Brisbane 2033: Legacy Project

February 2021 Newsletter

February 2021 Newsletter

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Can SEQ be Australia's first Data Community?

Over several months in 2020, a Taskforce of more than 30 Committee for Brisbane members collaborated to consider what south east Queensland’s digital and data future could and should be.

While acknowledging that good Smart City and Smart Region agendas are being implemented around the world, including in our region, it was the view of the Taskforce that south east Queensland has the opportunity to do more and do better.

Phase One of the project was finalised in December 2020 when the Committee published its Liveability Issues and Opportunities Paper: “South East Queensland: Australia’s first Data Community”.

So, what is a Data Community? The project’s Vision is:

  • South east Queensland will be Australia’s first Data Community – a digitally integrated region built on strong ethical foundations to harness technology and data for social good.
  • As a Smart Region that embraces continual improvement, south east Queensland’s achievements will be measured by an empowered community that enjoys improved quality of life and wellbeing; frictionless public access to information and services; and unlocking the data economy to drive a thriving regional economy.

The Paper has been provided, initially, to the Queensland Minister for Communities and Housing, Minister for Digital Economy and Minister for the Arts, the Hon Leeanne Enoch MP, and to the Council of Mayors (South East Queensland).

The Committee is now seeking meetings with the Minister and COM(SEQ) to progress five specified initiatives to support its Data Community proposal, prior to a public launch of the Paper and broader community discussion.

The Committee for Brisbane has determined that it will play a leadership role to promote and help drive South East Queensland’s journey to becoming Australia’s first Data Community, ensuring that community good and regional economic benefits are critical influences on policy-making and action.

While the Paper’s details will be publicly released shortly, it proposes four regional legacies (captured under the Committee’s key activity areas):

  1. Connectivity: Any citizen or business can access the data and information that is important to them – anywhere and anytime.
  2. Creativity: Business and community entrepreneurship is nurtured and facilitated through world’s-best standard digital and data literacy.
  3. Equity: South East Queensland is more liveable, sustainable and equitable, driven by a social licence to operate as a Smart Region that is underpinned by good data practices and the data literacy competency of businesses and citizens.
  4. Enterprise: Economic opportunities are identified and realised through governments, businesses and local communities participating in the data economy, including data transparency, access and sharing.

The Paper was developed with a view to long-term economic, social and environmental benefits for South East Queensland by harnessing data to benefit the community, and represents the first phase of planning and preparing for a smarter future – presenting the ideas and aspirations for our region and State.

Phase Two will be to determine the specific processes and timeframes required to deliver on the aspirations.

Watch this space.

Our thanks to all Taskforce members, and particularly to the Steering Committee of

  • Adam Beck, Executive Director, Smart Cities Council, Australia New Zealand
  • Cara Westerman, Consulting Leader Queensland, Arup
  • Greg Power, Smart Cities Development Manager, SUEZ Australia & New Zealand
  • Jason Law, National General Manager, Local Government & Smart Cities, Telstra Enterprise & Govt
  • Professor Marcus Foth, Professor of Urban Informatics, QUT Design Lab
  • Mike Foster, Manager of Strategic Engagement, Seqwater
  • Sam Forbes, CEO, 6YS
  • Simon White, Chief Executive Officer – Queensland, Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce

Our First Corporate Leaders

The Committee for Brisbane is delighted to welcome its first Corporate Leaders – our new, top-level of membership.

Patron members ASM Global, Urbis, The Star Entertainment Group, McCullough Robertson Lawyers and Portfolio Creative Design have upgraded their membership to Corporate Leader and been joined by new member QIC as the vanguard of the Committee’s new membership structure.

At the Annual General Meeting in December, a revised Constitution was approved which enabled the creation of Corporate Leader as a new membership category, to replace our most senior membership category of Patron.

Our current annual membership fees are Patron at $2,000; Corporate Member $1,000; Enterprise Member $500; and Associate (Individual) $100.

From 1 July 2021, the annual membership fees will be: Corporate Leader $20,000; Corporate Member $5,000; Enterprise Member $2,500; Associate $150; and Student $50.

While the Patron category will end on 30 June 2021, the Committee decided to launch the new Corporate Leader category as from 1 January 2021.

The Committee will limit the number of Corporate Leaders to 25 paying members and up to five pro bono members (who must make a real contribution of equal value to the Committee).

It is important to stress that there will not be an automatic roll-over of any membership category at the end of the financial year – it will be a decision entirely for each Member and we will be in direct contact about that process over the next few months.

If you would like to consider Corporate Leader membership, or have questions about the new membership structure, please contact us at

First event for 2021: Building greater Brisbane's innovation ecosystem

Building on the successful “Brisbane’s Brightest Ideas” event at Parliament House late last year, we are pleased to present a follow up event as our first for 2021.

On Thursday 18 February, the Committee will initiate a discussion to establish an innovation ecosystem in greater Brisbane.

Our keynote speaker will be Dr Sarah Pearson, Deputy Director-General Innovation, Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport, who is passionate about leveraging innovation to increase impact. Her priority is ensuring Queensland puts innovation at the top of its agenda.

Dr Pearson will be joined by panellists:

Private enterprise:

  • Blake Wills, CEO Microba

Innovation Investment:

  • Katrina King, General Manager Capital Solutions, QIC

University led innovation and commercialisation:

  • Professor Alan Patching, Associate Dean, External Engagement, Faculty of Society and Design, Bond University

Dr Pearson holds a PhD in particle physics from the University of Oxford and held a tenured academic position in Australia as a physics lecturer. She has published research in the areas of particle physics, medical physics, artificial intelligence, innovation, science communication and science policy, and is an author on eight patents covering cancer diagnosis and confectionery.

Her experience includes Global Head of Open Innovation at Cadbury, Member of Main Sequence Ventures’ Investment Committee, Director on the Board of the Global Innovation Fund, member of Questacon’s Advisory Council, founding CEO of the Canberra Innovation Network, Australia’s Innovation Champion in MIKTA, and Chief Innovation Officer and Chief Scientist at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

Dr Pearson has had a significant impact on innovation ecosystems in Australia and overseas and led DFAT to build start-up ecosystems, empower entrepreneurs in the Indo-Pacific, encourage women in STEM, and engage in economic and commercial diplomacy based on innovation globally.

Purchase your tickets here – Building-Brisbanes-innovation-ecosystem-tickets

Introducing new CfB Ambassador - Matt Condon OAM

It is our great privilege to announce that award-winning journalist and author Matthew Condon OAM has agreed to become an Ambassador for the Committee for Brisbane.

The Committee initiated an Ambassador-at-Large program towards the end of 2020 and invited a number of high-profile Brisbane-born expats, as well as some locals, to support the work of the Committee and share their passion for the region.

Our purpose is to broaden the Committee’s reach to various publics by using the profile of our Ambassadors to spread our messaging and activities, and to tap into the goodwill of former and current Brisbanites who love their birth city and are happy to promote good news about the city.

Northern NSW-based Matthew Condon has been a journalist for more than 30 years, and for almost a decade has been investigating crime and corruption in Queensland.

He interviewed disgraced former Queensland Police Commissioner Terry Lewis for over three years and had exclusive access to Lewis’ private papers. That research became Condon’s bestselling true crime trilogy – Three Crooked Kings, Jacks and Jokers and All Fall Down.

Most recently he has been investigating the fatal Whiskey Au Go Go nightclub firebombing in Brisbane in 1973. His book on the subject is The Night Dragon.

Matthew currently works as a feature writer for the Weekend Australian Magazine and is an Associate Professor at Griffith University where he teaches journalism.

In 2019 he was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for services to the community.

We are delighted to call Matthew a Committee for Brisbane Ambassador and will announce more of his fellow Ambassadors in future newsletters.

Setting up a Queensland Hydrogen Cluster

2020 saw the potential to develop Australia’s hydrogen industry become a priority for our national and state governments and the Committee for Brisbane is supporting an initiative to take advantage of the opportunities.

Headquartered in south east Queensland, H2Q ( is a not-for-profit group formed to support development of the Queensland ecosystem necessary to accelerate the uptake of hydrogen at all levels of society, and to create the hydrogen economy envisaged by the Queensland Government’s Hydrogen Industry Strategy.

H2Q’s mission is to:

  • Enable Queensland workers and businesses to benefit from hydrogen opportunities, including sustaining regional jobs and creating new green jobs;
  • Develop Queensland’s local hydrogen capability, collaboration, scale and reputation to secure global business, investment and export opportunities for Queensland; and
  • Support the transition of Queensland’s industries to renewable fuel and our communities to sustainable practices.

The Committee’s interest in H2Q reflects our commitment to industry and community development, with a focus on investment, infrastructure, environment, tourism and cultural development.

As part of its climate change policy, the Committee has committed to:

  • Support initiatives to reduce and offset emissions from the greater Brisbane region (to net or below zero levels), including transitioning to renewable energy;
  • Support efforts to build community, economic and ecosystem resilience to the impacts of climate change, which includes more frequent and intense incidents of extreme weather;
  • Constructively engage with industry, government and the community to promote positive policy and actions on climate change;
  • Advocate for climate change initiatives, including new technologies, that present opportunities for economic development and sustainability; and
  • Acknowledge business and government leadership on climate action.

The H2Q Industry Cluster meets all of these objectives.

H2Q is Queensland’s largest hydrogen industry group with 40 formal participating organisations, including the Committee for Brisbane, and a network of 200+ affiliated small, medium and large enterprises across Queensland who are actively pursuing hydrogen-related opportunities.

H2Q will be formally launched in early 2021 and the first priority projects announced.

Brisbane's Economic Recovery Continues

As Australia moves into 2021 with some economic optimism (with caveats around potential impacts from the end of job support programs), the Committee for Brisbane continues to work with Brisbane City Council on economic recovery.

As a member of the External Consultative Group for Council’s Economic Recovery Taskforce, the Committee and other industry and business groups engage regularly with Deputy Mayor Cr Krista Adams and the Taskforce Chair, Cr Adam Allan.

At the final 2020 ECG meeting in December, Council provided an update on the progress of various economic recovery strategies – including proposals from CFB – and discussed actions and activities for 2021.

The Committee will continue to participate in this important forum to ensure that opportunities for economic reform, as well as recovery, are pursued.

Welcome new members

The Committee recently welcomed eight new Members and two Affiliates:


    • Donzenac

Enterprise member

    • Stradbroke Infrastructure Advisory


    • Nick Davy
    • Rob Nelson
    • Stewart Armstrong
    • Isaac Coonan
    • Ian Agnew
    • Susan Mercer


    • Zonta Club of Brisbane
    • Australian Constructors Association

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The Committee For Brisbane acknowledges the First Nations People of the region and their continuing connection to and care of the land, waters and community of that region.
We also pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

Photos by Tony Elsom