The Australasian Tunnelling Conference (ATS2020+1), our premier industry event, will be held in Melbourne 10th – 13th May 2021.The conference is a great opportunity for individuals to take time out from their day-to-day to learn from and reflect on the many advances made by the industry. It is a great opportunity to meet, explain, question, listen, and indeed advertise. The conference program and activities are shaping up to be a major national, regional and international event. The Organising Committee is planning for a wide variety of technical presentations and workshops, as well as the largest industry trade exhibition that Australian tunnelling has ever seen. We have secured the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) at South Wharf in Melbourne, a world-renowned modern conferencing facility, including 4,500 m2 of event space on the ground level of the centre. This event space will provide a wide range of options to showcase the industry, including the ability to place plant and equipment, in addition to very flexible exhibition display booths, breakout zones, industry hub and refreshment areas. The Australian Tunnelling Society (ATS), as the event’s primary host, has developed a theme for the conference which is forward thinking, ‘2020 Vision: Innovating the next 50 years’. A lot has been achieved in the past 50 years of underground construction since the first two day symposium on Raise and Tunnel Boring in Australia, held at the University of Melbourne, Australia in 1970, which lead to the subsequent formation of the ATS. As an industry we rely upon our accumulated knowledge and experience in undertaking our work, like industries the world over, we need to consider how the world is changing and the various challenges we all face regarding sustainable development, climate change, inclusivity, more complex procurement approaches and the integration of modern technology into our work practices. The current high level of industry activities within Australasia, as well as the strong pipeline of future works, is of course very good for the tunnelling industry, but it has also created significant challenges, not the least around workforce resourcing and training, and developing core competencies, which is an area that the ATS and other industry groups are well aware of and are seeking to manage. Therefore, the theme for ATS2020+1 is one that places a strong emphasis on the future direction of our industry as well as celebrating all the remarkable achievements to date. Prospective attendees at ATS2020+1 may already be benefitting from the current high level of tunnelling activity within Australasia or may be potential new entrants to this dynamic industry and exploring new prospects associated with the strong pipeline of future works, which we are leveraging off in our planning for the event. We are confident that ATS2020+1 will be a major industry drawcard and will be broadly supported across all industry sectors. The ATS, our colleagues in New Zealand, the NZTS, along with the conference Organising Committee invite your organisation to participate as a sponsor, exhibitor or delegate at this significant industry event.


The Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre is a state-of-the-art venue that caters to all requirements of modern conferences. Being one of Australia’s leading convention & exhibition centres, it constantly delivers in service, technology, facilities and location. Just a short stroll from Melbourne’s city centre, MCEC is conveniently close to all of Melbourne’s favourite bars, restaurants, attractions and hotels.

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