From the CEO’s Desk
The convergence of integrated transport infrastructure and communications technology is having a profound effect on the way our cities are evolving.
Whether it’s the increasing appetite for on-demand transport services, the integration of GPS technology in the operation and maintenance of transport infrastructure or the use of real time data to enable commuters to avoid overcrowded public transport services, data and technology are increasingly day-to-day considerations for the whole sector. This was evident from many of the discussions that occurred as part of the 2021 RA Transport Summit in June.
To build on those conversations, I’m delighted that RA has now been able to secure the opportunity of hosting the Hon. Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts for an Industry Webinar on 1 September.
This session will allow participants to deepen their understanding of how this convergence of communications technology and transport infrastructure is shaping the future of Australian cities.
Of course, Minister Fletcher also has responsibility for negotiating and delivering the various City Deals that have been agreed (or are being developed) around Australia. City Deals have witnessed historic levels of Federal Government investment in transport infrastructure, including roads, public transport services and active transport facilities.
It’s sure to be a thought-provoking conversation that with a senior decision-maker that will provide insights into the Federal Government’s approach to transport infrastructure, especially in our major urban centres.
To find out more and to register your participation, click the graphic below.
Chief Executive Officer
Rail Safety Week: Stand Back. Look Up. Stay Rail Safe.
This week is Rail Safety Week, an annual community awareness event across Australia & New Zealand designed to engage the community in safe rail practices.
As the peak body for roads within an integrated transport system, RA’s commitment to enhanced safety includes a focus on areas where rail interacts with the road network. This includes level crossings, light rail and commuter safety at rail stations.
Sadly, a person is killed or injured on the Australian rail network every 2.5 days. This year, TrackSAFE’s Rail Safety Ambassador & Paralympian Vanessa Low is sharing her own experience when aged 15, she fell from an overcrowded platform & into the path of an oncoming train. Vanessa lost both her legs in the accident.
Visit the Rail Safety Week site for more information.
Welcome to RA’s Newest Member – CaSE
RA is delighted to welcome another new member this week – CaSE International.
CaSE provides Civil and Structural services globally with offices across Australia, Europe & UK, North America, South America and New Zealand.
The organisation comprises of CaSE Contractors – offering experienced project management and technical services to major civil infrastructure contractors; CaSE & Pike Design, providing specialised design solutions for temporary works across simple and complex structures; CaSE Commercial, offering comprehensive specialist advice; and CaSE Traffic & Transport Solutions, providing technical and practical experience in traffic management.
For further details, including projects in Australia with which CaSE has been involved, visit their website.
Priority Vaccination for NSW Construction Workers
Transport for NSW is highlighting that construction workers from local government areas most affected by the current COVID-19 outbreak in NSW will be prioritised at a dedicated vaccination hub this Sunday, 15 August at Sydney Olympic Park.
This includes workers from Blacktown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Campbelltown, Paramatta and the suburbs of Caddens, Claremont Meadows, Colyton, Erskine Park, Kemps Creek, Kingswood, Mount Vernon, North St Marys, Orchard Hills, Oxley Park, St Clair and St Marys.
To book an appointment use following links:
Pfizer appointment booking – People aged 16-39 years only: ly/mycovaxvc8
AstraZeneca appointment booking – Anyone over 39 years: ly/mycovaxvc1
Then, select construction worker in the drop-down menu.
Dr Kirsten McKillop has been appointed Director – Transport Policy at Transport for NSW. She has significant professional experience in policy and law reform, including more than three years as Manager Legislative Policy at the National Transport Commission.
RA’s D&I partner CareerSeekers has announced the appointment of John Gelagin as the organisation’s new Chief Executive Officer. John’s most recent role has been with The Smith Family, where he led the Growing Careers Project, developing and implementing plans to deliver job readiness training, work placements and careers mentoring to 76,000 young people over 4 years.
In significant news from the Centre for Pavement Engineering Education (CPEE) this week, former CEO and current Executive Manager Professional Development Ray Farrelly OAM will formally depart the organisation on 27 August. Ray’s tireless dedication to establishing CPEE as a fully accredited education provider is widely appreciated across the industry. Under his stewardship, CPEE was amongst the first (if not the first) tertiary organisations to develop and offer online postgraduate courses specifically for the road pavement sector. Ray’s passionate commitment to our industry was recognised in 2019 when he was awarded an Order of Australia (OAM), and again this year when he was awarded RA’s 2021 John Shaw Medal. RA wishes Ray all the best for the next chapter.
Diversity & Inclusion
RA member Clough has announced it has signed a new partnership between the Clough Foundation and Stars Foundation.
Stars Foundation uses a highly successful, tailored approach to provide holistic mentoring support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls and young women.
Clough CEO and Clough Foundation Director Peter Bennett said: “I’m proud to say that the Clough Foundation is now a partner of Stars Foundation. We are committed to make a positive impact in the communities in which we work and live and Stars Foundation provides a unique program that supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls and young women to build the confidence and life skills they need to successfully participate in school and transition into a positive and independent future.”
Further details of the new partnership can be seen here.
A reminder that applications for the 2022 intake of the RA Fellowship Program close on 31 August.
This unique industry mentoring initiative supports the next generation of leaders within our industry by matching them with Mentors drawn from senior leaders within Roads Australia’s member organisations.
Over a 12 month period, Fellows take part in one-on-one career counselling and leadership training sessions with their Mentor, and also have the opportunity to take part in a number of exclusive workshops, webinars and networking events that enable them to develop their own leadership skills and strengthen their own network of industry peers.
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.
It’s been a big week on the regional transport front in NSW, with the opening of northbound lanes of the Albion Park Rail bypass. The project, which has had significant involvement from RA members including Cardno, Arcadis, Fulton Hogan and SMEC extends the M1 Princes Motorway between Yallah and Oak Flats, delivering the “missing link” for a high standard road between Sydney and Bomaderry. At the same time, Transport for NSW has released the Illawarra-Shoalhaven Regional Transport Plan, a blueprint for ensuring transport services and infrastructure will accommodate anticipated population growth in the region. The plan includes initiatives that will deliver improved public transport services, better connectivity with Greater Sydney and road safety enhancements.
The Federal and Victorian Governments are trialing new technology in regional Victoria to improve road safety for vehicles and pedestrians. In-ground tactile LED paving is being installed at pedestrian crossings in Bendigo and Trafalgar which changes colour to match the red/green pedestrian display. The highly visible paving provides a clearer indication to pedestrians when it is safe to cross and can help engage the attention of pedestrians with impaired vision, or those who may be distracted by their smartphone. The same trial will also deploy glow-in-the-dark line marking and signage, and high reflectivity paint in other regional locations across the state.
The most significant milestone yet in the progress of Brisbane’s Cross River Rail project was reached this week, as the first of two tunnel boring machines (TBM) broke through into the cavern excavated beneath Roma St. This means a tunnel running beneath the CBD and Brisbane River now connects the future Roma St and Woolloongabba stations. The future Roma St station is likely to be a key transport hub for the 2032 Brisbane Olympics, as a major new indoor arena is proposed for the precinct. You can track progress of the two TBMs as they continue their work on Cross River Rail online.
The Department for Infrastructure and Transport in South Australia is seeking industry input in the development of a Future Mobility Strategy, as part of SA’s 20-year State Infrastructure Strategy. As a first step, the Department has prepared a survey to gather information to better understand the emerging trends, key opportunities and priorities for the future. RA member WSP is also working with the Department to gather feedback from industry stakeholders. The survey is available until Friday, 20 August 2021.
RA member John Holland is providing support for mental health and targeted community services for those affected by the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown in Western Sydney, donating $50,000 to Lifeline and an additional $50,000 to Western Sydney Community Forum. As well as supporting the delivery of urgent mental health services, the donation will provide IT equipment to community groups and needy families to ensure access to digital services throughout the period of lockdown. John Holland CEO Joe Barr said: “Western Sydney powers our nation, and the people of Western Sydney are integral to how we deliver the city-shaping infrastructure that is so vital to getting our economy back on track. At a time when Lifeline is experiencing a record number of calls, it is important to me that we help them continue the critical support they provide to people who are suffering.”
The latest industry report from Transurban highlights some of the challenges facing transport infrastructure in Australia post-pandemic. The research – conducted during the second half of July 2021 – confirms that fewer people plan to use public transport post-COVID, with the resulting increase in private vehicle use likely to witness increased road congestion. The research also shows an increased public appetite for EVs, with 42 per cent of respondents saying they would like their next vehicle to be an EV. Although the results show 81 per cent know “nothing or very little” about how roads are funded, 64 per cent believe a road-user charge model would be a fair way to contribute towards road funding.
Remember, if your organisation has news to share with the readers of RA Insider, please send details through to Simon Morgan
Federal Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Migration has this week released the final report for its inquiry into Australia’s skilled migration program.
Roads Australia produced a joint submission with the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) for this inquiry, which recommended governments work more closely with industry to ensure alignment between the on-the-ground needs of industry and the settings of the skilled migration program. The Federal Government recently acknowledged the need for this by adding new occupations relevant to the transport sector to the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL).
The inquiry’s final report goes further, recommending the National Skills Commission work with industry to replace the Australia New Zealand Skilled Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) with a more flexible system that adapts to emerging labour market needs. The inquiry concludes the ANZSCO is too inflexible and reviewed too infrequently to capture emerging and specialist skills needed within industry.
It also recommends that once the COVID-19 pandemic concludes, PMSOL itself should be replaced by an Acute and Persistent Skills Shortage List (APSSL) that would address the long-standing skills shortages that have been raised throughout the inquiry.
Register now for RA’s Road Worker Safety Webinar on Thursday 26 August, for an important discussion focused on how we can better protect those working to construct and maintain our road infrastructure in Australia.
The conversation will explore how to overcome some continuing challenges involved in protecting our workforce day-to-day. We’ll also look at how adopting new strategies and technological solutions can address some of the barriers and create a safer working environment for our people.
See more details about the the session and our presenters here.
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). Sold out. Sponsored by FSC Group
- August 26 2021 – RA Road Worker Safety Webinar. Bookings now open. Sponsored by Altus Traffic
- August 25 2021 – Single Table Lunch with Brendan Bourke (Melbourne). By invitation. Sponsorship available.
- September 1 2021 – Industry Webinar with Minister Paul Fletcher. Bookings now open Sponsored by WSP.
- 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