Business Sydney Online Briefing

A timely discussion on NSW Infrastructure Pipeline

Simon Draper, Erin Flaherty, Juan Santamaria and Simon Nicholls

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Online Briefing

On Zoom



Sydney First Members Only

The NSW infrastructure pipeline has grown to record size, however the impacts of COVID-19 have created fresh challenges for project delivery. It is critical government works in partnership with industry to ensure projects move ahead – on time and on budget.

Special thanks to Simon Draper, Chief Executive Officer and Co-ordinator General, Infrastructure NSW, and the panel of leaders, including Erin Flaherty, Chair and Non-Executive Director, Moorebank Intermodal Company, Juan Santamaria, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, CIMIC Group, and Simon Nicholls, Executive General Manager, Development & Technical, Pacific Partnerships, for the timely discussion on the NSW infrastructure pipeline and the best ways to deliver the critical infrastructure business needs to reach its potential.

Special Guests

SImon Draper

Chief Executive Officer and Co-ordinator General, Infrastructure NSW

Chief Executive Officer and Co-ordinator General, Infrastructure NSW

Simon joined Infrastructure NSW in April 2019. Within Government, Simon has previously served as Secretary of the Department of Industry, Deputy Secretary, Economic Policy Group at the Department of Premier and Cabinet and as a Tribunal Member at the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal.

Prior to joining Government, Simon has extensive senior executive management experience in infrastructure and utility companies. He is a former CEO of Lumo Energy, Chief Executive Officer of Wellington Airport in New Zealand, General Manager Commercial at Integral Energy and Chief Executive Officer of Northern Territory Airports.

Simon has a Bachelor of Economics (Hons) from Sydney University, a Master of Business (Finance) from UTS and has completed the Company Directors Course of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

SImon Nicholls

Executive General Manager, Development & Technical, Pacific Partnerships

Simon Nicholls is the Executive General Manager, Development & Technical at Pacific Partnerships, which is a member of the CIMIC Group.  As Australia’s largest diversified infrastructure company, the CIMIC Group (through its operating companies including CPB Contractors, UGL and Thiess) is an engineering-led construction, mining, services and public private partnerships leader with a history dating back to 1899.  Pacific Partnerships is the leading developer, investor and manager of PPP assets in Australia and New Zealand demonstrated through its involvement in all three transport PPPs that closed in 2019.

With more than 15 years’ experience in engineering and project management across rail, services, construction and finance sectors, Simon excels in bridging the link between strategy, delivery and operations. At Pacific Partnerships, Simon has been responsible for PPP projects including Canberra Light Rail Stage 1, Cross River Rail, Sydney Metro City and South West, Regional Rail Fleet Program, and Waikeria Corrections Treatment Facility. He brings valuable experience in major projects including traditional and PPP tender processes, and is an advocate for the importance of PPPs, and the value that partnerships between public clients and business can yield for real world results. 

About Pacific Partnerships

Pacific Partnerships specialises in developing, investing in and managing infrastructure assets, offering clients seamless value-for-money solutions for key infrastructure under public private partnership structures. With experience in more than 30 PPPs it currently holds interests in nine economic and social infrastructure PPP investments across Australasia, including Cross River Rail (QLD), Canberra Light Rail (ACT), Sydney Metro North West Operations, Trains and Systems (NSW), Sydney Metro City and Southwest (NSW), Transmission Gully (NZ), New Zealand Schools Package 3 (NZ), Regional Rail Fleet Program (NSW), Waikeria Corrections and Treatment Facility (NZ) and North East Link (VIC). 

Erin Flaherty

Chair and Non-Executive Director, Moorebank Intermodal Company

Erin has more than 30 years’ experience in both private and Government sectors. She was Commercial Manager and Deputy CEO at Reliance Rail before becoming Executive Director of Infrastructure NSW in 2012. In 2012, Erin was appointed by the NSW Minister for Transport to the Advisory Board for the North West Rail Link and subsequently became an inaugural director of the newly formed Sydney Metro in 2018. Erin is currently the Chair and non-executive director of Moorebank Intermodal Company, and non-executive director for Venues NSW, The Infrastructure Fund, NSW Police & Citizens Youth Clubs and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. She is the National Chair of the Professional Scholarship Committee of the Australian American Fulbright Commission and a past Board member. Erin is a member of Chief Executive Women (CEW).

juan Santamaria

Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, CIMIC Group

Appointed Executive Chairman on 6 November 2020 and appointed Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director on 5 February 2020. Juan was formerly Managing Director of CPB Contractors (CIMIC Group’s construction business), with responsibility for CPB Contractors, Leighton Asia and Broad in all geographies, including Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, India and Asia.

Prior to that, Juan held roles as the Managing Director of UGL (CIMIC Group’s services business) and Executive General Manager Public Private Partnerships and Construction West at CPB Contractors.

He was Chief Executive Officer of Iridium (an ACS Group company) between 2014 and 2015; and was Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of ACS Infrastructure North America and Canada between 2006 and 2013.

Juan holds a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Madrid and has held a variety of positions in the construction industry during the past 20 years.

He has extensive international experience in the delivery of large and complex construction, services and PPP projects and has been responsible for projects and businesses in Australia, Europe, North America, Latin America and South Africa.



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