Road Safety Governance Review underway
The Federal Government has this week unveiled the Terms of Reference for the National Road Safety Governance Review – the next step toward action on the 12 recommendations made by the National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020 Inquiry, tabled last year.

Read More

Two shortlisted for Bruce Highway duplication south of Cairns
Two tenderers have been invited to participate in the Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) phase for the Cairns Southern Access Corridor (Stage 3) project – the John Holland Seymour Whyte AECOM Joint Venture (HSA Group) and Bielby Hull Albem Coleman Joint Venture (BHA Coleman JV).

Read More

Local roads maintenance backlog growing in NSW, says NRMA
A new report released this week by the NRMA has revealed a $2.2 billion backlog in funding required by councils to maintain local roads across NSW to a safe and satisfactory standard, representing a 14.5 per cent increase over the last 12 months.

Read More

Industry appointments
Green Building Council of Australia CEO, Romilly Madew, has been named as the new Chief Executive Officer of Infrastructure Australia. Romilly has forged strong working relationships with industry, government and community stakeholders through her current role and previous executive positions, including as Executive Director ACT and Sustainability at the Property Council of Australia and National Client Relationship Manager for law firm King & Wood Mallesons. She has also held Board positions with the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council, Sydney Olympic Park Authority and Chief Executive Women. She commences in her new role in April.

The Australian Logistics Council has appointed Kirk Coningham as its new permanent Chief Executive Officer. Kirk was most recently National Executive Director of the Urban Development Institute of Australia. Previous roles include Chief Executive of the Master Builders Association of the ACT as well as senior positions with Leighton Holdings, the Australian Medical Association and the Murray Darling Basin Commission.

Policy Chapter news
Our Transport Reform Chapter will be hosting a Forum in Sydney on February 28 to release the key findings of the final report from our 2018 Cities for the Future study visit, as well as the latest news on CAV trials and developments in NSW. We’ll also have details on our 2019 Study Visit to the USA (July 13 – August 4), beginning with the Automated Vehicles Symposium in Orlando, Florida and continuing with stops in Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Washington DC and Michigan.

Industry news in brief
Nominations have now opened for the 2019 John Shaw Medal, recognising a champion of the Australian road industry. The criteria for this prestigious national award is listed on the RA website, where you can also download a nomination form. If you have any queries, you can also contact our Communications Director, Mark Bowmer.

The John Shaw Medal will be presented at our gala dinner, sponsored by WSP, in Sydney on May 30. Member-exclusive ticketing for this event is still open, but seats and tables are filling fast – so if you’re yet to register, get in now before we open bookings to non-members.

Early-bird registration is also now open for the 2019 RA Transport Summit, to be held in Sydney on May 30 and 31. The program is currently being finessed and will be released soon. This year we’re running some special registration deals for our Young Professionals – so check out the event page on our website for more details.

NSW Roads Minister, Melinda Pavey, has announced $182 million in funding for road safety upgrades across 224 new projects statewide during the next financial year. The improvements include installing 113 kilometres of safety barriers, 3,000 kilometres of rumble strips and 2,800 kilometres of wide centreline to prevent run-off-road and head-on crashes.

Queensland Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk confirmed this week the State would contribute $200 million towards the one-billion dollar price tag for the proposed Rockhampton Ring Road, saying it was now ‘certain to go ahead’. The Federal Government announced an $800 million commitment to the project last November, matched this month with a pledge from Labor leader Bill Shorten.

CPB Contractors and EIC Activities have teamed up with Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads to host a breakfast event in Brisbane on November 19 to promote the newly released technical specification on precast geopolymer concrete. This specification is anticipated to increase the uptake of low carbon concrete options in transport projects, a great example of how the road industry is trying to reduce its contributions to climate change and promote local innovation.

ARRB is running a free webinar on sustainable urban mobility planning (SUMP) on Tuesday February 12 at 3pm (AEDT). The guest presenter will be Dr Zbyněk Sperat, from the CDV – Transport Research Centre in Europe. Dr Sperat, who works closely on EU projects dealing with SUMP, will provide his insights on how the rest of the world is using this methodology.

A comprehensive review has commenced into the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) to consider improvements to boost road safety and productivity. The terms of reference, developed by the National Transport Commission, were released this week, along with details of the expert panel that will oversee the review process. The panel will be chaired by recently retired Productivity Commission Chairman, Peter Harris, and includes representatives from the trucking industry and Infrastructure Australia.

It may seem obvious to anyone stuck in the recent Christmas holiday traffic, but a new report from Austroads confirms that passing lanes reduce driving times and improve safety. Passing Lanes: Safety and Performance provides guidance in the development of passing lane installation by examining their impacts on safety, journey time and user experience. According to Austroads, before-and-after crash analysis of routes where passing lanes have been installed show an average reduction of injury crashes of 16 per cent.

Austroads has also just released the final report of its long-term pavement performance (LTPP) study. Established in 1994-95, this project has monitored the structural and functional performance of a range of in-service sealed granular, asphalt and concrete pavements. A free webinar will be held on March 7 at 1pm AEDT, featuring report authors Lith Choummanivong and Dr Tim Martin to provide an overview of the study.

The full Board of Infrastructure SA (ISA) has been appointed and will hold its first meeting on February 5. Carolyn Hewson AO, Amanda Price McGregor and Robert Rust join inaugural chair Tony Shepherd AO and three chief executives from the South Australian public service, including DPTI Chief Executive, Tony Braxton-Smith.

A reminder that enrolments are open until February 25 for a range of Semester One courses available through the Centre for Pavement Engineering Education (CPEE). CPEE’s targeted, online course program covers roads, pavements and infrastructure asset management, and provides a unique and convenient option to enhance practical knowledge and qualifications without the need to attend classrooms.

The Transport Society of Australia and Engineers Australia are hosting a two-day transport conference in Sydney at the end of June (26-28). Speakers include three Roads Australia Board members – David Stuart-Watt, Clare Gardiner-Barnes and Neil Scales. Early-bird registration closes on March 18.

Transport innovation
Bosch has been awarded $2.3 million from the Victorian Government’s Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) Trial Grants Program, and handed the State’s first ADS permit for on-road testing of highly automated driving systems. Last year, Victoria finalised regulations to support the ADS permit scheme, which authorises the use of automated vehicles for testing and development on State roads. Bosch is currently developing its automated vehicle technology and will begin testing on high-speed rural roads later in 2019.

The world’s first smart transit hub launched in South Australia last weekend, part of a landmark six-month driverless shuttle trial. The eight-person self-driving shuttle (nicknamed Olli) and autonomous smart transit hub (Matilda) talk to each other and the internet to give passengers a completely autonomous, smart ride. The trial site along Glenelg’s foreshore is just minutes from SAGE’s Advanced Manufacturing facility, where Matilda was engineered and manufactured. Olli the self-driving shuttle has been developed by US-based Local Motors. Both Olli and Matilda have on-board human machine interface and cognition, allowing them to ‘talk’ and interact with passengers and provide information about real-time bus positions, the weather and localised items of interest.

The NSW Government will invest millions in fast charging points for electric vehicles, trial electric bus services and commit to more electric and hybrid government vehicles as part of the ongoing transition towards cleaner transport options. The Government this week released its Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Plan, which includes a $3 million co-investment in fast charging points for electric and hybrid vehicles on major regional corridors, and $2 million for new charging points in commuter car parks.

In overseas news, German carmaker Volkswagen has partnered with Ford in the US to collaborate on electric and autonomous vehicle technology. It’s reported the the two carmakers will work together on commercial vans and medium-sized pickups for the global market as early as 2022, in order to tap into a rapidly growing electric vehicle market.

In the US, police have started using drones to map serious car accident scenes so roads can be cleared more quickly. The drones employ photogrammetric procedures developed at Purdue University and can map a crash scene in five to eight minutes – compared to the two to three hours it might take on the ground.

Still in the US, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) has become the first road authority in the world to complete the digitization of its local traffic rules and restrictions ahead of highly automated vehicle testing and deployment. The RTC is using Inrix’s AV Road Rules platform to assign, validate and manage rules and restrictions for public roads in two busy areas of Las Vegas where autonomous vehicles will operate. The platform enables the digitization of local restrictions such as speed limits, crosswalks, school zones and stop signs, and makes the data available to auto makers and CAV operators via an open API (Application Programming Interface) to ensure their vehicles comply.

Australia’s first driverless metro train completed its maiden journey along the entire length of Sydney’s new $8.3 billion Metro Northwest railway line last week. The train arrived at Chatswood Station’s Metro platforms, having travelled 36km from the new Tallawong Station in Sydney’s north-west as part of the intensive testing process.

Diversity and social responsibility
Western Sydney Airport is partnering with an Aboriginal advisory business to assist the company in delivering its Indigenous targets across the project. WSA CEO, Graham Millett, says Aboriginal firm Enable has been appointed as the project’s Aboriginal engagement partner. “This is an Australian first – the Aboriginal engagement partner will coordinate Aboriginal engagement across all aspects of the company including cultural heritage, employment, training, education, sustainability and reporting,” Mr Millett says.
Upcoming RA events

Jan 30 – By invitation. Single table lunch with Qld Employment, Training and Skills Dev Minister, Shannon Fentiman, Brisbane. Proudly sponsored by SMEC.
Feb 6 – By invitation. Single table lunch with VicRoads CEO, Michael Malouf, Melbourne. Proudly sponsored by Arcadis.
Feb 7 – By invitation. RA Board Dinner with WA DG – Transport, Richard Sellers, Perth. Proudly sponsored by Coffey.
Feb 20 – Industry lunch with RMS Chief Executive, Ken Kanofski, Sydney.
Feb 22 – Industry lunch with DPTI Chief Executive, Tony Braxton-Smith, Adelaide. Proudly sponsored by Fulton Hogan.
Feb 28 – Policy event – Cities of the Future Forum, Sydney.
Mar 15 – Industry lunch with DTMR Director-General, Neil Scales, Brisbane.
May 30-31 – 2019 RA Transport Summit, Sydney. Early-bird registration now open.
May 30 – John Shaw Award Dinner, Sydney. Member-only registration.

Upcoming industry events

March 26-27 – Flexible Pavement Design, Principles and Practice, Brisbane.
March 28 – Mechanistic Pavement Design – CIRCLY, Brisbane.
May 7-8 – Flexible Pavement Design, Principles and Practice, Sydney.
May 9 – Mechanistic Pavement Design – CIRCLY, Sydney.
May 14-15 – Flexible Pavement Design, Principles and Practice, Melbourne.
May 21 – Advanced Pavement Design Workshop, Sydney.
May 22 – Advanced Pavement Design Workshop, Brisbane.
June 26-28 – Transport Australia conference, Sydney.
Aug 7 – Advanced Pavement Design Workshop, Melbourne.