Economics Explored

The Circular Economy with Craig Lawrence

Episode Summary

What a Circular Economy would look like with Craig Lawrence, Managing Director of Lytton Advisory, a Brisbane-based consulting firm specialising in the economics of infrastructure, the environment, and waste.

Episode Notes

The concept of a Circular Economy is increasingly being mentioned in economic and environmental policy discussions. Economics Explored host Gene Tunny chats with Craig Lawrence of Lytton Advisory about what a Circular Economy would look like, and whether it is compatible with rational economic thinking.

The takeaway is that there is some merit in the Circular Economy concept, but we need to apply hard-headed economic thinking when it comes to the specifics. Toward the end of the conversation, Craig notes:

I think that there's an opportunity here [with the Circular Economy]. The linear concept, I don't think is sustainable. And so we need to do something different. But I don't think that there's a blanket solution or an easy panacea. And I still think the economist in me wants to analyse and collect data, and look at individual markets and look at specific opportunities and weigh them up…I don't want to be running or pushing a green solution for the sake of a green solution. I want to know that it's something that is actually workable, viable, something that is going to increase economic utility, consumption, and can also engage with business properly as well.

About this episode’s guest

Craig Lawrence is the Founder and Managing Director of Lytton Advisory Pty Ltd (2013 – present). He is also a founding Director of UTL Utilities Pty Ltd (2018 – present). He has over 30 years of experience across government and private sector projects, particularly in infrastructure, transport, and tourism. 

Between December 2018 and September 2019, Craig led the Economic and Social Infrastructure Program as its inaugural Managing Director. This $130m Australian program supports the planning, prioritisation, and delivery of key energy, telecommunications and water infrastructure in Papua New Guinea.

Prior to establishing Lytton Advisory, Craig was Director – Infrastructure Policy at the Queensland Government Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning where he led a team of policy and regulatory analysts and economists looking at infrastructure prioritisation and resource region supply chain optimisation. He was previously Director – Economic Policy within the Department.

Craig’s previous roles include as a senior consultant in several professional service firms and as an economic analyst in the Queensland and Australian Federal Government systems. His federal government experience includes extended periods in economic analyst and policy roles in the Treasury, Transport and Tourism portfolios during the 1990s.

Links relevant to the conversation

The Circular Economy in detail

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