He has also worked for the Federal Government as a public servant in the Departments of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Finance, and Communications, and as a political adviser.