La Camara aims to be the preeminent point of reference for the Spanish-Australian business community and to facilitate and foster the development of business relationships within this community.

La Camara achieves these aims through events such as corporate lunches, ministerial briefings, seminars, private boardroom functions, networking evenings and more relaxed cultural and cocktail events, as well as a variety of services and promotional opportunities for our members.

Events organised by La Camara allow both members and non-members to develop the professional contacts they need within the Spanish-Australian business community.

Upcoming Events

31 October 2019

Boardroom Lunch with Ms. Eleni Petinos MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Transport and Roads 
Parliament of NSW

Squire Patton Boggs Aurora Place, Level 17 - 88 Phillip St, Sydney NSW 2000
14 November 2019

2019 Cruise with the Europeans

King St. Wharf, Jetty No.1, Sydney NSW 2000
20 November 2019

2019 Renewable Energy Forum: Is the Australian Network Ready for a Clean Energy Future?

Baker McKenzie Level 19 CBW, 181 William Street, Melbourne 3000

Corporate Members


Auckland’s new commuter trains on way from Spain

2 September 2019 Source: The first of Auckland's latest commuter trains has left the factory in Spain. The first of the three-carriage trains is due in Auckland next month and should enter service in December. Fifteen new trains will join the 57 that entered service in 2014, heralding the start of the era of electric trains in the city. The last of the additional fleet should arrive in Auckland by July next year, significantly boosting capacity at a time of solid patronage growth. The expanded fleet will mean more services at peak times can run with two of the three-carriage sets. Auckland Transport figures showed rail patronage in July was 6.4 per cent higher than a year earlier, with overall public transport journeys up 9 per cent. More than 21 million trips were made on Auckland's rail network over the past year. The original intention for the new fleet had been to buy 17 battery-powered trains that could replace the ageing diesel units shuttling between Pukekohe and the end of electrification at Papakura. In September 2017 Auckland Transport opted to spend $207 million on the more versatile battery-powered trains. But after negotiation with the Government that plan was scrapped in favour of spending $133m on 15 new electric trains instead. The fleet is being built by Spanish train-maker CAF, at its factory at Beasain in the northern Basque region. The additional 15 are largely identical to those already in service.

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Aurecon’s new Aviation Director takes a broad view to help horizontally integrate the industry for a new generation of passenger and airlines

17 September 2019 When you’re surrounded by technical experts what you need are specialist generalists to connect the dots. That’s according to Aurecon’s new Aviation Director – Planning & Strategy Erik Kriel who prides himself on his experience covering the full span of the aviation industry to provide holistic advice, calling on the global engineering, design, and advisory company’s project management, airfields and terminals professionals to deliver an airport outcome that is practical, personal and modern. Mr Kriel said the growth in the aviation sector, the use of technology in the travel experience and the way the world is becoming more connected means that there is a generational driver that is changing the way we think about airports and needs the industry to think outside of the traditional view of what an airport is or was. “The millennial traveller wants a different user experience than the previous generation so if we keep planning and designing to the traditional blueprint of recent decades we are not going to deliver airports that work for future requirements,” he said. Mr Kriel believes that by understanding passenger behaviour and interrogating big sets of operational data we can rethink many traditional barriers that have been in place in the past. “I strongly expect that through new technologies such as biometrics and our ever-improved understanding of how people behave in airports you can come up with new and much more efficient operational concepts, to the benefit of passengers and airlines alike.  This is increasingly becoming possible through interrogating the wealth of operational data that airports and airlines hold,” he said. Mr Kriel has more than two decades of experience as an airport development planner and strategist, including terminal design, airport master planning, concept designs, capital expenditure planning and airline consultation. He has led consultancy teams in Australia, Asia, Middle East and Africa. Previously, Mr Kriel headed Airport Planning for the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), where he was extensively involved with various master plan projects at ACSA’s local airports, as well as their overseas operated airports. He has worked at some of the largest hub airports in the world, including Dubai and Hong Kong as well as some of the most economically sensitive such as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In recent years, he was Aviation Lead Consultant on several Australian airport planning projects, including Aviation Planning Project Manager for Western Sydney Airport with Landrum & Brown. Aurecon’s Global Client Director for Aviation Stephen Symons said the business continues to diversify its aviation offerings and Mr Kriel brings a wealth of knowledge and skills that will assist its clients in making investment decisions at a macro level. “He brings a wealth of global knowledge that is strategically focused and high level, and this combined with both our aviation and other core infrastructure skills embedded within Aurecon brings increasingly sophisticated offerings in the rapidly changing aviation sector,” Mr Symons said. “We are excited to have Erik join our team as we continue our journey of providing alternative offerings to the aviation sector.” A broader view is needed to help horizontally integrate the aviation industry for a new generation of passenger and airlines Mr Kriel believes there’s a need to horizontally integrate in the aviation sector: “People tend to define the aviation project lifecycle in infrastructure terms – the built environment. This creates the false impression that once the infrastructure has been built the lifecycle has ended,” he said. “In reality, there’s a repeating lifecycle – a total value cycle around the airport. It includes the ongoing appreciation and refinement of strategic objectives, placing operational and infrastructure responses within well-arranged frameworks and being in a position to appropriately trigger those responses. “I’m excited to help our clients see opportunities outside of just developing infrastructure. Aurecon is combining skills across program advisory, infrastructure advisory and aviation planning and bringing all these together for the aviation sector.” Mr Kriel will help advise Aurecon’s global aviation clients on right-sizing their investments – both in terms of the physical size and timing of the asset investment but also in terms of improved passenger and airline experience. “I enjoy taking the wider perspective, joining dots across disciplines and capabilities,” Mr Kriel said. “My aim is to not get drawn into the depth of the detail but to take a broad view of an airport’s attributes. Instead of becoming a deep technical matter expert, and there are so many in Aurecon, I strive to bring seemingly unconnected perspectives together.” Having worked both operator and consultant side for airports in both emergent and developing economies Mr Kriel appreciates the socio-economic, cultural and institutional drivers that sit behind airports and guide their strategic planning needs. “I don’t think that the future of aviation lies only in the infrastructural perspective – it lies in a much broader more integrated view.  Instead of trying to just build the right asset you need to be able to know how to do the right thing at the right time,” he said.

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Navantia launches second logistics vessel for Australian Navy

30 August 2019 Navantia launched Nuship “Stalwart” on Friday 30 August 2019, the second of two logistics vessels it is building for the Royal Australian Navy. The ceremony took place at Ferrol’s shipyard at 17:14, coinciding with high tide. During the event, the president of Navantia, Susana de Sarriá, has thanked the Australian Department of Defence and the Australian Navy for the trust placed in the Company, which has once again demonstrated its ability to design and build on time, quality products and services for the most competitive of markets. She also highlighted the work of the Navantia staff, the collaborating industry, and the rest of the partners who have put all their effort and know-how on this boat. Navantia’s president also announced that Ferrol’s shipyard will soon begin the implementation of an ambitious investment plan of more than €160 million digital transformation, in the face of F110 frigates. These investments will generate more than 700 jobs over the next 5 years, to most companies in the area. The ceremony was attended by the president of the Xunta de Galicia, Alberto Núñez Feijóo; the government delegate, Javier Losada; SEPI President Vicente Fernandez; Australia’s Ambassador to Spain, Julie-Ann Guivarra, the representative of the Australian Navy, Rear Admiral Peter Quinn, and the representative of the Spanish Navy, Admiral Antonio González. Stephanie Moles, retired rear admiral of the Australian Navy, has served as the ship’s sponsor. Australia, preferred customer The contract with the Commonwealth of Australia involves 1.5 million hours of work per ship for the Ferrol shipyard, as well as 35,000 hours from the manufacture and supply of the main engines, diesel generators and reducers, and another 35,000 derived from the Integrated Platform Control System. It is generating about 1,800 direct and indirect employees annually, of which more than 330 are direct employees, with more than 530 employees in the collaborating industry and more than 900 indirect employees through other suppliers. The contract includes life cycle support for the two AOR logistics vessels for a period of 5 years, to be carried out entirely in Australia (New South Wales and Western Australia) through the Navantia Australia subsidiary. Life cycle support makes Australia a preferred customer for Navantia, as in addition to these two logistics vessels, three AWD destroyers (based on F-100 frigates) have already been built. Ferrol will focus this year and next year on the completion of the AOR logistics vessel program, the design of f110 frigates, new wind commissions, the repair business and the execution of the shipyard’s modernization work. The president of Navantia referred to the importance of diversification, in particular in the field of offshore wind power generation, where the Ferrol estuary has already become an international benchmark, contributing to the development of energy cleaner. In addition, it has expressed confidence that the intense commercial work being developed would soon allow for new contracts in this sector of the future such as offshore wind. In the Navantia Strategic Plan, the Ferrol Shipyard is a key piece, in particular in its second pillar, that of operational efficiency, since this shipyard is called to develop the first naval program within framework 4.0. The new frigates programme will have an impact on the employment of approximately 7,000 direct and indirect jobs over the next 10 years. Prior to the start of the F110 construction, more than 1 million hours of engineering work (studies, functional engineering, logistics), construction engineering, planning and program management will be invested, with more than 250,000 systems and engines. This project not only consists of the design and construction of the future frigate of the Spanish Navy, it also implies the consolidation of this shipyard and its region as world leaders in the design, construction and support of state-of-the-art frigates, based on experience and industrial fabric developed with the F100, F310 and AWD programs, three of the world’s leading frigate programs. Investments boost GDP by 34 million euros a year Studies and work to modernise the shipyard have commenced, proposing significant investments to adapt the technical, productive and facilities capacity to the needs and opportunities offered by the market. These investments will generate almost 34 million euros of GDP per year for the Spanish economy and will be concentrated in an advanced sub-block workshop in addition to other facilities. The Strategic Plan also involves the rejuvenation of the workforce, which will involve the recruitment of more than 180 people in 2019 in Ferrol and which will continue in the coming years. Navantia thus reinforces its role as an engine of economic growth and employment, promoting the progress of the region and the digital transformation towards the shipyard 4.0.

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