PIA Congress 18: That’s a wrap!

As the curtain closes on another PIA Congress 18, it is a good time to sit back and reflect on some of the major planning wins we’ve witnessed over the past year.

The annual PIA Congress 2018 was held on the west coast for the first time since 2007 in the brand new Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre. Delegates who attended the three days of Congress were met with stunning weather and an opportunity to explore all that Perth has to offer. With the attendee list exceeding 700 delegates and with a full congress integration with YP Connect (The PIA Young Planning Association), it shaped up to be the biggest and best congresses to date. Day one began with site tours across the city, including tours of the new Perth Stadium, a visit to City of Swan and an opportunity for delegates to experience the RAC Intellibus.

The National Planning Excellence Awards were held on Wednesday night, followed by the official Welcome drinks for attendees. As part of the Excellence Awards, we had the opportunity celebrate significant planning projects that have positively influenced the way our cities have been shaped and the way we live. Congratulations to all nominees and especially to those we walked away with a commendation or the win. A special congratulations to Mr Gary White, former Chief Planner of MacroPlan and now the Chief Planner of NSW who was awarded the honour of Planner of the Year. Gary has played an integral role in raising the status and importance of strategic planning in NSW and QLD.

The theme of this years’ Congress was ‘Frontiers of Planning’ and we certainly felt that PIA delivered  forward thinking sessions and innovative speakers. Our very own Chairman Brian Haratsis facilitated the day one Plenary Session- Moving around our future city: The Opportunity of Disruption, with a panel of esteemed speakers (Margie Tannock Squire Patton Boggs, Steve Cooke Lease Equity, Reece Hendy Planning Solutions, Anne Still RAC), who discussed their point of view on the introduction of Driverless Vehicles and the opportunities and impacts on our cities. The following two days had a range of speakers who covered a variety of topics which addressed planning in not just Australia, but across the world. Similarly, experts from across Australia didn’t fail to deliver interesting and thought provoking content to the audience during the two back-to-back days of workshops and presentation sessions.

We closed out the conference on Friday night with the MacroPlan Sponsored Gala Dinner. We have been sponsoring the PIA Gala Dinner for a number of years and it always proves to be a great night of networking, dancing and a few shared drinks. This year had over 500 people in attendance and was the platform for a major announcement from PIA President Brendan Nelson announcing his predecessor and president elect Steve O’Connor who will take over in November. MacroPlan’s CEO Michael Tilt, took the opportunity during his sponsorship address, to personally thank Brendan for his contribution to PIA and planning in Australia. We wish Steve O’Connor the very best in the new role when he takes over.

MacroPlan provides planning and development assessment services nationally. If you have a potential development site, are looking for Town Planning advice, or looking for Council approval for Development, please contact National Business Development Manager, Joel Taylor via email or 03 9600 0500.

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