Enhancing the quality of life for all Queensland communities

2019 Great Debate

"Rural (public works) engineers are more adaptable than their city counterparts"

Date: Thursday 24 October, 2019

Time: 3:45pm - 4:30pm

Where: 2019 IPWEAQ Annual ConferenceRoyal International Convention Centre (RICC) Brisbane.

Team for the Affirmative:

Glenda Kirk

Director Infrastructure Services,

Mareeba Shire Council

Andrew Johnson

Director Operations,

Somerset Regional Council

Ben Ash

Civil Engineer and IPWEAQ Ambassador,

George Bourne & Associates Consulting Engineers

Team for the Negative:

Joe Bannan

Manager Asset Management,

Brisbane City Council

Paul Wilson

Principal Engineer Project Development,

Logan City Council

Jessica Kahl

Civil Engineer and IPWEAQ Ambassador,


Leigh Cunningham

Chief Executive Officer

Please contact Leigh Cunningham regarding any enquiries.

07 3632 6810

The IPWEAQ Great Debate was launched at the 2016 annual conference in Brisbane with the topic, ‘women make better engineers than men’. This inaugural debate was highly successful and has become a key part of the annual conference, bringing the event to a close on the third day.

The debate is intended to be entertaining and lighthearted but it also offers an opportunity to address key, niggling or divisive issues. Political correctness should be observed at all times.

Delegates vote for the winner using the conference app.

2018 Great Debate

"Tradition has no place in a modern workplace"
Winners: Negative Team

Team for the Affirmative:

Ged Brennan, Managing Director, GenEng Solutions

Jimmy ScottGeneral Manager, Operations, QRA

Cate Fennell, Cadet Engineer, Parkes Shire Council

Team for the Negative:

Matthew Brennan, Civil Engineer, 

George Bourne & Associates Consulting Engineers

Kym Murphy, Regional Director | Downs South West Region, Program Delivery And Operations Branch | Infrastructure Management and Delivery Division | TMR

Mark Lamont, Director, Information & Resources, IPWEAQ

2017 Great Debate

"Smart cities are not that smart"

Winners: Negative Team

Team for the Affirmative
Bruce Gardiner, General Manager Infrastructure Services, Cairns Regional Council
Sandra Burke, District Director (FNQ), Program Delivery & Operations
Department of Transport and Main Roads
Ren Niemann, Partner, McCullough Robertson

Team for the Negative: 
Jenny Hill, Mayor, City of Townsville
Andrew Ryan, Principal, Sabre Management Solutions
Alton TwineDirector City Infrastructure
City of Gold Coast

2016 Great Debate

"Women make better engineers than men"

Winners: Affirmative Team

Team for the Affirmative: 
Angela Fry, Principal Project Manager, GHD
Stephen Hegedus, Senior Asset Manager, Shepherd Services
Gavin Blakey, Principal Engineer, Strategic Asset Management | Asset Management Branch, Brisbane City Council

Team for the Negative
Julie Mitchell, Chief Engineer, TMR Dawson Wilkie, IPWEAQ Past President, Director all.PM
Gerhard Joubert, General Manager Infrastructure & Utilities, Central Highlands Regional Council