Event Report: Evening Forum - Sustainable Infrastructure in Sydney - Then and Now

30.08.17 Homepage

Held at BridgeClimb Sydney

On 29 August, members and friends of the German-Australian Chamber took a journey through the history and plans of Sydney´s most remarkable infrastructure projects from the past, present and future. 

The Evening Forum: Sustainable Infrastructure in Sydney - Then and Now was held at BridgeClimb Sydney, the Chamber’s host for the night. Around 30 guests were welcomed to the cinema and function room at BridgeClimb Sydney’s remarkable venue, located just under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Guests arrived at 5.30 pm to refreshments and canapés and had the opportunity to network. After some mixing and mingling, all attendees were asked to take their seats. Lars Mehlan, (Director - Events & Marketing at the Chamber), welcomed everyone and asked Todd Coates (CEO of BridgeClimb Sydney) to the stage. He spoke about his passion for the Sydney Harbour Bridge and left the audience to ponder about the inspiring quote ´A bridge of its time is now a bridge for all times´.

Following this, Lars introduced the three experts of the night: Alfie Astorgano (Climb Operations Team Leader, Maintenance Technician & Climb Leader at BridgeClimb), Terry Chapman, Project Director Stage 1 WestConnex), who works for the Sydney Motorway Corporation; and Martin Locke, Adjunct Professor, Institute of Transport and Logistic Studies at the University of Sydney Business School.

Alfie spoke about his love for the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which he has climbed almost daily for the past 12 years. He acquainted the guests with the history of the Harbour Bridge, from when the first idea about the bridge was introduced until today. He explained the importance of the Harbour Bridge for Sydney in the past and discussed the impact it still has on the city´s infrastructure today. Alfie´s engaging presentation was followed by Terry who focused on a very current project: WestConnex. He explained the M5 project, which involves the widening of the Parramatta Road in order to make traffic in Sydney faster, safer and more reliable and talked about the improvements to the city´s air quality, commutes and road safety. Last, but certainly not least, Martin took the stage and asked the question: Who ´owns´ the Sydney Harbour Bridge? Martin gave a thorough insight into how infrastructure projects often are financed as well as current political viewpoints on the most important changes to the shape of Sydney´s roads. 

The presentations were followed by a Q&A session, where the audience was invited to actively participate in the ensuing discussions.

Kristian Wolf, Executive Director of the German Chamber rounded up the evening and thanked all speakers while presenting them with German Lebkuchen, imported from Nuremberg, and invited the audience to enjoy the rest of the night.

With a delicious selection of canapés and beverages guests then networked further, approached the experts personally and marvelled at the artefacts and pictures that BridgeClimb set up around this iconic piece of architecture. 

The German-Australian Chamber would like to thank BridgeClimb for hosting the Evening Forum and opening its doors to members and guests. Special thanks also go to the speakers for their contributions. The Chamber hopes that all attendees enjoyed the evening and looks forward to seeing you soon at one of many upcoming events. 

Click here to view event photos on Flickr.