Nigel Pittaway | Canberra
The annual ADM Defence Estate and Base Services Summit was held in Canberra this week, attracting over 300 delegates and a range of local and international speakers from across Defence and industry.
Held at the Hyatt Hotel on Tuesday, the summit addressed several important issues relating to the Defence Estate and it provided a forum in which all stakeholders were able to share ideas and discuss common issues of concern.
The welcoming address was delivered by the Deputy Secretary of the Defence Estate and Infrastructure Group (E&IG) Steve Grzeskowiak, who provided delegates with an overview of the progress made in his organisation’s journey towards what he described as an integrated, customer-centric approach to service delivery.
Grzeskowiak also warned industry to prepare for a ‘massive increase’ in the amount of infrastructure work in the near future, with a long list of projects in the pipeline. He said that capital investment in the estate over the next decade will amount to $26 billion.
The international address was delivered by Deb Godinet, Head of Estate and Infrastructure for the New Zealand Defence Force, who said one of her major challenges is to invest in the right infrastructure at the right time, as her organisation also grapples with an ageing estate.
Keynote addresses were delivered by Fidel López Soria, managing director and CEO of Broadspectrum Australia, Greg Ihde, vice president of AECOM; Michael McLeod and George Mifsud of the Indigenous Defence Consortium provided a compelling argument why Australia’s indigenous companies should not be overlooked and Tim Allard from the Australian Wildlife Conservancy gave delegates an insight into the work being done to protect native fauna in the Yampi Sound training area in north-west Australia, in co-operation with Defence.
In summary, Steve Grzeskowiak told delegates that the five major talking points for him throughout the summit were the ongoing need for collaboration, the importance of innovation and disruptive technologies, continued customer focus and incremental improvement, the understanding of ‘Big Data’ and the importance of indigenous participation.
“Big Data will be a theme for me once we have the work on the Garrison Estate Management System (GEMS) out of the way and indigenous participation is something I will continue to support for as long as I’m in this role,” he said.
A more in-depth report from the 6th Defence Estate and Base Services Summit will appear in the November issue of ADM.