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Committee for Ballarat
E-news – June 2017
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Advocacy and Projects

Canberra Visits

Committee of Economic Development Australia (CEDA) – State of the Nation



Committee for Ballarat CEO Melanie Robertson attended CEDA's State of the Nation conference in late May. The conference provided an opportunity to hear firsthand from Australia’s political and business leaders and inform the policy agendas that will shape the country’s future. The area of energy supply, security, pricing and the lack of energy policy were closely examined. It was clearly stated that there is no bigger issue in Australia at the moment than energy security and that we are in a very precarious position in terms of having enough energy to not have blackouts as well as having extraordinary pricing impacts.

LBWR Delegation

As part of the LBWR delegation to Canberra in late June, CEO Melanie Robertson met with Catherine King, Bill Shorten, Darren Chester (Minister for Transport), Cathy McGowan and Senators Jame Hume and Scott Ryan, as well as submitting a letter from the Chair, Janet Dore, to the Prime Minister's Office, inviting him to visit Ballarat. She was also a guest at the National Press Club to listen to chief scientist Alan Finkel's address regarding his recent report on energy. Melanie's opinion piece on the Finkel Review that was published in The Courier on 24 June can be read here.

Regional Australia Institute

The Regional Australia Institute is a think tank devoted to issues concerning regional Australia. The institute has recently released two reports documenting the recent performance of Australia's small cities, providing a blueprint for their future growth. To read the reports, please click here.

 Rail Futures institute


Chair Janet Dore, CEO Melanie Robertson and Chair of the Connectivity Project Team Nick Beale met with members of the Rail Futures Institute to discuss their plans for the future of rail in Victoria and Ballarat. They also gave a presentation to members of the Connectivity Project Team. The Rail Futures Institute is an independent, non-partisan group formed to advocate sustainable rail solutions for public transport and freight problems.

To view a copy of the presentation, click here.


 Maximising eHealth Technology Project

 After operating for three years, the Maximising eHealth Technology Project, which had  brought together the various health and related agencies across the Grampians and Wimmera to achieve greater sharing of information, collaboration and alignment of objectives in eHealth, was discontinued by the CfB Board at its June meeting. It was agreed that to get the best value from MeT, it should have a more strategic rather than project-based focus, and that its membership comprise key decision-makers from the various agencies.

Regional leadership and collaboration spanning health, technology, research, big data and innovation will continue to be pursued across various health and related organisations/agencies in the region.

Community & Health

Community and Health is the third pillar in Committee for Ballarat’s strategic plan and while Committee has a strong focus on community leadership through its LBWR program, other areas in that pillar needed more emphasis. Following a discussion with recently appointed Community members, it was decided to harness the energy of this group and establish a new project team that will focus on vibrant and healthy communities.

Chaired by Board member, Robyn Reeves, the project team met for the first time in June and is currently refining its Terms of Reference and its work plan.

Member and LBWR News

Members in the News


A number of members participated in the Transport Accident Commission's Towards Zero road safety launch held in Ballarat recently.

McCain Foods has completed the first stage of a multi-million dollar upgrade to its Ballarat potato plant that will secure the plant’s future for another 15 years.

Sovereign Hill has received an $8 million investment from the state government to breathe new life into its Sound and Light show. The spectacular will be revamped over the next 18 months.


This month Alstom celebrated the 100th anniversary of the operation of the Ballarat railway workshops, which have a long and proud history in the manufacturing of rolling stock for the Victorian rail network. Since taking over the site in 1999, Alstom has received orders for 101 six-car X’Trapolis trains (606 carriages), making it one of the largest fleets of trains in Australia. The Ballarat site is an integral part of railway manufacturing in Victoria and has become the cornerstone of Alstom’s industrial base in Australia.



As part of the Leaders Forum 2017 program, the participants spent three days in Canberra to understand the importance of the Federal Parliament in the lives of Australians and to gain an insight into our government and cultural institutions.

The group had a number of meetings with several politicians and officers of the Parliament and visited the Australian War Memorial, the Museum of Australian Democracy (Old Parliament House) and the National Arboretum. The final event and the culmination of the visit was afternoon tea and a discussion with the Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove. A special two-page feature on the visit will be published in The Courier on Saturday 1 July.

Round Table Dinner – Thursday 20 July 2017

Our second Round Table Dinner for 2017 is to be held on Thursday 20 July. Sponsored by UFS WorkHealth, the dinner will be at the Mercure Ballarat Hotel and Convention Centre with Chris Riddell as the guest speaker. Chris is a global futurist who is frequently called upon to give insights into consumer technology trends within traditional media. However, his insights and expertise as a trend spotter extend far beyond the walls of the corporate world.

Chris is looking forward to joining members at the dinner and has prepared an introductory video. To view the video, please click here.

Invitations have been sent. Please RSVP to by 11 July 2017. We look forward to seeing many of you there.


West Gate Tunnel Project

On Friday 23 June, Paul Smith, Manager Traffic and Network Planning, Western Distributor Authority, gave a breakfast presentation to members on the progress of the development of the West Gate Tunnel Project.

A copy of Paul's presentation can be viewed by clicking here.

Economic Update with Savanth Sebastian, Senior Economist, CommSec – Thursday 27 July 2017


The Commonwealth Bank invites Committee for Ballarat members to an exclusive invitation-only breakfast to hear from Savanth Sebastian as he shares his insights and experiences on the critical issues for the global economy, Australia, central Victoria, interest rates, the Aussie dollar and shares.

Details are as follows:

Date: Thursday 27 July 2017
Time: 7:30am – 9:00am
Venue: Oscars Hotel, 18 Doveton Street South, Ballarat

Click here to RSVP by 20 July 2017. 

For more information, contact

Western Bulldogs versus Port Adelaide in Ballarat – 19 August 2017


 The Western Bulldogs are offering a corporate hospitality package in the Western Bulldogs Lounge at the Eureka Stadium for CfB members attending the match on Saturday 19 August. The cost is $129 per person.

To reserve your place, please fill out the booking form by clicking here.

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