International Public Works Conference, Cairns, Australia

An opportunity to visit DOWN UNDER - 26-30 August 2007

Chris Champion, CPEng
Chief Executive Officer
Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia
Sydney, Australia
Member, APWA International Affairs Committee

Be Inspired!
Nature has been the major source of man's inspiration in most fields of his endeavour. Not least amongst these has been the art of engineering.

Where better, therefore, to bring the practitioners of this art together to pursue its advancement, than the only location on this planet where two separate, World Heritage-listed marvels of nature lie in splendour adjacent to each other?

It is with great pleasure that I invite you to come to Cairns, where the Wet Tropics Rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef, in August 2007, to undertake some serious business in Australia's most stunning location, and in keeping with our conference theme...Be Inspired!

This is an excellent opportunity for APWA members to network with other public works practitioners in Australia at the 14th International Public Works Conference to be held in Australia's premier regional city—Cairns in far north Queensland.

International Exchange of Ideas
Delegates to APWA's own annual Congress will be aware of the regular contingent from Australia. The IPWEA organises highly successful Study Tours that have been run for some years. These tours have seen many IPWEA members travel to foreign shores—mainly North America, but also the United Kingdom—to experience the latest in technology and management techniques being practiced in these countries.

Without exception, the feedback from those who participate in these Study Tours has been that they have proved invaluable in enhancing their personal and professional development. The participants have returned with increased skills and confidence that greatly adds value to their employment.

Australia in return can offer visitors world best practice in issues such as project management, traffic calming techniques and advanced asset management. There is much to learn from the international exchange of ideas.

Conference Program
The technical program will run for three days and include plenary sessions on asset management and addressing the skills shortage. Conference papers will cover a wide range of topics including:

  • Asset Management and Sustainability
  • Attracting and Retaining Staff
  • Coastal and Foreshore Works
  • Community and Safety
  • Emergency Management
  • Environmental Management
  • Finance and Funding Issues
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Plant and Vehicle Management
  • Procurement and Contracts
  • Project Management
  • Public Works Best Practice
  • Risk Management
  • Roads and Transport
  • Stormwater Management
  • Technology
  • Waste Management
  • Water and Wastewater

Cairns, Your Host City; Australia, Your Host Country
Cairns is Australia's premier regional city and the only place in the world that enjoys two environmental global treasures at its doorstop: the Great Barrier Reef and World Heritage tropical rainforest. The ambience of Cairns is tropical and relaxed and you will be visiting during a time usually of idyllic weather, sunshine, low humidity, little rain and fresh breezes.

The conference is being held at the Cairns Convention Centre, a world-class environmentally friendly meetings venue just minutes walking distance from a wide range of quality accommodation, fine eating places and entertainment. The city has many attractions including a natural beauty enhanced by sensitive award-winning developments including the Esplanade, boardwalk and swimming lagoon, and Botanical Gardens of national acclaim. The area is renowned for its fresh local produce, exotic fruit, vegetables, seafood, coffee, herbs and meats.

The city has a well-developed adventure tourism sector brimming full of activities for the daytime for experienced and novice participants including water sports, diving, snorkelling, swimming, sea kayaking, sailing, wave boarding, windsurfing or merely relaxing on one of a number of picturesque beaches accessible within minutes of the city centre. Tourism operators have a number of state-of-the-art marine vessels to take visitors swiftly and safely out to islands, pontoons and the reef.

The beautiful environment of the tropics with waterfalls, flowers, wildlife and giant fig trees is very accessible with a number of must-do activities. Gain a bird's-eye view of the rainforest from the Skyrail, a gondola ride high above the forest canopy and return to Cairns via Kuranda Scenic railway carved into the hillside. The railway is a tribute to engineering with many tunnels driven through the mountainside and has become an iconic attraction in the area.

Cairns is also the gateway to a whole range of other adjacent regional attractions including Port Douglas, the beautiful Daintree rainforest and Cape Tribulation, the charismatic village of Kuranda and breathtaking natural beauty of the Cairns highlands, Mission Beach and the great Green Way scenic drive, the Tropical Gulf savannah with vast plains and a rich mining heritage and, of course, the spectacular and remote Cooktown and Cape York peninsula.

Getting to Cairns could not be easier. Cairns National and International Airport welcomes flights from many overseas locations. Its proximity to the city enables access to the Cairns Convention Centre within minutes of landing and provides a springboard to the range of surrounding regional attractions.

Our conference organisers are keen to assist you with planning pre- or post-conference touring to complete your visit. A special program is also planned for partners. Conferencing is a combination of work and play—be prepared to do both. IPWEA and its members look forward to welcoming you to Australia. Be Inspired!! See you in Cairns!

For more information, contact the Conference Secretariat, Passion8, PO Box 1018N, North Cairns 4870 Australia, or by e-mail at Tel: +61 7 40324618. The Conference Website is Chris Champion may be contacted at