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Two minutes with PIE Solutions

The Institute’s newest member, PIE Solutions, provides an insight into their experiences, learnings, and projects. Principal Damon Ehlers sat down for our “Two minutes with…” interview.

How did you get involved in the development industry?

I am a town planner, and I work for a company called PIE Solutions, which specialises in infrastructure planning. We work with our developer clients throughout all stages of their developments and prepare strategies for them to proactively address infrastructure issues before they become roadblocks to delivering their projects.

Why did you decide to become a member of UDIA Queensland?

I joined the UDIA Queensland because I believe that infrastructure has an important but often underappreciated role in the development of liveable and productive cities. The UDIA Queensland provides us with a platform to champion infrastructure planning and hopefully raise awareness of its importance within the development process.

Tell us about the latest trends in the development industry.  

Within the infrastructure space, we have noticed that prime greenfield development sites are increasingly being left outside of the area prioritised for the provision of infrastructure in Local Government Infrastructure Plans (LGIPs). This is resulting in the responsibility for infrastructure planning and funding within these areas being shifted to developers. It is also resulting in infrastructure costs that exceed the State’s capped charges, it is extending development timeframes, and it is creating more uncertainty for the development industry.

Where do you see the property development industry in the next 10 years?  

Hopefully still prosperous and I think infrastructure planners have a role to play in this by shifting focus away from developing ‘innovative’ funding models to finding innovative ways of delivering high levels of service within our infrastructure networks for lower costs. I believe that this can be achieved by harnessing the power of technology and, in a lot of cases, by applying plain old common sense!

Career highlight so far?

I think I can count myself in the very small minority of town planners who can genuinely say they are passionate about infrastructure planning. So, my career highlight has definitely been being able to take this passion and turn it into a business.

What advice would you give to young professionals starting in the industry?

I would recommend to young professionals that they:

  • Find a niche within the industry that they are passionate about
  • Be open minded – a good idea is a good idea no matter who comes up with it!