About the taskforce


Mr Danny O’Brien MP

Following a successful career in regional media, Danny O’Brien worked at the highest levels of Government, Federal and State, before succeeding Peter Ryan as the member for Gippsland South. Danny was CEO of the National Irrigators’ Council, worked as agriculture and trade policy advisor at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, and at the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation. Mr O'Brien has long been an advocate for policies to grow our entire state.


The Taskforce comprises experts in a wide range of areas, including:

Dr Bob Birrell

Dr Bob Birrell is one of Australia’s foremost sociologists and authorities on demography. An academic at Monash University since its founding in 1970, Dr Birrell established and presided over the University’s famous Centre for Population and Urban Research (CPUR) from 1991 to 2011. During this time, its journal People and Place set the agenda on population and demography issues. More recently, Dr Birrell became President of The Australian Population Research Institute (TAPRI).

Asher Judah

Asher Judah has expertise over a wide range of areas, including planning, construction, population growth and agriculture, as well as public policy. After stints at the Victorian Farmers Federation and the Master Builders Association of Victoria, he was appointed a research fellow at the Institute for Public Affairs, during which time he authored ’The Australian Century’. Most recently, Mr Judah became deputy executive director at the Property Council of Australia.

David Matthews

David Matthews was involved in the establishment of the 305-strong branch network of Community Bank branches. During this time, as co-chair of the Community Bank Strategic Advisory Board, he was also appointed to the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Board. An agribusiness operator and exporter, Mr Matthews has made a significant contribution to rural banking.

Jane Nathan

Jane Nathan’s name is synonymous with local government. Ms Nathan’s expertise in local government spans three decades, first as Councillor and Mayor for the City of Hawthorn, before becoming a Commissioner of Brimbank Council in 1994. Very recently, she has returned to Brimbank as an Administrator following the dissolution of the Council in 2009. In addition to her work in local government, Ms Nathan is President of the Australian Population Institute, a Life Fellow of the Victorian Planning and Environmental Law Association and was awarded the prestigious Richard J Evan’s Award for Excellence in Planning in 2014. Ms Nathan was the first woman Committee Member of the famous Melbourne Cricket Club, MCC.

Prof Jason Potts

Jason Potts is an economic theorist who specialises in problems of economic growth and change. He works in areas of economic evolution, technological change, institutional economics, economics of innovation, economics of cities, and the economics of cultural and creative industries. His current research focuses on innovation in the commons, and on global innovation policy. Prof Potts is a Professor of Economics at RMIT University.

Joanna Stanley

Joanna Stanley has many years of experience in community representation, urban planning matters and planning policy reform. As founder of the Brunswick Residents Action Group, she successfully advocated for the appropriate redevelopment of the derelict Tip Top Bakery site in Brunswick East which saw vital heritage components retained and community benefits added.

Peter Tesdorpf

Peter Tesdorpf is a consultant in regional development, urban affairs planning and local government, with 40 years professional experience. Mr Tesdorpf is a former Victorian President of the Planning Institute, a Committee Member of the Rail Futures Institute, played a key role in establishing several regional development organisations in Victoria and NSW, and was a former Director of a regional organisation of Councils. He is Principal of Peter Tesdorpf and Assoicates Australia.


In April 2016, Leader of the Opposition, Matthew Guy, announced the formation of the Victorian Population Policy Taskforce. In articulating his vision for the Taskforce and the future of Victoria, Matthew identified management of population growth as the biggest challenge Victoria faces today.

With the announcement of the Taskforce, the Liberal Nationals Coalition has committed to developing a clear strategy to manage Victoria’s population growth, to seize the opportunities and challenges it brings for the economic prosperity and social well-being of all Victorians. The dimensions of total Australian population growth has been examined by the Productivity Commission in a draft report tabled in May 2015 (Migrant Intake Into Australia). This Report provides a basis to estimate the likely population growth in Victoria and the likely impact of such growth. We will take the estimates provided in the Report and examine the manner in which the Coalition can provide policy settings to facilitate optimal sustainable growth in Victoria.

The Taskforce will consult extensively, and report back to the Coalition, setting out a range of recommendations. The report of the Taskforce will form the basis of detailed policy recommendations that the Liberal Nationals Coalition will incorporate into Policy platforms to present to the community before the next election.

Members of the Taskforce have been selected to ensure a broad range of experts, experienced in every facet of population growth, so that the best possible outcome is achieved.


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