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DPC travel outcomes report: Daniel Andrews' 2016 travel to the US

Information about costs, purpose and outcomes of the Premier's travel to the United States of America in May-June 2016.

Minister The Hon Daniel Andrews MP
Portfolio Premier of Victoria
Countries visited United States of America
Date of travel 27 May to 5 June 2016
No of official travel days (including date of departure and date of return) 10
Accompanying ministerial staff

The Hon Marsha Thomson MP, Special Adviser to the Premier and Member for Footscray
Melissa Ratcliff, Deputy Chief of Staff
Lisa Maksimovic, Press Secretary
Elida Jaksic, Senior Adviser

Accompanied by spouse in an official capacity No
Funding source Premier's Private Office and the Department of Premier and Cabinet
Airfares (including taxes and fees) $83,114
Accommodation (including taxes and fees) $13,744
Other expenses (includes surface travel and travel allowances) $16,260
Travel cost for minister and staff $113,118
Are the above costs final and complete? Yes

Purpose of travel

From 27 May to 5 June 2016, I travelled to the United States of America, visiting Seattle, New York, Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles. 
This travel had a number of objectives, including:

  • promoting Victoria to US investors, and pursuing opportunities to support Victorian skills and jobs growth
  • gaining insights and securing agreements that will support the development of Victoria’s cities and communities
  • promoting Victoria’s world class medical research technology, and developing relationships that will result in better health outcomes for Victorians
  • strengthening Victoria’s international cultural and people-to-people connections

Importance of the US to the State of Victoria

The US is Victoria’s top combined market for exports and foreign direct investment.

As the largest economy in the world, it is Victoria’s largest source of foreign direct investment and second largest merchandise trading partner valued at almost $11 billion.

The US economy is at the forefront of advanced manufacturing and technology driven jobs, with major international employers in aerospace, ICT and the start-up sector, which have chosen, or are considering,  Victoria for their Asia-Pacific headquarters.

The US financial sector is the largest in the world and an important source of investment for our State’s new and ongoing major infrastructure projects. 

The US is home to world-leading medical institutions, innovators in digital education, and diverse and well connected cities, which Victoria can learn from and partner with to drive economic, health and education outcomes for our State.

Benefits of travel to the State of Victoria

Promoting Victoria to US investors and supporting Victorian skills and jobs growth

Outcomes included:

  • promoting investment opportunities to 120 senior Wall Street finance representatives
  • announcing the Victorian Schools’ App and Gaming Challenge in partnership with Microsoft
  • announcing Victoria’s participation in the Australian Bridge to MassChallenge
  • securing 200 new jobs for Victoria at Culture Amp;
  • meeting with senior executives from Boeing;
  • announcing the filming of The Leftovers in Victoria; and
  • meeting with 50 entrepreneurs and investors in Silicon Valley

In New York, I hosted a gathering of over 120 senior representatives from US and global financial institutions to promote investment opportunities in Victoria’s major infrastructure program, highlighting the benefits of investing in Victoria’s strong and stable economy.

This was complemented by an interview with Bloomberg TV, allowing the message about the opportunities on offer in Victoria  to reach a worldwide audience.

In Seattle, I announced the establishment of the Victorian Schools’ App and Gaming Challenge, a collaboration between Microsoft and the Victorian Department of Education and Training.  

It will be open to all Victorian schools giving students in years 6, 8 and 10 the opportunity to develop and pitch ideas for an app or game. The Challenge will provide Victorian students with the opportunity to develop skills and experience in coding, creating the next generation of digital entrepreneurs and innovators for Victoria’s tech industry, which now generates more than $34 billion in annual revenue and employs more than 91,300 people across the State.

I was also able to visit Boeing to see firsthand the contribution that the 1,250 highly skilled Victorians at Boeing Aerostructures Australia, based in Fishermans Bend, make to the construction of the 787 Dreamliner.

I also met with the Vice President and General Manager of Boeing Fabrication to emphasise the Victorian Government’s commitment to advanced manufacturing.

Continuing the focus on technology and innovation, I met with the Presidents of Microsoft and MassChallenge, one of the world’s leading start up accelerators, to announce Victoria’s participation in the Australian Bridge to MassChallenge initiative, which will enable Victorian start-ups to learn from the world’s best and position Victoria as Australia’s start-up capital.

In the heart of the US’s technology and start-up sector, San Francisco, I promoted the Victorian Government’s credentials in developing entrepreneurship and innovation, and our State’s growing reputation as the destination of choice for US businesses looking to establish Asia-Pacific operations.

I met with innovative start-up, Culture Amp, which  announced it will make Melbourne the home of its Australian headquarters, creating 200 new jobs for Victoria.

I also hosted a gathering of West Coast entrepreneurs and investors highlighting Victoria’s commitment to growing the local technology industry, and made the case for US based companies to choose Melbourne as the base for their Australian and Asian expansion plans. 

Engaging with the largest film and television industry in the world in Los Angeles, I announced that Melbourne has been chosen as the location for the third and final season of the acclaimed series, The Leftovers, which will inject an estimated $20 million into the Victorian economy, and create over 250 local jobs.

This is testament to the world-class skills and experience of the thousands of screen industry professionals in Victoria, and confirms our reputation as the home to Australia’s screen industry.

Supporting the development of Victoria’s cities and communities

Outcomes included:

  • signing a memorandum of understanding with Airbnb
  • gaining insights from New York’s East Side Access Tunnel to inform the Melbourne Metro project
  • meeting the New York Police Department and touring its Real Time Crime Centre, on which the $15 million Victoria Police Monitoring and Assessment Centre will be based

To support the development of the Melbourne Metro Tunnel, I received a briefing from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), and toured the new East Side Access Tunnel with the Co-ordinator General of Victoria’s Major Transport Program, Mr Corey Hannett.

The briefing and tour was a unique opportunity to learn from the experiences of New York City, discuss the challenges and successes of the project, and gain valuable insights for the Melbourne Metro project. The President of the MTA capital construction arm, Dr Michael Horodniceanu, has accepted an invitation to visit Victoria later this year, providing further advice and support ahead of major construction starting in 2018.

In addition to focussing on infrastructure development, I was pleased to learn about innovative practices that support community resilience in the face of new security and emergency challenges. I received a briefing from the New York Police Department and toured its Real Time Crime Centre with Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner, Debra Abbott. This provided insights for the new Victoria Police Monitoring and Assessment Centre, part of a $596 million public safety package.

I also visited Airbnb’s headquarters in San Francisco to sign a memorandum of understanding that will enable Victorian Airbnb hosts to contribute to response efforts by offering accommodation to emergency services workers and displaced people in times of natural disasters and other emergencies.

Promoting Victoria’s world class medical research and technology, and developing relationships that will result in better health outcomes for Victorians

Outcomes included:

  • meetings with investors and practitioners to secure greater US investment in Victoria’s medical technology and research sector 
  • announcing four ground-breaking medical agreements between Victorian and Harvard University-affiliated Boston institutions

My visit to Massachusetts provided an opportunity to further enhance the links between the sister cities of Melbourne and Boston, two world-leading centres in medical research and treatment.

I met with Boston’s foremost biotech and life science investors to promote the expertise and opportunities that Victoria has to offer.

The immediate impact of this is the decision by a number of US companies to run clinical trials in Melbourne, providing affirmation of Victoria’s specialist medical research skills.

At the Boston Children’s Hospital, I announced four new partnerships between Melbourne and Boston medical institutions that will see greater collaboration and exchange in areas of paediatrics, genetic research and oncology, ultimately providing better health outcomes for Victoria.

This is the first time these eight world-leading institutions from Melbourne and Boston have come together to form a co-ordinated approach to international partnerships.

Strengthening Victoria’s international cultural and people-to-people connections

Outcomes included:

  • securing a Museum of Modern Art touring exhibition for the 2018 Melbourne Winter Masterpieces
  • signing a new partnership with Asia Society to enhance Victoria’s connections with Asia

I had the pleasure of announcing an unprecedented touring exhibition of 150 pieces from the Museum of Modern Art for the 2018 Melbourne Winter Masterpieces, including iconic works by Picasso, Matisse, Van Gogh and Dali.

This continues a tradition of bringing the best collections from around the world to Victoria, attracting five million visitors and generating more than $420 million in economic benefit since 2004. 

I also announced an historic agreement with the New York based Asia Society, to establish a presence in Melbourne.

This agreement includes the creation of an Asia Society – Victoria Distinguished Fellow position, and significant Asia-focused research and events, which will support the development of Victoria’s Asia capabilities and further enhance Victoria’s credentials as Australia’s gateway to Asia. I was also able to announce that Melbourne had secured the 2017 Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit, a gathering of the region’s most dynamic young leaders. 

Next steps

The next steps following my successful visit to the US will be to build on the ground-breaking partnerships and promotion of Victoria in the US.

The Parliamentary Secretary for medical research will travel to the United States for meetings, further building on the health partnerships with the US.

Vice-President of the United States, Joe Biden, travelled to Victoria in July 2016 to attend the opening of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

During the visit, the Vice President saw first-hand Victoria’s world-class cancer treatment and research facilities, and discussed further opportunities for collaborative  partnership with prominent US medical research institutions.

The Victorian Government Business Office in Boston and the Department of Health and Human Services are also engaging with institutions and investors in Melbourne and Boston to build on the connections made during the visit.

To capitalise on the investment opportunities from the US, the Victorian Treasurer, Tim Pallas MP, will travel to the US. He will have strategic meetings with investment banks and hedge funds to follow up on opportunities and establish deeper investment connections. 

To see immediate benefits, the Department of Education and Training will work with Microsoft to commence the Victorian Schools’ App and Gaming Challenge in term three of 2016. This will allow winners to present at the next Melbourne Games Week later in the year. 

In response to my visit the President of MTA Capital Construction, Dr Michael Horodniceanu, will visit Victoria and meet with the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority to provide insights from the successful construction of the East Side Access Tunnel. 

These follow on engagements will help maintain and build on the positive relations and connections made during my trip.