Our vision at SGS Economics and Planning is to positively affect urban and regional futures, and it is also important to us to share our knowledge with you and stimulate debate on contemporary issues. As a result we conduct a variety of events over the year to deliver new ideas and information to you.
Please check back regularly to see where we are and if new events have been added. Alternatively, if you would like an email notification about our events,
please click here to subscribe.
Up to the task? How does the new draft Metro Strategy measure up in addressing Sydney's challenges?
SGS Sydney seminar Thursday 2 May, AGL Theatre, Museum of Sydney
SGS Economics and Planning is pleased to present a seminar focussing on the new draft Metropolitan Strategy, to be held in the evening on Thursday 2 May at the AGL Theatre, Museum of Sydney. Four uniquely qualified speakers (Lucy Turnbull AO, Frank Sartor AO, Patrick Fensham and Professor Bill Randolph) will address this topic and a Q and A discussion will follow. Drinks and canapés will be served to complete the evening.
Cost is $60 pp excl GST. Places are strictly limited. To register, email email@example.com
and a registration form with payment details will be sent to you prior to 22 April.
The team at SGS regularly speaks at and supports, industry conferences and events. Please see below for a list of events we will be participating in:
SGS is pleased to make available details of our past presentations, please click on the links below for details:
Housing Melbourne Symposium, Melbourne November 7
SGS Principal and Partner Alison Holloway has been invited to speak on a panel at the Housing Melbourne symposium. The symposium is hosted by the Office of the Victorian Government Architect (OVGA) in association with Swinburne University of Technology, Institute for Social Research (ISR) and The Prince's Foundation for Building Community (UK).
More information at
Wider Economic Benefits workshop, Grattan Institute, Melbourne 8 November
SGS Principal and Partner Terry Rawnsley has been invited to speak at a technical workshop convened to articulate issues in the emerging field of Wider Economic Benefits appraisals of transport proposals. Terry will discuss how to define 'wider economic benefits'
Local Government Research Forum, Brisbane Thursday 11 October
SGS Principal Sasha Lennon to present at the Local Government Research Forum in Brisbane
The Australian Centre of Excellence in Local Government (ACELG), in partnership with the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ), the Council of Mayors SEQ and the Queensland University of Technology, will be holding a forum on local government research in Brisbane on Thursday 11th October 2012.
SGS Principal Sasha Lennon will be one of the speakers. His presentation will cover local government and economic development, with a focus on the findings of the 2011 national survey of local government and economic development. The survey was administered by SGS in conjunction with Economic Development Australia and with the support of the LGAQ.
The purpose of the forum is to: showcase examples of latest ACELG and other local government research which relate to pressing policy issues for Queensland local government; provide a professional development opportunity on the topic of local government research; and engage researchers in thinking about how to build research capacity in the local government sector and to encourage practitioner research.
The event will be held at the Queensland University of Technology. This event is free and open to anyone with a genuine interest in local government research, particularly in the Queensland context.
QPLA Conference LibRaries: the 4th R State Library of Queensland, Brisbane,17-18 September, 2012.
Advocacy for libraries in a changing economic, political and social environment is the theme of this Queensland Public Libraries Association conference. Brisbane based SGS consultant Mark Donaldson and SGS Principal Andrew McDougall were among the key presenters on 18 September.
Andrew presented ‘The Library Dividend: Socio-economic research on the value of Queensland public libraries'. Mark focused on the economic modelling driving the valuation of public libraries to their regions and to the state of Queensland, as well as valuation techniques and modelling tools.
Information about the conference http://www.pla.org.au/qpla-conference-libraries-4th-r
The presentations will be available on the SGS Staff Presentations and Papers page at the time of the conference.
International Economic Development Conference, Cairns, 18 September
SGS Principal Sasha Lennon appeared as one of the expert speakers at the International Economic Development Conference in Cairns on September 18th. The conference is being organised by Economic Development Australia (EDA). Sasha made two presentations including a report by SGS on the 2011 National Survey of Local Government and Economic Development.
read the presentations
Coast to Coast 2012conference, Brisbane September 18 2012
SGS consultants Ellen Witte and Kate Blaylock shared insights from the Tasmanian Coastal Adaptation Pathways (TCAP) project, at the national Coast to Coast 2012 conference. The project explored pathways to respond to the changing risks of sea level rise induced by climate change, and the SGS team worked in consultation with the three Tasmanian coastal communities.
Ellen Witte presented ‘Governance and Funding of Coastal Adaptation'. read abstract
Kate Blaylock presented ‘Community Involvement in Planning for Coastal Adaptation'. read abstract
conference website http://www.coast2coastconference.com/
SGS Canberra together with Planning Institute of Australia are presenting a seminar on Grattan's new report - Social Cities.
Post Budget Networking Breakfast
SGS Principal Sasha Lennon will present his views on the Federal Budget release and how this will impact business for the 2012/2013 financial year.
SGS Economics and Planning Presents - Mine of Mind: Planning to ensure Sydney continues to drive the National Economy
There has been widespread discussion of Australia's two speed economy, with our relative economic success attributed to the mining sector. However, data shows that Australia's cities (Sydney in particular) are the nation's principal wealth generators. The strategic national economic role of cities lies in their export of advanced business services to other areas - including inter-regional clients in the mining states.
Presentations will be made by four Senior Economists and Planners
SGS Economics and Planning Presents Brisbane's Independent Insight Seminar Series - Mine or Mind? What will drive the Queensland Economy?
Queensland is supposedly driven by its booming resources sector located mainly in the central, northern and western parts of the State. But the facts reveal Queensland's future prosperity will be driven by the concentration of knowledge-based industries located in our capital city - if we can get the planning right. We invite you to join us and to contribute to this ongoing and relevant discussion.
Presentations will be made by three of our leading industry experts:
• Dr Marcus Spiller on ‘The role of Australia's big cities in boosting national productivity'
• Mr Sasha Lennon on ‘The role of Brisbane as a creative, knowledge-based city'
• Mr Ross Larsen on ‘Planning to support Brisbane's sustainable economic growth'
Gladstone Region Economic Development Conference
March 29 - 30, Gladstone entertainment Centre.
Carl Knaggs, SGS senior consultant, will be a speaker at the 2012 Gladstone Region Economic Development Conference. The conference is an opportunity to bring together key stakeholders with interests in the Gladstone Region.
Further information on the conference can be obtained by visiting
Or by contacting organizers directly on phone: 07 4972 4000or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SGS is pleased to make available our past presentations, please click on the links below for details:
AITPM National Conference 2011 Linking Communities: Growing Liveability and Accessibility
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre 10 - 12 August 2011
Thursday 11 August 2pm Terry Rawnsley, Associate Director SGS Economics and Planning presents
"Riding the Smart Bus: knowledge workers, agglomeration economies and public transport use"
AITPM (Australian Institute of Traffic Planning and Management) represents Australian and New Zealand traffic and transport planning and management practitioners in government, private practice, academic institutions and manufacturers.
Economic Development Meets Planning: How both can help shape Victoria
4 and 5 August 2011
West Waters Hotel & Entertainment Complex 10-20 Lake Street, Caroline Springs
Conference jointly hosted by Economic Development Australia and PIA Victoria
Speakers include Don Henry (ACO), Wayne Kayler-Thomson (ACA), Michael Buxton (RMIT), Prue Digby (DPCD), Marcus Spiller (SGS Economics and Planning), Kellie-Ann Jolly (Heart Foundation), David Keenan (Mitchell Shire) , Brian Haratsis (MacroPlan), Chris de Silva (Mesh Liveable Urban Communities) and Carl Bruhn (Delfin Lend Lease).
Interviews and panels facilitated by Peter Couchman.
Australian Chambers Business Congress Today, Tomorrow & Beyond
Gold Coast Convention Centre 1 - 3 June
On Thursday 2 June 2011 Marcus Spiller, a Director of SGS Economics and Planning, spoke on "The rise of the megacity: regional friend or foe?" Debate rages on amongst policy makers, business leaders and politicians over planning the future of Australian cities. One argument is an economic growth-centered model which requires ever-growing population to meet increasing global demand for Australian goods and services. The other advocates lower population numbers based on the burden that the country can carry. The conference explored the impacts of our population growth and the predicted rise of megacities on our economy, food, energy and water supplies, climate change, infrastructure and lifestyles and looked at the strategies experts are proposing for Australia's future.
Organised by the Australian Chamber Alliance (ACA) the Australian Chambers Business Congress featured international and Australian Keynote Speakers.
Resourced Regions - Shaping Up or Shipping Out? Economic and regional development conference 2011
Gladstone, 18 -20 May
Local Government Association Queensland (LGAQ) in association with Economic Development Australia (EDA)
James Matthews, Consultant, SGS Economics & Planning presented on 'Quantifying Economic Impact - An Art and a Science'.
Together with Scott Templeman, Business Attraction & Support Program Leader Logan Office of Economic Development, he discussed utilising economic information for better decision making and economic management.
Sasha Lennon, Director SGS Economics and Planning and Glenn Churchill (CEO of GADPL) presented on 'Prosperity 2030 - Collaborative Development & Investment'.
Insights from the collaborative process when Gladstone Regional Council partnered with Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Limited, and a raft of strategic regional stakeholders, to direct SGS Economics and Planning to develop the Gladstone Region Economic Development Strategy or ‘GREDS'.
2011 National Mainstreet Conference
Adelaide, May 1 - 4
Marcus Spiller, SGS Director, presented 'The Economics of Mainstreet' at 5.30pm Monday 2 May
Employment, Mobility & Living in a Growing City
Wednesday 30 March 2011, Melbourne
BMW Edge, Federation Square
A Melbourne Conversations event, one of a series of free public discussions presented by the City of Melbourne.
Panellists included: Dr Marcus Spiller - Director SGS Economics, Melbourne; Professor Graham Currie - Chair in Public Transport, Monash University Professor Ruth Fincher - Professor of Geography, University of Melbourne Professor Moura Quayle - UBC Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, Canada Moderator: Mr Peter Mares - Journalist and Presenter ABC Radio National
Gladstone ‘Region of Choice' 2011 Summit
24 - 25 March 2011, Gladstone, Queensland
This event, hosted by GADPL, brought together key stakeholders from business, industry, community and Governments. Among the speakers, Sasha Lennon - Director, SGS Economics & Planning presented on "Population Growth, Regionalisation and Considerations for the Gladstone Region's Sustainable Economic Development".
Indigenous public policy: closing the rhetorical gap
SGS Canberra March 2011 seminar
Wednesday 23rd March 2011 4.30pm - 7 pm
Hotel Kurrajong, 8 National Circuit BARTON ACT 2600
Speakers: Dr Jeff McMullen AM (journalist, author and film-maker), Leah Armstrong (CEO Reconciliation Australia), Ed Wensing (Assoc. Director SGS Economics and Planning).
Metropolitan Transport Forum - Fast Track Transport for Sustainable Cities
Melbourne Town Hall, 16 February 2011. A key Metropolitan Transport Forum (MTF) event, part of the Sustainable Living Festival.
Dr Marcus Spiller, a Director of SGS Economics and Planning, spoke on "Integrating Land Use and Transport Planning". Read the presentation
Melbourne 2010 Knowledge Cities World Summit
Tuesday 16 - Friday 19 November 2010
Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre .
Terry Rawnsley, SGS Associate Director, and Andrew Mc Dougall, SGS Director, presented to this international conference. Dr Marcus Spiller, SGS Director was an opening session panel member.
Read conference paper "Agglomeration and Labour Productivity in Australian Cities" by Terry Rawnsley and Julian Szafraniecz
Read conference paper "Melbourne's Transformation: Rust Belt to Renaissance" by Terry Rawnsley and Dr Marcus Spiller
SGS Canberra Seminar Regional Development: Challenges, Opportunities and Policy Ideas
29 November 2010, Canberra
At the SGS Canberra quarterly seminar, speakers from peak bodies, commonwealth government and SGS Economics and Planning provided diverse perspectives on regional development and regional engagement.
Central Queensland Service Improvement and Innovation Forum, facilitated by the Queensland Government
Thursday 14 November, Yepoon, Queensland
SGS Director Sasha Lennon gave the keynote presentation.
"Population Growth, Regionalisation, Economic Development and Some Implications for Service Delivery"
National Economic Development Conference 2010 - Business Recovery for a Sustainable Future
25 - 28th October, Novotel Brighton Beach, Sydney
National conference of Economic Development Australia
2.00pm Tuesday 26 October
Sasha Lennon, Director, SGS Economics & Planning, and Glenn Churchill, Chief Executive Officer, Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Limited, presented "Prosperity 2030"
4.00pm Tuesday 26 October
Alex Hrelja, Director, SGS Economics and Planning, presented "Striking the right balance"
27th - 29th September 2010 | Brisbane Marriott
Addressing the role of the mining and petroleum industries in regional growth through investment and infrastructure development
SGS Director Sasha Lennon presented a Pre-Conference Economic Development Masterclass on Monday 27th September 2010
Planning for sustainable economic development - developing an economic development strategy (EDS) addressed:
• Creating a socioeconomic profile and portrait - understanding the regional economy, demographics, employment, key industries, infrastructure, property and other key baseline statistics
• Identifying economic opportunities for future growth
• Stakeholder consultation and consensus - building strong relationships between coordinating agencies and representative organisations
• Developing a high level strategic planning document
• Examining the Gladstone Region Economic Development Strategy as a case in point
Local Government Sustainable Development Conference 2010
Wednesday 20th August, Dockside Convention Centre, Sydney
Supported by the National Growth Areas Alliance and the National Sea Change Taskforce
SGS Director Dr Marcus Spiller spoke on "Planning for sustainable communities - a question of governance?" at this peak national local sustainable development conference designed to assist local government practitioners to identify, plan and implement best practice sustainable development solutions.
Café Scientifique - Australia: how BIG?
Friday, 20 August, Acton ACT
Event organised by Alliance Francaise de Canberra, in association with The Australian French Association for Science and Technology and National Science Week
What are the challenges raised by population increase in Australia and what should the public policy response be? How big can we get?
Special guests for the discussion included were:
Dr Marcus Spiller (SGS Economics & Planning); Dr Doug Cocks (Sustainable Ecosystems, CSIRO); Pr Peter McDonald (The Australian Demographic & Social Research Institute, ANU); Pr Tony McMichael (National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, ANU);
Dr Graham Turner (Sustainable Ecosystems, CSIRO) ; Pr Glenn Withers (Crawford School of Economics and Government, ANU)
A New Agenda for Strategic Planning In Capital Cities
Afternoon forum presented by City of Sydney and AHURI
21 April, 2010 at Customs House, Sydney
Featuring The Hon. Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for Housing and Minister for the Status of Women, speaking on ‘The national criteria for strategic planning in capital cities'.
Other key presenters include Monica Barone - City of Sydney CEO, Roderick Simpson (s+w Architecture and Urban Design), Bruce Taper (Kinesis), and Patrick Fensham and Dr Marcus Spiller of SGS Economics and Planning. Read the presentations on AHURI website
Will Melbourne Still Be Marvellous in 2050? Conversations about population growth
Thursday 22 April, BMW Edge, Federation Square, Melbourne,
‘Melbourne Conversations' the City of Melbourne's program of free talks, supported by Future Leader.
Broadcast by ABC Radio National's "In the Public Interest' and facilitated by the presenter Peter Meares.
Australia's population growth will mainly be in urban areas with Melbourne estimated at seven to eight million by 2050. Many argue it's sustainable, desirable and inevitable many disagree. Prominent commentators discussed the numerous pros and cons of predicted population growth. Dr Marcus Spiller was one of the speakers.
36 million - Fact or Fiction?
SGS Canberra seminar, 31st March 2010 Canberra Business Centre, Regatta Point, Acton
Some of Australia's leading thinkers on sustainable development discussed the challenges posed by Australia's projected population growth, and public policy responses including local action, suburban design, and planning for housing and infrastructure.
Going Local: Creating Place-based economies
Event organised by Village Well, Moreland City Council and Economic Development Australia
Wednesday December 2nd, Melbourne.
Presenters include Roger Gibbins, speaking on The economic fundamentals of Re-Localisation in Australia
6th National Housing Conference
24-27 November, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
Event organised by Victorian Department of Human Services and the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute.
At concurrent session "Housing policy and planning policy in a new era: building the connections" on Thursday 26 November, Marcus Spiller responded to presentations by Professor Ivan Turok and Richard Wynne MP, Minister for Housing, Victoria.
State of Australian Cities Conference
25 November, Perth
Using strategic infrastructure as an instrument to realising wider goals and objectives
Presented by Praveen K Thakur, SGS Associate Director
Planning Institute Australia (VIC Division) Event
Locating More Housing Development Along Tram Corridors
15 July, Shell House Theatre, Melbourne
The Inaugural Australian Rental Market Summit
10-12 June, Swissotel, Sydney
The Private Rental Market – Trends and Implications
Presented by Roger Gibbins
Many low income households suffer ‘housing stress’ and many are excluded and in the absence of social housing alternatives.... Read More
Download Conference Presentation
State of the Cities: Unlocking the Data Conference 2009
27-29 May, Melbourne Convention Centre, Melbourne
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs... Future Economic Development in NSW
Presented by Patrick Fensham
Future Directions for Regional NSW provides a broad strategic planning and spatial framework that allow Regions to respond to economic opportunities in NSW. Such a framework is critical...
Download Summary Paper
Public Land @ 5 Million – Governance and Fiscal Reform
Presented by Marcus Spiller
Despite the redrawing of the Urban Growth Boundary, Melbourne @ 5 million poses a major urban consolidation challenge for the metropolis... Read More
Download Conference Paper
Social Impacts of Climate Change in the ACT
Presented by Liesl Codrington
Recent reports emphasise that the social impacts of climate change will affect society disproportionately, and will effect low income households most... Read More
Download Conference Presentation
Closing the Gap: Indigenous Development
Presented by Paul Howorth
There are two agendas running parallel to each other, regarding the wellbeing of Indigenous people in Australia — the ‘Closing the Gap’ agenda and the 'Human Rights' agenda... Read more
Download Conference Presentation
Sydney 2030: A Green, Global and Connected City
Presented by Alison Holloway
Sydney 2030 will guide the Council to deliver what the community desires: a sustainable future, secure homes, inspiring workplaces, great parks... Read More
Download Conference Presentation
Regardless of the impact of sea level rise over the next 25 to 100 years, a significant number of properties in low lying coastal areas face threats... Read More
Download Conference Presentation