National EconomicDevelopment Conference

October 10 - 12 2017 Ballarat

Event Details

CLICK HERE for your complete Conference Program
Printed versions of the program will be available on registration.

Come and help us celebrate 10 years of Economic Development Australia at the annual National Economic Development Conference.

FORGET TRANSFERS to Melbourne Airport on Friday 13/10!
We have the perfect solution!!!
Why not wrap up this year’s National Economic Development Conference with a behind-the-scenes technical tour of the new Mars Stadium, Ballarat West Employment Zone and Western BACE on your way back to the Melbourne Airport?
See link below for airport shuttle to Ballarat.

DEPART: 13 October 8.45am from The Mercure Ballarat Hotel and Convention Centre.
Pick up from other accommodation can be arranged
ARRIVE: 1.15pm at the Tullamarine, Melbourne Airport
with an option tocontinue into Melbourne’s CBD if required
Morning tea will be supplied.

For more information, or to register your interest click here
For more information of the sites to be visited go to:
PLEASE NOTE: This tour remains subject to numbers

LATEST NEWSKeep up to date with the latest news on 2017 NEDC:
Technical Tour Details released: see Program Day 4

October 2 Media Release; Peter Gordon – Gala Dinner Keynote Speaker

September 15 Media Release – City of Ballarat’s economic credentials in the spotlight
August 25 Media Release – Keynote Speaker: Stephen Yarwood
August 10 Media Release NEDC in Ballarat

The City of Ballarat will host the 2017 National Economic Development Conference from 10-12 October at The Mercure Ballarat in the heart of this historic city. Conference Program

The three-day conference will attract economic development practitioners from around the country and around the world; and representatives from all levels of government.

The 2017 conference will feature a compelling program of highly regarded thought-leaders whose knowledge and expertise will challenge delegates, and encourage robust dialogue around the conference’s central themes:

  • Productivity and its Importance to Prosperity;
  • Bold and Brave – risk taking and tackling new initiatives in innovative and revolutionary ways; and
  • Celebrating 10 years of Economic Development Australia.

The 2017 NEDC includes:

Two days of informative and interactive sessions for delegates including keynote speakers, experts in fields related to the conference themes, breakout sessions and panel discussions.

The annual National Economic Development Awards for Excellence will provide an opportunity for business and professional networking, as will the welcome cocktail event, conference dinner and an ‘Experience Ballarat’ event.

Delegates will be offered a ‘Technical Tour’ including site visits to several innovative economic development projects in the Ballarat region including: Eureka Stadium, Ballarat West Employment Zone and the Railway Precinct.

Selected government and industry organisations will have the opportunity to exhibit at the Conference.

Getting involved:The City of Ballarat is seeking expressions of interest from businesses with a strong economic development focus or local presence that are committed to the future growth and development of our region.
The NEDC2017 sponsorship and exhibition packages have been designed to: Provide an excellent opportunity to promote your company among conference delegates, high profile personnel and key policy makers: Raise your company profile: Provide an opportunity to develop new strategic partnerships and strengthen existing partnerships.NEDC Sponsorship Document

Where to Stay: You can find information about accommodation and attractions in Ballarat at
Airport Transfers: An airport shuttle service runs regularly from Tullarmarine / Melbourne Airport to Ballarat. Click here for more information

Discounted rates have been secured at the following venues:
The Mercure Ballarat Hotel and Convention Centre
Sovereign Park Motor Inn
Best Western Plus

The Venue

Event Speakers

Stephen Yarwood

Founder city2050

Founder city2050   An international consultant and well-known and respected urban planner in Australia, Stephen is passionate about cities and innovation. The founder of city2050, a consultancy which specialises in the …

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Michael Langley

Chair IEDC

GREATER MSP CEO Named one of the Top 50 Economic Developers in North America by Consultant Connect in 2015, Michael Langley is the founding CEO of GREATER MSP, the Minneapolis …

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Phil Ruthven

IBISWorld Founder and Director Phil is widely considered the nation’s most respected strategist and futurist on business, social and economic matters. IBISWorld, the corporation he established in 1971 and which …

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Dr Graeme Emonson

Local Government Victoria Executive Director  Graeme has a passion for local government which extends over 35 years. During those years he has been CEO at Knox City Council, Wangaratta Rural …

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Gus Balbontin

Raised in the Argentinean Patagonia, Gus knew from the age of eight that he was going to travel the world even though he did not know how to make that …

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Simon Millcock ACEcD

CEO Legatus Group (South Australia)

Simon has 18 years’ experience in the field of economic development; he was one of Australia’s first Certified Economic Developers and an Economic Development Australia (EDA) National Director from 2008 …

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Nicki Hutley

Director & Chief Economist URBIS

Nicki is a highly experienced economist with many years of experience in the economic, financial market and public policy sectors and is committed to helping shape Australian cities and communities …

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Peter Gordon

Director Gordon Legal, President Western Bulldogs

Peter Gordon is internationally renowned for his work on numerous landmark legal cases. His pioneering efforts in mass tort and consumer class action litigation include Australia’s first successful asbestos related …

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Mark Olsen

EarthCheck General Manager

After successfully emceeing the NEDC2015 and NEDC2016 Mark Olsen returns to host the NEDC2017 Ballarat conference to ensure a lively and informative program, plenty of interaction from delegates and opportunities …

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The Schedule

Conference Day 1 - Local Government Leading The Way In Economic Development

  • 6.30pm - 8.00pm

    Tuesday 10 October: Evening Welcome Event

    The Oddie Gallery, Art Gallery of Ballarat: drinks & canapes
    40 Lydiard St Sth
    Welcome from Justine Linley CEO City of Ballarat

    Set on historic Lydiard Street, the Art Gallery of Ballarat is the oldest and largest gallery in regional Australia. The Gallery offers a range of experiences, from exploring the history of Australian art in its stunning permanent collection to seeing exciting new art in temporary exhibitions. Here, there’s always something new to see, to do, and to experience.

    The heritage-listed Gallery building, one of the oldest purpose-built art galleries in the country, has evolved to accommodate the expanding collection and includes a range of spaces from grand and elegant 19th century rooms to stunning contemporary additions.


Conference Day 2 - Local Government Leading The Way In Economic Development

  • 7.45am

    Wednesday 11 October 2017: Morning Session

    7.45am Event Registration & Coffee

    8.25am Welcome to NEDC 2017 – Mark Olsen MC
    Councillor Samantha McIntosh – Mayor of Ballarat
    Mark Holdsworth ACEcD – EDA National Chair

    9.10am SPEAKERS
    Jacqueline Brinkman – EDA CEO
    The Hon Jaala Pulford – Minister for Regional Development

    Acknowledgment of EDA National Awards for Excellence Finalists
    Morning Tea

    Nicki Hutley – Director URBIS

    11.10am PANEL – Partnerships for Growth – Mark Olsen Facilitator
    Adrian Spencer (GrantGuru),
    Ingo Kumic & Gordon Noble (Knox City Clouncil). NEDC 2017 Pres_Noble and Kumic
    Teona Cousin (Mackay Regional Council)

    Around the States – EDA
    Acknowledgment of EDA National Awards for Excellence Finalists
    12.20pm Lunch

  • 1.00pm

    Wednesday 11 October 2017: Afternoon Session


    Dean Magee – Geografia – Big Data
    Phil Ruthven – IBIS World
    Robert Drummond – Australian Business Regsiter – insight into ABR Explorer

    Afternoon Tea

    3.05pm PANEL – Economic Powerhouse Mark Olsen: Facilitator
    Ryan James (Id Consulting), Justine Linley (CEO City of Ballarat), Ruth Spielman & Rob Hall (National Growth Areas Alliance)

    Stephen Chapple ACEcD and Simon Millcock ACEcD – Vic Gov’t / CEO Legatus Group SA
    Liveable Cities – Mega-cities and the end of our Regions – Thriving or Choking? A critical role for economic development practitioners…

    4.30pm End of Conference Day One

    5.30pm EVENING Function: Whole Group Dinner
    8.30pm EXPERIENCE BALLARAT: Various Options

  • Wednesday 11 October: Evening – Experience Ballarat

    5.30pm Conference Dinner – Housey Housey
    Armstrong St North

    Optional Events – Choose one of the following Experience Ballarat functions.

    Blood on the Southern Cross Show

    Blood on the Southern Cross is an explosive multi-million dollar sound-and-light show telling the story of the Eureka Rebellion – a dramatic battle between gold miners and government forces at Ballarat on 3rd December, 1854.
    Set under the night skies at Sovereign Hill, Blood on the Southern Cross combines voices, dazzling sound-and-light effects and a stunning open-air set to tell the story of what many proclaim to be ‘the birth of Australian democracy’. Visitors travel across the site on a comfortable transporter and view much of the action from the re-created Free Trade Hotel on the Eureka Diggings.
    During this breathtaking show, you will experience the miners’ disgust at unfair gold taxes, witness the dramatic burning of the Eureka Hotel, and listen to Governor Hotham’s reasoning for a dawn attack on a band of men who were the first to swear an oath of loyalty on Australian soil to a flag that was not British – the flag of the Southern Cross.

    Eerie Tours – Walking Tour

    Earning itself the reputation of Australia’s most haunted city, Ballarat has seen more than its share of blood, tears and misery – from the hazards of the gold rush to the Eureka Stockade massacre.
    Set against the backdrop of Ballarat’s beautiful Gothic-inspired architecture, Eerie Tours takes you on a journey through the dark and paranormal side of Ballarat – a city steeped in early Australian history.
    This team of professional historians and storytellers will provide a night of uncanny occurrence and tales of the birth of the Australian spirit, in more ways than one.


    Mitchell Harris Wine Bar

    Set in the heart of Ballarat, the Mitchell Harris Wine Bar showcases wines and other tasty delicacies of the region in a converted 140-year-old former produce store, tentmakers and motor workshop.
    Whether providing a warm sanctuary for the winter’s chill or throwing open the windows to welcome a summer breeze, this unique and charming cellar door is the perfect backdrop for the elegant wines Mitchell Harris has been making since 2008.
    These wines, which reflect the cool-climate characteristics of the region, are just the start, with the Mitchell Harris team sharing the stories behind the wines and suggesting delicious food to accompany your choice. Along with the Mitchell Harris varieties, the wine bar is a delicious gateway to the wines of the surrounding regions in Central and Western Victoria, including the Pyrenees, Grampians and Macedon.


    Athletic Club Brewery

    Located in the centre of Ballarat, Athletic Club Brewery is a family-owned small batch brewery boasting an eclectic range of beer styles.
    Hand-made in Ballarat – from the fittings of the furniture, to the beer that flows from the taps – Athletic Club Brewery offers an authentic brew pub experience with eight beers on tap and food inspired by the region.
    It is the ideal spot to pull up a stool and have a good yarn with views over the brew deck. There are opportunities to brew your own beer, take a tour and even make your own custom labels.


    Suttons House of Music

    Suttons House of Music is the home of music in Ballarat, just as it was when it was first built in 1891.
    Today, it brings performers of national and international repute to play in the atmospheric surroundings that ooze character and charm – a building that is testament to Mary Sutton’s grand vision.
    At the time of construction, at three storeys, Sutton’s was Ballarat’s tallest commercial building. It quickly became much more than just a landmark – it was a glowing attraction in the centre of Ballarat that became a hive of culture and music.
    The original building had exquisite woodworked fittings of cedar, kauri pine and blackwood with towering ceilings, plasterwork and leadlight windows celebrating Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Bach and Brahms.
    Over many years, Suttons House of Music made a major contribution to the music culture of Ballarat, both supplying the best and latest instruments and selling sheet music to further the love for playing and performing great tunes from the world’s greatest composers.



Conference Day 3 - Local Government Leading The Way In Economic Development

  • 8.30am

    Thursday 12 October: Morning Session


    8.30am Day 2 Welcome & Day 1 Wrap UpMark Olsen MC

    Stephen Yarwood – City 2050 / Urban Futurist

    PANEL – Entrepreneurship – Mark Olsen; Facilitator
    David Archer (Port Macquarie -Hastings Council), Terry Hickey (Enterprise Geelong), Philippa Dawson

    Acknowledgment of EDA National Awards for Excellence Finalists
    Morning Tea

    Michael Langley – Board Chair, IEDC and CEO, GREATER MSP. MLangley ED Australia presentation 10.17

    Dr Ian Martinus – EDA North American Study Tour

    Graeme Emonson – Local Gov’t Vic Exec Director. Graeme at EDA Conference Ballarat

    Acknowledgment of EDA National Awards for Excellence Finalists


  • 12:50pm

    Thursday 12 October: Afternoon Session


    12.50pm SPEAKER
    Stewart Pentland, Director Planning and Economic Development- Moreton Bay Regional Council
    The Mill at Moreton Bay; A game-changer the region needs

    Afternoon Tea

    2.30pm SPEAKER
    Carley Scott ACEcD – Developing East Arnhem Ltd
    Finding the Edge in Investment Attraction

    Gus Balbontin – Entrepreneur; former Executive Director Lonely Planet.

    4.10pm Conference Close
    Economic Development Australia AGM

    6pm for 6.45pm START ; Lucid Economics Gala Dinner and EDA Awards


  • 6:30pm - 10:30pm

    Thursday 12 October: Evening – Gala Dinner and Awards

    The City of Ballarat Economic Development Australia
    in conjuction with

    invite you to the
    2017 Gala Dinner & EDA Awards

    Thursday 12 October

    O’Collin’s Hall, St Patrick’s Cathedral
    Dawson St South, Ballarat

    Dress: Cocktail

    Master of Ceremonies: Ian Cover (Coodabeen Champions)
    Keynote Speaker: Peter Gordon (President & Chairman AFL Western Bulldogs)


    2017 Economic Development
    Awards for Excellence

    Nine awards will be presented this year plus three honorary awards.

    • Economic Development Strategic Thinking
    • Economic Development Marketing & Promotion
    • Economic Development through Partnerships/Collaboration
    • Community in Economic Development
    • Economic Development Initiatives – under 15,000 residents
    • Economic Development Initiatives – over 15,000 residents.
    • Economic Development Initiatives – rural and remote areas.
    • Economic Development Event or Forum
    • Digital Entrepreneurs

    Honorary Awards

    • Leading the Way Award – Economic Development Leadership (Elected Member)
    • Rising Star Award – Economic Development Leadership (Economic Development Practitioner – up to 30 years old)
    • Agent of Change Award – Economic Development Leadership (Economic Development Practitioner – over 30 years old)


  • 8.45am - 1.15pm

    Friday 13 October: Technical Tour

    NEDC 2017

    Why not wrap up this year’s National Economic Development Conference with a behind-the-scenes technical tour of the new Mars Stadium, Ballarat West Employment Zone and Western BACE on your way back to the Melbourne Airport?

    DEPART: 13 October 8.45am from The Mercure Ballarat Hotel and Convention Centre
    ARRIVE: 1.15pm at the Tullamarine, Melbourne Airport with an option to continue into Melbourne’s CBD if required

    Morning tea will be supplied.

    For more information, or to register your interest click here


    Mars Stadium, now Ballarat’s premier outdoor sports and events facility, hosted the city’s first AFL match for premiership points in August following a $21.976 million redevelopment.

    The redevelopment of the new regional home of the AFL’s Western Bulldogs created more than 30 construction jobs and injected $11 million directly into the local economy, with the stadium now expected to attract an additional 21,000 visitors to Ballarat each year and increase annual local tourism spend by up to $3.6 million.


    Ballarat is a fast-growing regional city with an annual population growth of 1.75 per cent.
    More than 101,000 call Ballarat home, with a population of 140,000 expected by 2031.
    To address this growth, the City of Ballarat is working hard to ensure housing and jobs will be available for Ballarat’s existing and future residents.

    Approximately 30,000 people are expected to move to the new suburbs on the city’s western fringe in the next 15 years, with growth in this area already well underway.
    This includes new housing developments, Ballarat Link Road and the Ballarat West Employment Zone (BWEZ).

    Stage one of the BWEZ is a $30.169 million joint project between Regional Development Victoria ($25.169m) and the City of Ballarat ($5m).
    BWEZ is a staged development of 438 hectares of land adjacent to the Ballarat Airport as a high-quality industrial estate for a range of manufacturing, agribusiness, construction, freight and logistics, and research and development uses.


    The Western Business Accelerator and Centre of Excellence (Western BACE), is the hub of enterprise, and business development in Melbourne’s fast growing west.
    Since the $14.62 million facility opened in 2015, its state-of-the-art enterprise ecosystem has provided great support and training to start-up companies, the workforce and job seekers.
    This year it also opened Digital BACE – A great example of business and government partnerships in action.

    CEO Mark Corrie, who introduced us to this project at the 2016NEDC, will provide a special NEDC conference guided technical tour of the facility, outline what BACE offers business, and talk to participants about how the local economic development unit secured the resources to fund it.

    PLEASE NOTE: This tour remains subject to numbers.


Economic Development Australia is a specialist, national body for all professionals working in the field of economic development in our communities.

Find out more at

Hosted by

The City of Ballarat and its residents and Economic Development Australia look forward to welcoming you to Ballarat an the 2017 NEDC

Find out more at


Book your place

Head over to EventBrite to purchase your tickets today.

Register now

Further information

For further information regarding sponsoring or attending the conference, please get in touch ...

Download the NEDC17 Sponsorship Prospectus E: P: 0421 052 969