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Former Baltimore mayor to speak at Brisbane policy summit


One of the Asia Pacific region’s most anticipated conferences for business and civic leaders looks set to defy the pandemic and kick off as planned in Brisbane in September.

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The Asia Pacific Cities Summit has also managed to attract former state governor, Baltimore mayor and expert on policing reform Martin O’Malley as its keynote speaker.

O’Malley, a veteran Democrat who ran against Hillary Clinton for the party’s US presidential nomination in 2015, presided over Baltimore at a time when the notoriously violent city cut its crime rate by 43 per cent.

While his methods drew controversy, O’Malley’s administration was one of the first civic governments to use data analytics to improve performance and responsiveness.

He was responsible for new management and training systems for the city’s police force, which he says improved relations between police and the community.

“You have to police the police with openness, transparency , predictability and firmness,” he said in a recent interview.

He is the latest high profile speaker to have appeared at the Asia Pacific Cities Summit, which has hosted the likes of Sir Richard Branson, Netfli co-founder Mark Rudolph and Amazon chief scientist Andreas Weigand at previous events.

Renowned Australian Paralympian Kurn Fearnley will also address the summit.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said his council had “worked really hard” to ensure this year’s summit could go ahead at a time when similar events were being cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“By the time it is held in September, Brisbane may have been named a future host of the Olympic and Paralympic Games so international interest in our city will be huge,” Schrinner said.

“For local companies and business leaders, this is a rare opportunity to connect with other major cities and hear first-hand from unique leaders.”

The summit will be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from September 8-12, with those who cannot attend din person able to take part online.

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