Entura shares insights from 2022 Planning Institute of Australia Congress

June 18, 2022

Sponsoring the Planning Institute of Australia Congress in Hobart, Tasmania in May gave Entura the opportunity to participate in conversations around climate change and the need for resilient, sustainable outcomes.

It was the first time the national congress had been conducted in person since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 500 planners from across Australia and beyond – from New Zealand to Barcelona – attended three days of presentations, workshops, study tours and networking events.

Three of Entura’s own attended the congress as part of our sponsorship; environmental planner Bunfu Yu, senior planning and environment consultant Scott Rowell, and Water Management Team Leader Scott Lobdale, who is also a registered planner.  

L-R: Bunfu Yu, Scott Lobdale and Scott Rowell at the 2022 PIA Congress

“It was great to be able to have wide-ranging discussions and share insights with planners across the many aspects of the industry,” said Scott Lobdale.

“A particular area of interest for us, given the nature of our work on power and water assets, was the focus on the criticality of planning for climate change, for sustainable infrastructure and, crucially, for resilient communities.”

Bunfu served on the Congress study tour committee, and coordinated a visit to Meadowbank Dam, a Hydro Tasmania’s asset on which Entura has delivered dam safety services for many years.

“The tour to Meadowbank was valuable for helping planners consider infrastructure opportunities and constraints in their approach to development, and for gaining a wider perspective on the fundamental importance of water resources and renewable energy as enablers for industries and communities to grow and thrive,” said Bunfu.

The 2022 event explored many aspects of planning, including public health, housing, equity, and climate.

“Key themes that emerged from the congress included the need for communities to always be at the heart of what we do as planners,” said Bunfu. “It’s important that we recognise the difference between planning for communities and planning with communities as we approach new projects.”

“It was also encouraging to see a strong appreciation of the need to prioritise First Nations perspectives and issues in everything we do, and to consider how we can demonstrate respect and incorporate a deeper level of First Nations history and culture into projects.”

“Planners need to go beyond ensuring that projects comply with laws, regulations and codes; we should always be looking to align our projects with best practice and promote genuine, enduring social licence to operate.”

Entura also sponsored two students from the University of Tasmania to attend the congress.

“We recognise the importance of supporting students at the beginning of their professional planning careers, and this was a powerful opportunity to help them gain a multidimensional view of planning and engage with the pressing challenges facing the broader development sector,” said Scott Lobdale.

“For young planners entering the profession, climate change will permeate every aspect of their work, not only as an ‘issue’, but also as an ‘opportunity’ to make meaningful, positive impacts for a more sustainable future.”