SM03: Infrastructure Without Tears - How to transition from commercial to industrial contracts without losing your shirt

This will be a unique presentation for ambitious HVAC&R companies and commercial building services contractors to learn both the theory and the practice of transitioning from commercial to industrial infrastructure projects.

Across the east coast of Australia, we are seeing an infrastructure boom. At the same time, the stories of contractor and government court battles, contractors going under, and skilled labour shortages circulate with alarming frequency.

Holding these infrastructure projects together is a web of interwoven contracts between the government and the private sector. Overlaid across these contracts is a complex patina of legislation and pre-existing relationships. In a landscape of increased quality assurance, monitoring and evaluation, as well as complex risk management, HVAC&R companies and commercial building services providers are now looking for guidance when considering upcoming industrial infrastructure opportunities.

This seminar will outline the differences between commercial and infrastructure contracts and explore the patchwork of contracts, legislation and relationships that mechanical, refrigeration and commercial building services contractors need to navigate to find long-term success. Presenters will share case studies from the complex infrastructure world – the good, the bad, and why these projects can turn sour.

Participants of this seminar will:

  • Understand the overall framework that governs infrastructure projects.
  • Learn where their money should best be spent to prevent risks from occurring.
  • Understand where the Australian market is likely to head given trends in other similar countries.

BOOK NOW – Cost $25.00 – Tuesday 19th May, 2020 @ 10.30 am


Melissa Kirby, Strategist and Lawyer, Sharpe & Abel

Murray Walls, Project Director, Melbourne Metro Rail Project and Sustainable Urban Precincts Program, RMIT University

Melissa Kirby is a lawyer and strategist and the founder of Sharpe & Abel, a Melbourne-based law and strategy firm serving the industrial, manufacturing, engineering and technical professions.

Prior to founding Sharpe & Abel, Melissa was a Director and Associate General Counsel at Honeywell, advising its Automation and Control Solutions business group in the Asia Pacific, sub-Saharan Africa and Middle East regions and a director of its local subsidiary. Honeywell is a global manufacturing and technology Fortune 100 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Melissa has also headed up the legal, regulatory and compliance department of a major Australian utility company. She has been in private practice in the English law firm Clifford Chance and the New York law firm White & Case specializing in cross-border dispute resolution in the Asia Pacific region, as well as teaching and research at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. Melissa is a sought-after speaker, having addressed government and private sector and industry groups in Malaysia, Hong Kong, London and Australia on international business, resolving major project disputes without ruining relationships and managing professional careers.


Murray Walls is currently the Project Director responsible for the RMIT Sustainable Urban Precincts Program (SUPP) and Melbourne Metro Rail Project Interface. Murray brings a wealth of experience in managing a variety of large-scale capital infrastructure projects.

With a lengthy track-record in project delivery and maintenance management, Murray has delivered on the sustainability premise of the SUPP. Within this project, Murray has demonstrated leadership in contract management, negotiation, and monitoring to deliver in complex service environments.

Beyond meeting stringent service standards, Murray also offers insights into relationship management on a multitude of levels; including key service providers, contract stakeholders, as well as end clients that have included the Commonwealth and various governmental departments.

With over 25 years in facilities management and project delivery, Murray believes that success comes from making sure that the customer’s expectations are not just met, but exceeded time after time.


Note: The seminar program may be subject to change. If you have registered for this seminar any topic, presenter, timetable or price changes will be communicated as soon as possible prior to the event.