President’s Column – 8 November 2019

Image shows President David O'Loughlin smiling in front of a black background

There are just 10 days left until we welcome delegates to the 2019 National Local Roads and Transport Congress in Hahndorf in my home state of South Australia.

Around 250 people from around Australia will join us for three days of discussions about the latest developments and trends involving local roads and bridges, traffic management and road safety both here and overseas.

For example, returning from the United Kingdom for his second roads congress is Matthew Lugg OBE, Head of Profession, Local Government at engineering and design firm WSP.

Matthew, who is also the President of the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation will highlight British examples about funding local roads, and also outline what sort of funding local government seeks, and why.

Romilly Madew AO, Chief Executive of Infrastructure Australia, will update us on the state of Australia’s infrastructure, following her agency’s 2019 Audit and its request for feedback for future infrastructure funding.

We’re honoured our guest speakers will include the Hon. Mark Coulton MP, the Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government, who will share the Commonwealth’s position on a range of matters affecting local government.

The Hon. Catherine King MP, the Opposition’s Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, will address us on the final day to give the Opposition’s perspective.

We’re also looking forward to hearing from Ann Ferguson OAM, Mayor of Mt Barker District Council, whose council is hosting our congress this year.

It wouldn’t be a roads congress without discussing road building. But this year, our special session on the circular economy will cover how council and industry are combining their knowledge to create new surfacing from crumbed rubber mixes.

I’m keen to catch the presentations by representatives from Tyre Stewardship Australia, Downer, the Australian Road Research Board and the City of Mitcham.

Drones are an emerging mode of transport that are changing the way councils manage their assets, and the way small goods are moved. Four experts whose work ranges from drone operations to aviation policy will share their insights on Tuesday 19 November.

Other sessions will cover the latest in vehicle tracking, data, and research.

There’s also action away from the Adelaide Hills Convention Centre. On Monday 18 November there will be two technical tours within Mt Barker District Council’s boundaries.

One group will inspect South Australia’s largest Council wastewater treatment plant and recycled water scheme; the other will explore how council staff are managing major development sites in one of the state’s fastest growing areas.

On Tuesday 19 November, we’ll head down the hill into the centre of Adelaide for our gala dinner in the beautiful Adelaide Town Hall. It’s a terrific venue in which to mingle and network and try delicious local produce.

Our final sessions on Wednesday morning will focus on road safety and local government. We’re pleased to be joined by experts from the University of South Australia, the newly-created National Office of Road Safety, Austroads, and the SARAH Group.

I look forward to catching up with you in Hahndorf.

This is an event not to be missed.

David O’Loughlin

ALGA President