Archive, Industry News

Uncertainty fails to stifle seminar

The Leading Edge Seminar has been declared a success in the face of NSW tendering fears

By Sean Muir | July 19, 2012

Lateral thinking was
a key theme of this year’s BusNSW Leading Edge Seminar as the new tendering process threatened to put bus operations out of business.

Despite the government calling for metropolitan bus tenders
less than a week
before the seminar, discussion of the controversial topic was conspicuously absent from the seminar, which instead focussed on new ideas and future leadership.

“I’m very pleased with the results of the seminar today at a time when tendering is going on and there is a lot of uncertainty in the industry,” BusNSW executive director Darryl Mellish says.

“But we were keen to push ahead with the Leading Edge program because it is not political and it focuses on growing the industry and encouraging new people to look at being part of a management team.”

The government called for tenders, initially, for four metropolitan bus regions from Monday, July 2, 2012.

But Mellish says the Leading Edge Seminar, held at Sydney’s Darling Harbour on July 6, focused instead on encouraging delegates to look at the big picture regarding public transport.

“The objectives are promoting personal development and networking, but also getting people thinking laterally about the industry and where they fit within it,” Mellish says.

“We select presenters who are not just focussing on current issues but challenge people to think outside the circle.”

The day-long seminar attracted a diverse group of more than 80 delegates and kicked off with a presentation on network modelling by Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies Professor Michiel Bliemer.

Bliemer’s presentation touched heavily on multi-modal transport, with examples given of bike-use in conjunction with bus-use in the Netherlands.

Bliemer also presented a road-toll system that
rewards road users for not driving in peak traffic periods instead of charging them for infrastructure.

Under the scheme, participants, whose cars are equipped with GPS devices,
were paid four to six dollars each time they avoid the morning peak traffic.

Sessions on public relations, working in tourism and networking followed, with Enrich Management Group’s Ian Stephens’ presentation on bridging the generation gap an event highlight.

“Whilst Gen Y at the moment represents 19 percent of the population, by the year 2020 about 42 precent of employees in the workplace will be Gen Y,”
Stephen’s says.

“As the Baby Boomers pass over to Gen Xers to lead manage and inspire organisations, Gen Y is going to be a significant part of the workforce and we have got to understand them and we have got to understand some of their values.”

The seminar wrapped up with an interactive networking session before drinks sponsored by Volgren.

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