Dam Upgrade Detailed Business Case
Ben is currently working with the Ranbury Management Group to write a detailed business case for a major dam upgrade in South East Queensland. On this project, Ben is the lead Business Case Writer and is responsible for drafting all chapters for a large and complex upgrade using the Building Queensland Business Case Development Framework.
Kaipara Water Transport Network & Wharves Feasibility Study
The Kaipara District Council is investigating wharf investment opportunities that can deliver improved connectivity, resilience and visitor appeal for the district. This includes developing a strategic direction for water transport and tourism experiences that make support the restoration of and connection to the Kaipara Moana. Under the banner of Pure Activation, Ben led the business case development (including the Investment Logic Management facilitation) in partnership with AR & Associates, Abley, Market Economics, Resilio Studio, Vistor Solutions and Black Quay. The draft study is complete and has recently been released for public consultation.
Queenstown Town Centre Masterplan Business Cases
The Queenstown Town Centre Masterplan captured a 30-year vision for the town and is underpinned by four business cases that outline a program of targeted investments to achieve the desired outcomes.
As part of the project team, Ben Smith managed drafting of the business cases and supported development of engagement materials.
The Business Cases proposed over $400m in investment into major urban developments in the town, significant road upgrades, public transport upgrades, construction of new commercial buildings and new parking facilities and technology.
This Masterplan program is now progressing well through delivery and it is attracting strong public and private investment.
Kopu Landing Site Feasibility Study
As part of the Rationale team, Ben wrote the feasibility study that outlined a strong case for investment in marine facilities at Kopu.
Ben also wrote a funding application that was successful in gaining TCDC funds to develop a detailed business case that would test a range of investment options to develop a marine precinct in Kopu.
In December 2018 $270,000 in Provincial Growth Funds were approved to develop a business case investigating Kopu as a centre to support marine servicing operations across the Hauraki Gulf, as well as being a connector for water-based tourism. The draft business case has recently been completed for investor approval.
Capital Metro - Canberra's Light Rail
As the Communications Director for Capital Metro, Ben led the engagement with the city to support a significant light rail investment. This included working with discipline leads and expert consultants to develop a robust business case for the first stage between Gungahlin and the CBD.
The Light Rail was supported by the city as a major election discussion point and the first stage is now in operation. A light rail Masterplan was developed and the second stage is now moving into development.
Urban Development Investment Cases for the Snowy Valleys Region
As the Manager for Strategy and Place at Snowy Valleys Council, Ben led the development of business cases and investment analysis for potential developments in housing estates, Caravan Parks and disused industrial areas. The proposed investments were endorsed and the planned further analysis through detailed business cases is underway.
Arrowtown Mahu Whenua Gateway project
As part of the Rationale team , Ben worked with the Arrowtown Promotion and Business Association (APBA) to consider the ways in which Arrowtown can better connect to the breathtaking backdrop of hills and mountains, which are part of a 53,000-hectare conservation park covenanted with the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust in 2015. Through a highly collaborative process with a wide range of stakeholders, Ben drafted a business case that outlined how to best make use of the opportunity the Mahu Whenua provides. Through applying the better business case process, a preferred option was selected that is highly supported by the community and stakeholders. The APBA are now looking to take this option to next stage through securing funding for detailed planning and implementation.
Strategies and Plans
A new regional brand for the Snowy Valleys
At Snowy Valleys Council, Ben led Strategic Planning, Economic Development, Tourism, and Community Engagement.
This included delivering the key recommendations from the region’s Destination Management Plan and Economic Development Strategy.
One of those recommendations was development of a distinctive tourism brand for the region, which included a brand style guide, marketing strategy and positioning plan.
Ben and his team worked with Sydney brand Specialists ‘For the People’ to develop a very highly regarded brand that captured the essence of the region, its produce and experiences. Based on a theme of ‘always in season’, the brand has successfully rolled out through a new tourism website, visitor app, new signs, collateral and photography.
Central Otago Economic Development Strategy
Ben worked with Central Otago District Council staff to create a draft Economic Development Strategy for the district.
This included hosting a series of regional workshops to identify problems, opportunities and aspirations of the community and industries. This was combined with industry research and alignment with regional trends to develop a draft plan for discussion.
This draft has been updated and is now in delivery.
Brisbane Airport’s 2014 Masterplan
Ben played a key role in coordinating engagement and producing content for the 2014 Brisbane Airport Masterplan.
This Masterplan outlined all development at the airport for the next 20 years, covering passenger growth, job creation and the construction of the new runway, as well as significant investment in other aviation infrastructure, roads and Terminals.
As the Special Projects Communications Manager at the airport at that time, Ben ensured that all developments were well coordinated and integrated in their engagement and education approach.
Thames Coromandel Productivity Plan
As part of the Rationale team, Ben project managed the establishment phase of the “Productivity Plan” for the Thames Coromandel District in New Zealand.
Written by Ben, this establishment report sets out how the Productivity Plan for the district will set a 30-year vision for the district and use a spatial approach to program investments into priority areas including transport, land use, destination management and aquaculture.
The full Productivity Plan is now in development and is set to be completed by late 2019.
Communications, Change and Engagement Projects
Milford Opportunities Project Communications Peer Review
The Milford Opportunities Project was established to create an ambitious and innovative masterplan for Milford Sound Piopiotahi, the Milford corridor and the region surrounding it. Popamono teamed up with AR & Associates and Southland District Council to review the project's communications and provide recommendations regarding future communications and engagement activities.
The Queensland Government is investing $371 million in a new smart ticketing solution that will make choosing public transport easier by introducing new ways to plan and pay for your journey. Ben led the Stakeholder Management for the project, in addition to leading development of all strategic briefings and decision making papers that enabled project leaders to brief Ministers and make navigate through project decision points.
Major Infrastructure Projects Engagement at the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads
As Program Director (Communications), Ben led a team of 35 communications specialists who supported the delivery of over 20 Major Infrastructure Projects across Queensland. Ben’s day to day duties included supporting business case development, management of stakeholder and industry engagement around Major Infrastructure Projects and provision of expert communications/ policy advice to the General Manager, Executive Directors, Ministers, Director-General and senior departmental officers.
Queensland Rail's new Rail Management Centre
Through Stockwell Bretton, Ben was engaged as the Change Manager on the Queensland Rail – Rail Management Centre project.
The Change Management program successfully delivered a seamless transition to a new rail management facility, improved business processes, ensured a highly engaged and educated workforce and improved business operations and integration. This was a 14-month program of work, which was recognized as National and Regional Project of the Year by the Australian Institute of Project Management.
Brisbane Airport’s Major Projects
Significant growth in demand for flights, parking, commercial property and terminal facilities drove a multi-billion-dollar infrastructure delivery program that included around 50 construction projects, coupled with many planning, operational change and advocacy projects. Ben’s role was to oversee these projects and supporting business cases from a communications perspective to ensure the projects we well planned, relevant stakeholders were engaged, risks were managed, and Brisbane Airport was well positioned. This included the new runway, the 2014 Masterplan, major terminal upgrades and airfield expansions.
Capital Metro was Canberra's light rail project and an important part of the ACT Government’s vision to deliver a truly sustainable and creative city as set out in The Canberra Plan. As the Director, Communications and Stakeholder Engagement, Ben’s role was to guide the business case development, manage stakeholder and industry relationships and lead all communications and engagement activities for the project. Ben’s team delivered a range of high-quality communications and business case products that ensured the project was well understood and supported. This resulted in successful delivery of the project despite significant political and schedule pressures.
Suncorp Group IT Change Communications
The Suncorp Group was Australia's 6th largest bank and 2nd largest general insurance group, employing over 17,000 people. As a Communications Lead, Ben provided specialized communication and change advice to the Business Technology Division of Suncorp, including creating and implementing communication and change management strategies supporting major system and behavioural changes in partnership with organisational leaders.
Arrowtown Social Media Management
Jacqueline managed Arrowtown's social media on behalf of the Arrowtown Promotion and Business Association. This included developing a strategy, curating content, delivering scheduled and reactive posts and partnering with identities and organisations across the region. Jacqueline's efforts resulted in ongoing growth in visitation to the town in addition to strong increases in followers and media mentions.
Snowy Valleys Town Improvement Projects
Thanks to a number of successful grant applications, Snowy Valleys Council has recently been delivering a capital program three times larger than usual. While at the Council, Ben led the team that managed the engagement for delivery of these projects, in addition to developing a scope and delivery time frame in partnership with council and community leaders. Jacqueline managed the communications around each project, including the media materials, website content, radio notes, speech notes and educational materials. Jac also managed official events to commence works or open completed installations.
Tenders & Applications
Lorgren Pty Ltd
Popamono recently teamed up with local company, Lorgren Pty Ltd to guide them through producing three government tender responses within a very tight time frame.
Lorgren were challenges by the increasing complexity of procurement requirements and worked with Ben Smith to plan, develop and deliver a powerful response that gave them the best chance of success, while informing their future business operations and providing ample materials for future tender responses.
Thames-Coromandel District Provincial Growth Fund Application
Ben worked with Thames - Coromandel District Council staff to develop a successful application for Provincial Growth Funding to support marine servicing development opportunities in Kopu.
The application led to the provision of $270,000 being allocated for a detailed business case.
This business case has been developed and is now seeking approval for the start of development works.
In house tender management
Ben has acted as an in-house tender manager in many organisations. Through this experience, Ben has developed robust decision making and tender development processes that can streamline tender production. Ben's experience developing procurement documents and evaluating these on the government side provides great insight into what is required in a successful response.
In house award application development
Ben Smith led the development of the award submissions that achieved the following results:
IPWEA Award for Excellence in Strategic Planning for the Queenstown Town Centre Masterplan
Employer of the Year for Brisbane Airport Corporation
National and Regional Project of the Year for the QR Rail Management Centre transition
TMR Director General's Award for Innovation