Minister for Tourism and Major Events Louise Asher and Minister for Public Transport and Roads Terry Mulder have announced that Melbourne has won the right to host the prestigious Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) World Congress in October 2016.
Expected to attract more than 5000 delegates to the city and generate more than $23.5 million for Victoria, the large-scale trade exhibition and conference will be held over five days at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Asher said it was a big win for Victoria and once again proves the state’s credentials in hosting congresses and conferences.
“Melbourne continues to attract some of the world’s biggest business congresses and conferences, a record the Victorian Coalition Government is keen to enhance,” Asher said.
“Hosting the Congress here in Melbourne would provide an opportunity to showcase the latest technical developments to a global audience, with delegates including private corporations, public agencies and academic institutions involved in the research, design and implementation of new technologies across all modes of transport.”
Intelligent Transport System (ITS) technologies include communication, data processing and electronic technologies for in-vehicle, vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-infrastructure and mode-to-mode systems that increase transport safety and mobility, improve the sustainability of travel, reduce congestion, and improve the performance and competitiveness of all modes of transport.
Mulder said the large Congress would give Melbourne the chance to showcase some of its advanced ITS initiatives, including the radio break-in railway level crossing safety program, adaptive traffic control systems, priority signalling for road-based public transport vehicles, electronic tolling and freeway management and information systems to reduce delays due to traffic incidents.
“The sharing of knowledge and applications experience among the ITS sector is critical to further innovation in this area. This Congress is regarded as the preeminent meeting in the ITS industry,” Mulder said.
Securing the ITS World Congress adds to Victoria’s depth and reputation as a globally-focused and competitive ICT hub. ICT in Victoria generates around $29 billion in revenue and $2.45 billion in exports annually.
Chief Executive Officer of the Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau Karen Bolinger said the awarding of the Congress to Melbourne is a major achievement for the Victorian business events industry.
“This win is the result of a lot of hard work and a testament to the fact Melbourne has the capabilities, both in terms of business events infrastructure and ITS resources, to host an event of this calibre,” Bolinger said.
“We are confident this win will now give us the opportunity to bid for other major international conferences related to this field.”
Local host organisation, ITS Australia, is the country’s only organisation focused on facilitating the development and deployment of advanced technologies across all modes of transport – air, sea, road and rail.
ITS Australia President Brian Negus said he was delighted with the support for the Melbourne Congress bid offered by international colleagues.
“The support of the ITS industry in Asia-Pacific, the Americas and in Europe was particularly pleasing. This global input and the support of the Victorian Government were critical elements in our success,” Negus said.
“Australia hosted a successful Congress in 2001 and it is a great honour to be selected again as the host country. This will be an important landmark for ITS developments in Australia.”