Luke Montgomery’s background lies in Town Planning and Project Management, disciplines which complement each other perfectly in the property development industry.
Join Luke as he explains some of his background in the planning discipline and his career in the property development industry.
Luke Montgomery – Associate
Luke is an Associate at Taylor Burrell Barnett with 11 years experience within Local Government and private consultancy in both a town planning and project management capacity. Luke’s strengths include his strategic and statutory experience across a number of complex and large projects. Luke is also well renowned for his project management and delivery skills.
I can’t say that I have a fancy overseas tertiary education or have been employed by a vast array of international or national companies. However, I can say that I can’t speak highly enough of the importance of being able to learn on the job from some truly excellent minds in the Western Australian planning and development industry. If I can gather a small part of the intellect of many of these minds that I speak of, then surely I will be in a strong position to be successful in the development industry.
Ok, so that was a bit of a deep introduction, but my beginnings in the development industry are much more humble, having commenced at the Shire of Mundaring as a town planner. This opportunity provided an excellent grounding for my future career as a consultant, following successfully completing a Bachelor of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning at Curtin University. Planners, and those in the development industry alike, should not underestimate the importance of gaining experience in the public sector. It provides important learning of government processes; the politics ingrained into local and state government; and also establishes important working relationships which are often drawn upon when negotiating that next big project.
Following my first year as a statutory and strategic planner at the Shire of Mundaring, I moved into private consultancy under the tutelage of Greg Rowe. I quickly became responsible for overseeing complex development projects with various different issues. Thrown in the deep end in many instances, I learnt the importance of having a good consultant team around me; how to methodically think through issues; a reliance on being able to negotiate successful planning outcomes for the Client, decision making authorities and community; and to never underestimate the importance of time and the associated delays, which often manifest through the development approvals and construction processes.
Having predominately acted as a planner in both statutory and strategic roles for my first 2 years, I was afforded the opportunity to manage the civil construction of subdivision for both residential and rural projects. Applying my knowledge of the statutory approvals processes was only part of the development process, where I then began to quickly learn, ‘on the job’, civil design and construction and how to become an effective project manager. The majority of my working day was now overseeing the implementation of subdivision approvals rather than designing and preparing them. I must say, it was very much a welcomed change and part of my career I was thoroughly enjoying.
Whilst the complexities of the civil construction process were at times difficult, the rewards made it worthwhile. Being able to see a project you designed, obtained approval for and were then overseeing the construction of was definitely satisfying. As a planner you are often not involved with the implementation of the approvals you obtain and may not see the results of your inputs into the early stages of the development process. Having gained project management experience, through working closely with the Client, consultant team and local and state governments, I have adapted to become a far better planner.
I am now closing in on my fourth full year as an Associate with Taylor Burrell Barnett. I am forever thankful for the planning opportunities afforded to me whilst working at TBB. Being able to say I work on some of the State’s largest residential and community development projects is rare; satisfying; and no doubt holding me in good stead for the future.
I currently manage a variety of complex projects in differing locations and scale. My work spans the northern regions of Western Australia to the southern extremities of the southern metropolitan and peel regions, which includes WA’s largest planned residential / community development at Keralup for the Department of Housing; The Glades at Byford for LWP; and Lakelands for Peet. My roles fundamentally oversee the management of consultant teams and processes to obtain approvals for the carefully thought out designs created by TBB’s design team. It is enjoyable having solved a problem through negotiating outcomes with the decision making authorities whilst still satisfying the needs of the Client and community.
SOME OF MY VIEWS AND THE FUTURE
Throughout my career as both a planner and project manager I have seen many interesting decisions made from both the private and public sectors, which have definitely raised a brow. I feel that there is often a lack of trust between the two sectors which leads to poor planning and development outcomes. Whilst, more often than not, both sectors have the best interests of the community at heart, quite often these are tested through the unwavering implementation of policy, for the lack of personal intellect and intelligence being applied. This disappoints me, because ultimately it is the future communities that are impacted the most.
More often than not, we, whom form part of the development industry, need to have a better view of the bigger picture, concern ourselves with getting the most out of our projects and place a lesser emphasis of how we get there in the first place. Allow good design and construction techniques to form the communities in which we live, rather than the statutory approval processes and implementation of policy, which restrict the ability of our experts to create what they are passionate about.
I am fortunate to say, that I have learnt from many of the best minds in the planning and development industry, and been part of some substantial and successful development projects, and many more, which in time, could become industry trend setters. These experiences have placed me in an excellent position to implement my own projects in the future. Now for the difficult part, obtaining the approvals to allow this to happen…
So that was some of my working background, if you would like to speak to me about my ‘outside’ life, then drop me a line and I would be more than happy to discuss with you some of my other passions including sport, cars, my cultural views and horse racing…