From the CEO’s Desk
As our first site visit out of lockdown, last Friday RA visited the Echuca-Moama Bridge Project as guests of Major Road Projects Victoria and McConnell Dowell.
Echuca in Victoria and Moama in New South Wales are currently connected by a single bridge opened in 1878. With population growth and the region’s status as a tourism and events destination, there is a clear need for additional crossing capacity.
Watch the video below to learn about the incredible progress that has been made – despite the challenges of COVID related border closures.
Chief Executive Officer
Mooven in to RA membership
Data and technology is playing an increasingly influential role in the evolution of integrated transport, so it is fitting that RA’s newest member specialises in leveraging opportunities in the space.
Mooven started with tools to help construction firms (and other businesses that interact with the road network) understand and manage the impact of their activity. The company saw a need to empower the field workers with the simple, binary and timely input they were after.
From this beginning, they have expanded into the development of products for local authorities, asset owners, and consultancies to help inform their decision making and optimise transport networks.
Learn more by visiting the Mooven website
People are the industry’s most valuable asset. We need to care for the wellbeing of our workers if we are to deliver the massive pipeline of infrastructure projects in the years ahead.
This year, RA is collaborating with other leading industry associations and calling on public and private sectors involved in delivering the nation’s infrastructure projects to close live procurement processes over the end-of-year holiday period.
In a joint letter to government procurement agencies across the nation, industry has requested to close live procurement processes by Friday 17 December 2021 and commence new procurement processes on or after Wednesday 5 January 2022.
The signatories of the joint letter are Consult Australia, Australian Constructors Association, Australasian Railway Association, Engineers Australia and Roads Australia.
RA has provided a submission on the NSW Government’s Future Transport Strategy, highlighting key opportunities around placemaking, regional transport, car parking and the allocation of curbside space for freight and the integration of data & technology in the transport network.
The submission also places a major emphasis on opportunities for decarbonisation in the transport sector.
These include developing nationally consistent and accepted standards and specifications on the use of recycled materials in construction and additional support for the uptake of cleaner fuel vehicles (including in the public transport and freight sectors).
RA joined with other peak bodies in the transport sector this week to take part in a roundtable dealing with the forthcoming National Road Safety Action Plan 2021-25.
During the roundtable RA again emphasised it is essential for the forthcoming Plan to specifically address road worker safety – and for the Office of Road Safety to collect specific data that will enable policy makers and industry to develop more effective road worker safety strategies.
The Deputy Chair of RA’s Transport Reform Policy Stream, Mandi Mees has moved into a new role within the National Transport Commission (NTC), becoming Head of Program and Partnerships. Mandi has been working at the NTC since 2018 and is of course well known to readers of RA Insider as RA’s former Director – Policy.
Jane Lavender-Baker has taken on a new role within ARTC, becoming Group Executive Strategy, Culture & Reputation, leading a team with members based in Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane and Adelaide. Jane has been working in senior corporate affairs roles with ARTC for over 9 years.
Ben Stapleton has been appointed a Joint Managing Director of Wallbridge Gilbert Aztec (WGA). Ben has previously worked in executive roles in our industry in South Australia, including with RA members Aurecon and Jacobs.
Diversity & Inclusion
Today marks a significant moment in the journey of our 2021 RA Fellowship Program participants, as they gather across the nation to present their projects.
In 2020, RA Fellows undertook a project to consider primary interventions that could eliminate or reduce job stressors for the white-collar workforce. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic limited opportunities to assess the practical effectiveness of these interventions.
Accordingly, our 2021 RA Fellows have built on this work by collecting work demand data using qualitative and quantitative data collection tools.
Over the course of this year, Fellows have been gathering data prior to and post deployment of a job re-design option, enabling them to assess the impacts and reach conclusions about whether a particular option can potentially reduce job stressors.
In presenting the outcomes of their projects, our Fellows will be making a significant contribution to wider industry efforts to embrace flexible work. This will enhance our capacity to attract workers whose diverse background and perspectives will help to create a more sustainable industry for the future.
Keep an eye on RA’s LinkedIn feed for further updates later today.
There’s just over one week left to nominate for RA’s 2021 PPP Award!
Each year, RA offers one emerging leader who shows Promise, Passion and Pursuit the opportunity to engage in a 12-month industry exposure and ambassador experience.
The winner of the PPP Award year-long access to a range of unique and invaluable opportunities, including complimentary access to RA events, the opportunity to host/facilitate at Emerging Leaders events, and the chance to shape the growth and development of our Emerging Leaders Program going forward.
Nominations close on Friday 19 November 2021. To learn more and to submit a nomination, click 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.
A major milestone on Australia’s largest road infrastructure project, with the final tunneling breakthrough occurring on Sydney’s M4-M5 Link Tunnels – the final and most complex stage of the WestConnex project. The tunnels will be approximately 7.5kms long, accommodating up to four lanes of traffic in each direction and helping reduce an average peak journey between Parramatta and the Sydney Airport by up to 40 minutes when open to motorists in 2023. Transurban CEO Scott Charlton said drivers are already enjoying the benefits of WestConnex, with close to 150 million trips made on the first two stages in the last financial year.
An Arup, APP and Aurecon joint venture (AAAJV) has been appointed Independent Reviewer and Environmental Auditor for Melbourne’s North East Link. The joint venture will now work with the Victorian Government and the Spark consortium to help deliver the state’s largest road project, which includes road tunnels, a dedicated busway, 34kms of walking and cycling paths and major new parklands. AAAJV will independently assess that project development, delivery and completion of the $11.1 billion primary tunnelling package of works are in accordance with the project specifications and approval conditions. As part of the program, AAAJV will work with the Brotherhood of St Laurence to offer a career pathways program which will meet the needs of jobseekers and the wider market.
In other North East Link news this week, RA member Clayton Utz is celebrating the achievement of financial close on the Central Package PPP, which saw it work with the Major Transport Infrastructure Authority (MTIA) and the Spark consortium to develop an innovative procurement framework to attract new participants to the Australian market, as well as developing and executing a world-first form of PPP framework that included innovative and collaborative mechanisms for the sharing of delivery risk.
Two RA members are forming an industry-first advisory alliance in response to business leaders’ demand for complex risk solutions. Aurecon and Ashurst will join to offer strategic, technical and legal expertise for business leaders facing a range of complex challenges, including the transition to net zero. The two organisations say the new offering will help meet client demand for end-to-end advice on climate transition risk which is likely to increase following the COP26 Climate Change Conference.
Transurban is highlighting an incredibly important aspect of road safety by holding a webinar that features industry experts discussing child car seat safety on Wednesday 17 November. Although correctly fitted child car seat can significantly reduce the risk of injury in an accident by up to 70%, it’s estimated that more than 50% of car seats are installed incorrectly. As we approach the summer holiday season, this webinar will explore top tips to ensure safe travel with children and allow participants to pose question. Registrations are now open.
The Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies (ITLS) at the University of Sydney is organising an industry-focused workshop on Zero Emission Buses. The workshop will be a one-day webinar with contributions from all of the key players in the energy and transport sectors. Rob Sharp, Secretary, Transport for New South Wales will be giving the opening address and Professor David Hensher, Founding Director, ITLS will be presenting his latest ideas on Zero Emission Buses and the move to Supply Chain Partnership Contracts. The workshop will include an industry panel. The full program and opportunity to register is available here.
The Chair of the Australian Broadband Advisory Council’s Construction Expert Working Group, Mr Craig Laslett, invites you to participate in its survey regarding connectivity and digital technology in the construction sector. Your responses will help the Construction Expert Working Group better understand the state of play in the sector and opportunities to drive further adoption of digital technologies. The survey is now active and will remain open for responses up to Friday 19 November 2021.
Remember, if your organisation has news to share with the readers of RA Insider, please send details through to Simon Morgan
One of the day-to-day legacies of the COVID-19 pandemic is continued concern among pedestrians about touching buttons on traffic lights to activate crossings.
In Melbourne, a trial of touchless crossing buttons is now taking place in the Melbourne CBD and the City of Kingston in the south-east. The device contains an infrared sensor which pedestrians can simply wave their hand in front of, which then activates the red light on the crossing.
The trial is currently in its early stages with no definitive end date, as the buttons needed to be tested more as foot traffic increased following the lifting of pandemic restrictions.
Upcoming RA Events
11 November – RA Fellows Workshop and Presentations. By invitation. Sponsored by John Holland
16 November – RA Policy Webinar – Digital Engineering. Bookings now open.
30 November – RA Industry Webinar with Tony Braxton-Smith and Susana Fueyo Suarez.