Enhancing the quality of life for all Queensland communities

Seren McKenzie


Previous Reports: 

March 2018

December 2017

Seren McKenzie is the first female President of IPWEAQ in its 47 year history. She is currently the Manager, Infrastructure Planning and Design at Lockyer Valley Regional Council. Seren’s focus is on improving her department’s efficiencies including the development of strategies, policies and procedures that result in higher levels of customer service. She ensures all members of her team are offered the opportunity to achieve their best. 

Seren’s diverse experience in infrastructure services includes managing pre-construction services of design, survey, and associated roads and drainage technical services, as well as waste services, water and sewerage operations and soils testing. She is also experienced in operational works, asset management and strategy development. 


Seren has a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil), a Masters in Engineering Technology (Environmental) and a Bachelor of Applied Science (Environmental).  She is a qualified Registered Professional Engineer (RPEQ) and a Fellow of IPWEAQ. Seren was awarded the IPWEAQ Woman in Engineering (2012).

President's Report
June 2018

It has been a busy start to the year with a lot happening in our sector and with IPWEAQ.

The proposed new Street Design & Planning Manual (SPDM) is gathering momentum with the adoption of the governance model that will now take this project forward. I’m pleased to assume the role of Chair of the SPDM Steering Committee following on from the great work done by Ged Brennan getting us through the developing phase and to everyone on the original Steering Committee. 

The Steering Committee comprises representatives from IPWEAQ, the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, LGAQ, the Planning Institute Australia and UDIAQ with the first meeting of the newly-formed Steering Committee being held Monday 4 June 2018.

Two Working Groups – one for Planning and one for Design & Standards will be responsible for the development of the chapters and supporting technical drawings for the 10 precincts to be covered in the SPDM.

We expect to officially launch the manual at the IPWEAQ annual conference to be held in Brisbane, October 2019. In the meantime, there is a lot of work to be done and this major initiative requires funding which we hope will come from various sources and stakeholders with a vested interest in the outcome. This process begins with the development of the business case and that is where we need your help. We would like to hear your views and anecdotal evidence as to why this new publication is desperately needed for our sector. How do you see the new SPDM benefiting your council and planning departments and importantly, our communities?

And if you would like to be involved on either Working Group, please contact our Project Manager, Trevor Parminter. A huge thank you to those whose expertise has contributed to the development of the manual to date, in particular John Derbyshire whose work on the initial review and drafting the structure of the manual has been extraordinary.

I’ve had the privilege as the IPWEAQ President to travel to Goondiwindi and Cairns to attend the SWQ and NQ Branch conferences both of which were a huge success with excellent representation from members in the regions. 

Both delivered an exceptional quality program offering unbeatable value for money for CPD hours not to mention the immeasurable value we all place on catching up with our colleagues a couple of times a year. We say it regularly but it needs to be said – the contribution made to these events by our Partners, exhibitors and sponsors is critical to their success.

Unfortunately, I will be attending the IPWEA NZ conference in Dunedin this month and will miss the Barcaldine conference 13-15 June hosted by George Bourne & Associates which I have no doubt will similarly be a great success.

As you would be aware, I have chosen MS Queensland (MSQ) as the President’s Charity for my term and I am extremely grateful to the efforts of delegates, the SWQ Branch and Goondiwindi Regional Council for generating a record $4,865 for MSQ! Much of this was from the charity auction conducted by the mayor, Councillor Graeme Scheu with the major prize going to Sean Rice at Proterra for $2,000. A huge thank you also to SMK Consultants who sponsored the charity auction for $2,000 to cover the cost of the prizes.

We are continuing to work closely with the QRA on NDRRA funding reforms with representatives from QRA presenting at all our branch conferences and the IPWEAQ annual conference to be held at The Marriott, Surfers Paradise, 10-12 October 2018. We were afforded an opportunity to review the proposed reforms, in particular the QRA Treatment Guide and have provided commentary. Once finalised, we hope to be in a position to endorse these reforms. Thank you to our members who assisted me with this review – that is the great value of our IPWEAQ community and how we each can contribute to beneficial changes for our sector.

Another major project in development is the native title portal which we hope to launch at the IPWEAQ annual conference at The Marriott in October. This initiative aims to assist councils reduce the significant risks of ‘future acts’ and the compensation levels awarded in a recent case in the Northern Territory.

As always, if you have any thoughts or ideas on the progress of our Institute, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Seren McKenzie