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Top 100 : 2012
Les Wielinga, 58 Director-General, Transport for NSW, NSW Government, Sydney Civil engineer, University of NSW TRANSPORT FOR NSW was established in 2011 as the integrated transport agency for the state with responsibilities for transport coordination and services, policy and planning, infrastructure, freight and marine pollution response. "I am helping drive significant reform in transport in NSW, which includes devel- oping strategies that provide better outcomes for our customers," LesWielinga said. "We re delivering major projects and looking at how we can provide better transport services. This reform provides me with an opportunity to make a contribution after decades of experience in transport. It s an engineer s responsibility, as an executive, to apply all the knowledge and experience you have. "Being an engineer is about clearly identifying the problems, considering options, setting objectives, building a strategy and ultimately creating solutions that get the job done. The problem-solving discipline stays with you for life and can be applied in many circumstances. "You have to be able to see the big picture. It s not just the application of technical skills but also combining management and strategic skills to make things happen." Wielinga was previously chief executive of the Sydney Metro Authority and the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority. He began his career as civil engineer and project manager at the NSW Department of Main Roads. He also holds a graduate diploma in technology management. Rod Eddington, 62 Chairman, Infrastructure Australia, Melbourne. Mechanical engineer, University of WA SIR ROD Eddington is chair of Infrastructure Australia, a body set up in 2008 to advise federal and state governments on Australia s infrastructure needs. Speaking to the Australian-British Chamber of Commerce in May he said that Australia has underinvested in infrastructure over the past two decades. "Infrastructure is fundamental to productivity. But getting infrastructure right by itself is not enough and you also need appropriate regulatory reform to get short- and medium-term improvements to productivity. It s only by improving productivity that we improve living standards across the board." He said it was important to make sure that infrastructure projects are economi- cally viable. Eddington is also chairman of JP Morgan for Australia and New Zealand, the Victorian Major Events Company, and a director of News Corporation. Colin Jensen, 47 Chief Executive, Brisbane City Council, Brisbane Civil engineer, Queensland University of Technology COLIN JENSEN is chief executive of Brisbane City Council, Australia s largest lo- cal government with a 2011/12 budget of $2.9 billion. It serves a population of 1.1 million people. Jensen oversees the delivery of the council s programs in the pursuit of its Living in Brisbane 2026 plan. The plan set 20 goals in areas such as sustainability, transport and safety. In 2011 he was named Chancellor s Outstanding Alumnus by the Queensland University of Technology. "I have chosen to base my career almost exclusively in the service of the public, and for me that means the decisions you make now have to be for the long-term benefit of the community," he said in accepting the award. "There are a lot of competent and clever people providing me with advice. The challenge is to see the big picture in terms of how does all that advice fit together and then look for the correct decision amongst all of that." Jensen was previously Queensland s coordinator-general and director-general of the Department of Infrastructure and Planning. 64 ENGINEERS AUSTRALIA | JUNE 2012 COVER STORY -- TOP 100