From the CEO’s Desk
You may recall that in late June, RA was featured in the media expressing concern that a vote in Federal Parliament to prevent the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) expanding its investment remit. At the time, this meant that ARENA was unable to provide funding to support charging infrastructure for zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs) and the development of hydrogen fuel solutions – both of which are critical to efforts to decarbonise the transport sector.
As RA said at the time, there is strong support within industry for decarbonisation of the transport sector through measures such as increased use of electric and hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles. The issue is far too important to get bogged down in technical arguments about which ‘pool’ funding is drawn from – and governments and industry must collaborate in good faith to achieve the desired outcomes.
Happily, that decision was revisited during this week’s sitting of the Senate in Canberra – and the Parliament has now voted to permit ARENA to extend its investment criteria. This includes plans originally announced in May’s Federal Budget to invest $71.9 million to support hydrogen and electric vehicle infrastructure.
RA welcomes this outcome as a practical step that further builds momentum towards decarbonisation of integrated transport and the efficient use of resources and energy, as set out in the RA Strategic Plan 2021-2023. It also builds upon announcements made by Victoria, NSW and Queensland in their respective state Budgets this year around investments in charging infrastructure and incentives to promote ZEV uptake.
Further details of the rollout can be seen in the Policy section of this edition of RA Insider.
Chief Executive Officer
Job Opportunity – Policy Officer
An exciting opportunity is available for a Policy Officer to join the Roads Australia team and actively contribute to the growth of the policy division.
This position will be responsible for the coordination and management of policy projects and events, as well as collaborating with the team to deliver on RA’s policy plan and objectives.
This is a great opportunity for a highly organised individual with lots of drive and enthusiasm to leverage their skills and experience, whilst continuing to support their growth in a nurturing environment.
If you – or someone you know – is interested in a confidential discussion about the role, please get in touch with RA’s Director – Policy Royce Christie.
Kelly Maslin has stepped up to a new role with Jacobs, becoming the organisation’s Vice President, APAC Growth & Sales. Kelly has been with the company for over seven years, and was most recently Jacobs’ Vice President and Executive Director of Operations, People & Place Solutions, Delivery – NZ & South East Australia.
A significant expansion of the rail team at WSP this week, with Naomi Cavanagh taking up the new role of Key Account Manager, responsible for rail, John Paff becoming Technical Executive, Rail, Will Trevor stepping into the role of Major Projects Executive, Yuyu Zhang appointed as Technical Executive, Strategic Rail Planning and Emma Winstanley joining WSP as Technical Executive. Kim Irvine is also commencing as Senior Principal Systems & Assurance Engineer and Aleksandra Debowska is joining the company as Rail Digital Engineering Lead. Sam McWilliam, WSP’s National Executive of Rail said the new appointments “…bring skills and expertise in key areas of focus, including rail design and delivery, asset management, digital delivery and transformation together with strategic rail planning.” More details here.
Tonkin + Taylor have recently made two senior appointments to their team. Tim Bradley has joined the organisation as a Principal Geotechnical Engineer, bringing almost 20 years of industry experience garnered in Australia and the UK. He facilitates the evolution of high-end geotechnical solutions to help clients achieve project outcomes and will use this to support T+T’s growth. Sharne Thomas has also joined as Strategic Business Development Director. Sharne comes from a cultural heritage and archaeology background which has included tracking down artworks stolen during WWII to successfully achieving archaeological/cultural objectives on large infrastructure projects. Since then, she has focused her consultant skills into business development within the construction/engineering industries.
Diversity & Inclusion
It was terrific to be joined by RA Fellows past and present this week for our latest Leadership Webinar with Simon Ormsby, Group Executive Interstate Network, ARTC.
Simon has been with ARTC for over two decades, first joining when the organisation was around 12 months old and consisted of just over 60 employees. Today, ARTC employs a workforce of around 2,000 people across some 50 sites nationally – and Simon set out how the ARTC’s growth has shaped his own career and influenced his own understanding of effective attributes for a leader.
He emphasised the need for leaders to maintain relevance and a fresh perspective during their time with an organisation – and not to become ‘stale’. This can be achieved by seeking advice from a wide range of sources, building collaborative teams that take a holistic view of an organisation’s success and investing in key lateral relationships. Simon also reflected on the importance of maintaining work/life balance and prioritising the wellbeing of team members.
Our thanks to Ana Bos, RA Fellow and Regional Executive Transport SA, WSP for hosting the webinar, and toJohn Holland for their sponsorship of the RA Fellowship Program.
RA member BMD hosted its first Women@BMD national online event last week, welcoming the former captain of the Australian netball team Laura Geitz to share her insights with the organisation’s female workforce. Laura reflected on experiences of growth, development, adversity and success from her personal and professional life – including her transition to motherhood and balancing a career and parenting. The recording of the stream was then later shared across the BMD Group, with Laura’s story and experiences of leadership well received by the entire team.
The online event was an initiative of the Women@BMD Working Group, which comprises key leaders in the business and supported by BMD CEO, Scott Power. The Working Group meets monthly to discuss and coordinate actions that facilitate a positive culture for women in our industry and that will enhance diversity and capacity in construction and engineering.
See more about the event here.
Remember, if you have news or achievements in the D&I space to share with our readers, please send details through to Prue Northey at RA.
Efforts to enhance road safety outcomes through improved driver behaviour in NSW have stepped up this week as the state begins its rollout of fixed warning signs for mobile speed cameras. The full program will see 1,000 permanent signs installed across NSW, which will supplement existing road safety messaging carried via variable signs and advertising campaigns. Messages warning drivers about mobile speed cameras have already demonstrated impact, with NSW Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance highlighting the 3.5 drivers caught by the cameras per hour of enforcement in June represents a decline on the February result of 5 drivers per hour.
Analysis of data produced by Victoria’s Transport Accident Commission points to basic errors as the cause of most of the state’s road fatalities in 2020, rather than high-risk factors including speeding and drink-driving. Minister for Roads and Road Safety Ben Carroll pointed to judgement errors such as taking corners too widely or lapses in concentration as simple mistakes that can have tragic outcomes. The analysis revealed that in 2020 alone, 71 per cent of road deaths resulted from a basic error, rather than malicious driver behaviour. Learn more.
In Western Australia, the Federal and WA Governments have unveiled an updated alignment for the Swan River Crossings project at Fremantle. The new plan – which resulted from extensive community and industry consultation – will entail the construction of a new road bridge and a new rail bridge between the existing rail bridge and Fremantle Traffic Bridge. This alters the original plan, which would have constructed the new bridges to the east of the existing Fremantle Traffic Bridge. The updated alignment will still increase network capacity for passenger, freight, cycling and pedestrian traffic, while allowing more flexibility for landscaping and design. It also may allow for retention of a portion of the current Fremantle Traffic Bridge. Further details here.
RA members John Holland and Fulton Hogan have been awarded two major contracts by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) to enhance capacity in Sydney’s freight rail network. John Holland will design and construct the Botany Rail Duplication, which will duplicate the remaining 2.9 kilometre section of single line track between Mascot and Botany to support growing freight demand at Port Botany. Meanwhile, Fulton Hogan will deliver the 1.65 kilometre Cabramatta Loop, which will enable freight trains up to 1,300-metres in length travelling in either direction on the Southern Sydney Freight Line to pass each other. Learn more about the project.
RA member Holcim is celebrating the recent opening in Venice of Striatus – the first-of-its-kind 3D Concrete Printed bridge. Designed by Block Research Group and Zaha Hadid Architects, in collaboration with incremental3D and Holcim, the footbridge holds together through compression with no reinforcements, requiring only a fraction of the materials ordinarily used in conventional concrete beams. George Agriogiannis, CEO of Holcim Australia and New Zealand said: “Holcim continues to push the boundaries of innovation and sustainability around the world and locally in Australia and New Zealand. Today’s opening of Striatus pushes the frontier again to show what is possible with smart collaboration and design ingenuity.”
Remember, if your organisation has news to share with the readers of RA Insider, please send details through to Simon Morgan
As noted earlier in Insider, the Federal Government has this week secured parliamentary support to expand the investment remit of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), which will enable investment in charging infrastructure for zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs).
In the near term, this will support the rollout of 403 new charging stations, all powered by renewable energy and capable of charging at least two vehicles concurrently at 50 kilowatts or above. Charging stations will be delivered across all capital cities key regional centres, helping to reduce ‘range anxiety’ and blackspots in the charging network. This initial allocation of almost $25 million is part of ARENA’s Future Fuels Fund, which will ultimately invest $71.9 million to address barriers to the uptake of new vehicle technologies.
In a further positive development this week, the Tasmanian Government has announced a second round of its Electric Vehicle ChargeSmart Grants program. This will focus on supporting the installation of fast and destination charging stations in regional areas and key tourism destinations across Tasmania.
Decarbonisation of integrated transport is key policy goal set out in the RA Strategic Plan 2021-2023 – and it is encouraging to see governments across all jurisdictions matching industry’s commitment by investing in infrastructure to support ZEVs, as well as providing incentives such as subsidies and waived stamp duty to facilitate uptake across the community.
RA continues work to develop our submission for the Federal Parliament’s recently announced inquiry into measures that can be taken to reduce trauma and deaths on Australian roads. If you have suggestions or comments for inclusion as part of RA’s submission, please get in touch with Royce Christie at RA.
Data sourced from in-vehicle GPS systems has revealed the positive impact that Transurban’s NorthConnex has had on local road safety since it opened to traffic in October 2020.
Technology in connected vehicles is now capable of identifying occurrences of hard braking or erratic steering, which are classified as “near-misses”. Since the NorthConnex tunnel opened, there has been a 65 per cent reduction in these near-misses on Pennant Hills Road and surrounding local streets during peak times.
Transurban is continuing to use the directly and anonymously sourced data to manage its transport infrastructure and work with governments to proactively identify and address emerging road safety issues. See more.
Upcoming RA Events
- August 19 2021 – Industry Lunch with Minister Michael Ferguson (Hobart) Bookings now open Sponsored by pitt&sherry
- August 24 2021 – RA Emerging Leaders Breakfast (Melbourne). Bookings now open. Sponsored by FSC Group
- August 25 2021 – Single Table Lunch with Brendan Bourke (Melbourne). By invitation. Sponsorship available.
- September 2 2021 -Industry Webinar with Carol-Anne Nelson. Bookings now open. Sponsored by Arcadis
Event Enquiries – Contact RA Director Events Rachael Rooney
Booking Enquiries – Contact RA Event Administrator Daniel Mellow
Sponsorship Enquiries – Contact RA Manager Membership & Programs Prue Northey
Upcoming Industry Events/Training
Ongoing (self-paced) – Centre for Automotive Safety Research (CASR) Online Course – Safe System for Road Engineers and Managers
September 7-8 2021 – CPEE Online – Stabilisation Fundamentals
October 20 2021 (postponed from July 28) – 2021 Australian Pavement Recycling and Stabilisation Conference
November 17-19 2021 -ARRB Symposium – Integrated Mobility Impacts 2021
March 2022 TBC (Postponed from September 1-2) – TMAA Annual Conference – Redefining Traffic Management
March/April 2022 TBC (Postponed from September 15-16) – TrackSAFE Level Crossing Safety Forum