Infrastructure Development will play a pivotal, though not exclusive, role in Queensland’s sustainable growth. The recently released Queensland Major Projects Pipeline report identifies that the value of public sector projects that have funds committed or are currently under procurement now outstrip the private sector of 6 to 1.

The IAQ has gathered informed industry leaders to discuss the critical topic of boosting private sector-led infrastructure, re-establishing a positive growth mindset and recent changes to the NAIF investment mandate and anticipated market response.

Held in the history-rich Brisbane Club, the event will challenge us to consider exploring innovative funding mechanisms for the future growth of the Queensland Economy.

VENUE: The Brisbane Club, 241 Adelaide Street, Brisbane

TIME: 7.15am — 9.00am

COST: Members $115, Non-members $140, Members Tables of 10 $1035, Non-members Tables of 10 $1400 (includes GST)








Laurie Walker
Chief Executive Officer, NAIF
Laurie Walker was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) in October 2016. NAIF is a Commonwealth Government $5 billion lending facility, established 1 July 2016. Its vision is to contribute to transforming northern Australia through financing infrastructure development so as to encourage and complement private sector investment in northern Australia.

NAIF is a ‘market gap’ financier established to provide loans (which may be concessional) to infrastructure projects that are viable in the long term, but which, without NAIF, would be unlikely to proceed, or would only proceed at a much later date or with a more limited scope. NAIF’s focus on public benefit and growth, and encouraging private sector and Indigenous involvement in northern Australia, are key differentiators from other lenders.

Laurie has extensive and varied experience in banking and law including public and private sector financing of infrastructure such as airports, roads, rail, schools and hospitals. Laurie has held leadership roles as an Executive Director, Institutional Loans and Specialised Finance at the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) and as General Manager and Chief Operating Officer in the Institutional Banking and Markets, Corporate Finance division of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA).

She has also worked in Hambros Australia’s financial advisory unit and as a finance lawyer at Allen Allen & Hemsley. She has a Bachelor of Arts and Laws (Honours) and Master of Laws (Honours) both from the University of Sydney.

Ian Macfarlane (Panel Member)
Chief Executive, Queensland Resources Council
Ian Macfarlane is the Chief Executive of the Queensland Resources Council, a non-executive director of Woodside Petroleum, the Chairman of the Innovative Manufacturing Co-operative Research Centre, a member of the University of Queensland Rural Clinical School Toowoomba Community Advisory Committee, and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Ian was elected to Federal Parliament as the Member for Groom in October 1998 and is Australia’s longest serving Federal Resources and Energy Minister and the Coalition’s longest serving Federal Industry and Innovation Minister with over 14 years of experience in both Cabinet and shadow ministerial positions. Ian has extensive experience across the resources and energy, agribusiness, science and innovation, skills and training and manufacturing and industry sectors. Ian retired from the Federal Parliament in May 2016.

Before entering federal politics, Mr Macfarlane was one of the country’s most active agripoliticians. Mr Macfarlane previously farmed peanuts, sorghum and wheat, and ran cattle in Queensland’s Burnett region. He was President of the Queensland Graingrowers Association for seven years, President of the Grains Council of Australia for two years, and simultaneously held executive positions on the Queensland and National Farmers’ Federations.

Mr Macfarlane is married to Karen and has two adult daughters. He lives in Toowoomba, Australia’s largest provincial inland city.

Sergio Calcarao (Panel Member)
Managing Director, Origination, Plenary
Sergio is responsible for the structuring and successful tendering of infrastructure projects for development, operations, long-term ownership and management by Plenary.

Sergio has been actively involved in all projects tendered in NSW and has extensive experience in successful project origination – leading the financial and commercial structuring and execution of PPP projects across the accommodation, transportation and health sectors. Sergio was instrumental in the successful Plenary bids for the Queensland Schools Project, the Sydney Metro Northwest Project and the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing Project.

Prior to joining Plenary Group, Sergio spent over five years at a specialist actuarial consulting practice, providing advice to both private and public sector clients across both the insurance and financial services industries.

Ross Israel (Panel Member)
Head of Global Infrastructure, QIC
Ross co-founded QIC Global Infrastructure (GI) in early 2006. Ross provides overall leadership to the team which currently manages 12 direct investments out of offices in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, New York and London.  He has had oversight on all of the team’s investments.  In addition to his infrastructure responsibilities, Ross is a member of QIC’s Executive Committee and the QIC Private Capital Investment Committee.

Ross has over 24 years of experience in the field of corporate finance and funds management with specialist skills in infrastructure; asset management, capital raisings and M&A.

Prior to QIC, Ross was with AMP Capital from 2000 to 2005.  He co-led the AMP team responsible for the creation of the Diversified Utility and Energy Trusts (DUET).  After which he was seconded into the management joint venture between AMP Capital and Macquarie Bank established prior to DUET’s listing on the ASX in August 2004.  He was DUET’s Chief Operating Officer until his departure to QIC.  Prior to joining AMP Capital, Ross worked for ABN AMRO and BZW in their Australian Infrastructure Corporate Advisory and London M&A teams and with Ernst & Young in their Sydney Corporate Tax division.

Ross is currently a director of Lochard Energy, and an alternate director of Brisbane Airport Corporation and Port of Brisbane. Ross holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Law from the University of Queensland.

Rhys Turner (Panel Member)
Director, Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association

Rhys Turner is currently a Director with the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA), Australia’s primary trade association representing over 60 oil and gas explorers and producers, who between them produce 98 per cent of all of Australia’s oil and gas.

Rhys and his Queensland team are responsible for all policy, communications, government affairs, and public outreach and advocacy activities on behalf of the Association’s Queensland membership.

Prior to joining APPEA in early 2017, Rhys held a variety of senior public and private sector roles, including serving as a Political Adviser and Chief of Staff to several Australian State and Federal Government Ministers. Between 2005 and 2007 Rhys served on the staff of then Prime Minister, the Hon. John Howard OM, AC.

Rhys’ private sector experience has seen him work in issue advocacy roles in highly-contested and regulated sectors, leading teams and take responsibility for policy development, campaign design and execution and external communications functions across the energy, resources, finance, agriculture, and gaming industries.

Rhys holds a Masters of Business Administration from Bond University and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Rhys currently serves on the Queensland Resources Ministerial Roundtable; Resources Ministerial Community Roundtable; and University of Queensland’s Centre for Coal Seam Gas Advisory Board.


Sinead Hourigan
Director, Robert Walters

Sinead Hourigan is the Queensland Director for Robert Walters and has been recruiting in the Brisbane market since 2001. Recruiting across both the public and private sector, Sinead has assisted clients with a wide range of senior assignments ranging from executive management through to C-suite level roles. With an enviable network in the Brisbane market, Sinead calls upon her extensive network to work with clients in securing and attracting the best talent for their organisations. Prior to entering the recruitment industry, Sinead worked within the ‘Big 4’ in Sydney, and previous to this, worked in executive positions within the Irish Government.

Sinead is also a CEDA (Committee for Economic Development in Australia) Trustee in Queensland and President of the RCSA (Recruitment Consulting Staffing Association), the peak body for the recruitment and staffing sector across ANZ.