Diversifying WA’s Economy Through Sustainable New Markets

The world’s increasing climate consciousness is prompting a global transition from a carbon-intensive economy to encompass greener alternatives.

To meet this global trend, Western Australia faces a persistent question as to how to best open up its economy to seize upon emerging markets and opportunities while still optimising the benefits of the mining sector. Western Australia’s many thousands of active mine sites will move towards closure in the next two decades, creating a natural pivot towards greater economic diversification.

New opportunities are arising in exciting areas such as green hydrogen and wave-energy markets, de-carbonised agriculture via solar power, post-mining land use via pumped storage hydropower, and more. These opportunities provide welcome avenues to diversify even if mining remains at its current scale.

In this panel discussion, we’ll hear from industry experts, government representatives and UWA researchers on the new and sustainable economic ways of the future, and what should be done now to accelerate change.

Price includes a two-course breakfast and panel discussion.


Dr Daniel Schepis
Senior Lecturer in Marketing, UWA Business School

Daniel specialises in business-to-business marketing, with research focusing on innovation networks and corporate social responsibility. His work has been published in several highly regarded academic journals, as well as presented at numerous international conferences. Daniel teaches postgraduate Global Marketing Strategy and Qualitative Business Research Methods in the Honours and Doctoral programs at UWA.

Associate Professor Sally Thompson
Associate Professor, School of Engineering, Civil

Sally is an ecohydrologist who worked as an engineering consultant for several years before starting her PhD. She has worked at Princeton and Purdue Universities, as well as the University of California, Berkeley, before beginning at UWA in 2019. She’s the recipient of the US National Science Foundation CAREER award, the American Geophysical Union Early Career Award in Hydrology, and the European Geophysical Union Jim Dooge Award for “best paper” in Hydrology and Earth System Science. Her current projects are based in the US, Brazil, India, Ethiopia and Australia, and she uses a broad suite of tools, including mathematical modelling, remote sensing, and field observations.

Professor Matthew Tonts
Chair, Environmental Protection Authority 

Matthew has extensive professional experience spanning Western Australia’s environmental, regional, higher education and research sectors. He is internationally known for his expertise in environmental geography, regional environments, rural communities and spatial planning. He has worked closely with Commonwealth, State and local government, as well as not for profits and the private sector on issues related to regional development, land use assessment, urban development and environmental management. He has also worked on a range of projects in collaboration with partners in Africa, North America, Europe and South East Asia.

Dr Caitlin Moore
Research Fellow and Lecturer, UWA School of Agriculture and Environment

Caitlin is interested in research that brings together measurement and modelling techniques to observe and predict ecosystem processes over time and space. Her overarching research interest is in ecosystem processes – understanding how native and managed ecosystems grow and function from the leaf to landscape scale. One of her focusses is bioenergy sustainability, comparing and contrasting the sustainability and economic benefits of annual and perennial bioenergy crops; including maize, miscanthus, switchgrass, native prairie grasslands, energy sorghum and sugarcane.

Professor David Pannell
Professor, UWA School of Agriculture and Environment, UWA Oceans Institute

David is Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at UWA, University of Western Australia; Director, Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy; ARC Federation Fellow (2007-2012); Distinguished Fellow and past president of the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society; Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia; and a Director of Natural Decisions Pty Ltd. He was a Director on the Board of Land and Water Australia 2002-05. His research includes the economics of land and water conservation; environmental policy; farmer adoption of new practices; risk; and economics of farming systems. He collaborates with a wide variety of environmental and natural resource management organisations to help them improve their planning and prioritisation.

Professor Shamit Saggar (Moderator)
Director, UWA Public Policy Institute.

Professor Shamit Saggar is the Director of the UWA Public Policy Institute. He is also Visiting Professor at the Policy Institute, King’s College, London. He was previously Senior Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister in the UK Cabinet Office; Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Essex; Harkness Fellow at UCLA; Yale World Fellow at Yale University; and Visiting Professor of Public Policy at the University of Toronto. He is a Fellow of Academy of Social Sciences, former Chair of the Campaign for Social Science, and was awarded a CBE in 2017 for services to social science and public policy.

Event Partner