Welcome to 2021

It’s great to be back – and we’re looking forward to what’s certain to be another massive year for our industry.

In this short video, RA CEO Michael Kilgariff sets out what to expect in the year ahead – and how RA will be working collaboratively with our members, governments and the wider industry to support contemporary and innovative approaches to the delivery, maintenance and operation of integrated transport infrastructure.

Click to watch

RA’s new podcast series – ‘The Hub’

In late 2020, Roads Australia sat down with Camilla Drover, Head of Commercial, Performance and Strategy – Infrastructure & Place at Transport for NSW and Kay Salvair Smith, Capacity Policy Stream Deputy Chair, RA and Partner at MinterEllison Consulting, to talk through some of the significant procurement reform initiatives being undertaken in NSW.

This is part of a continuing conversation that RA is leading nationally through our Procurement Reform Report about the changes we need to make to procurement practices that will allow industry to get the best use of its resources and its people, while also ensuring that the community derives maximum benefit from transport infrastructure projects.

The discussion is now available through RA’s new podcast series, The Hub.

Submission to review of the NTC

RA has provided a submission to the statutory review of the National Transport Commission (NTC).

Our submission makes a number of recommendations, including opportunities for additional industry input in shaping the NTC’s forward agenda, enhancing transparency and timelines around road law reform and making the facilitation of transport reform to meet the challenges and realise the benefits of emerging technologies a key focus for the NTC moving forward.

You can read our submission here.

People

AECOM has announced the appointment of Richard Barrett to the role of regional chief executive for the Australia New Zealand (ANZ) region. Mr. Barrett, who has been the ANZ chief operating officer for the past six years, replaces Todd Battley, who joins AECOM’s global executive team as chief strategy officer. Kerry van Donderen, previously regional managing director (RMD) for New South Wales and ACT, replaces Mr. Barrett as ANZ chief operating officer, while, James Rosenwax takes over as the new RMD for NSW and ACT. The company has also announced the appointment of Jennifer Aument as chief executive of AECOM’s global Transportation business.

Aurecon has announced Giam Swiegers is its new Chair, having served as a non-executive director of the company since 2019. He currently serves as a non-executive director to the Australian Design Council, and was previously CEO of Deloitte Australia for 12 years.

Scott Osborne has recently been appointed as the new General Manager for Bechtel Infrastructure Asia Pacific, taking over from Ged Silva who is transitioning to retirement. He comes to the role with experience as Bechtel’s General Manager of the Americas region for the Infrastructure global business unit, including responsibility for power, communications, aviation, rail, and civil infrastructure projects.

The Australian Trucking Association has appointed Andrew McKellar as the organisation’s new CEO. In recent years, he has been the Secretary General for Mobility at the International Automobile Federation (FIA), and has previously been CEO of both the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) and the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).

This week has also seen the industry mental health body Healthy Heads in Trucks and Sheds (HHTS) appoint Naomi Frauenfelder as its new permanent CEO. She is a previous Executive Director of the TrackSAFE Foundation and will take over from the organisation’s Interim CEO Lachlan Benson. More details here.

Policy

Check out RA’s new Policy Insights piece, summarising the major issues covered during our International Insights webinar on road worker safety, held as part of National Road Safety Week in November 2020.

The piece draws on presentations from our UK-based speakers James Haluch, Managing Director – Highways and Waste Collections, AmeyMark Byard, Health, Safety and Wellbeing Director, Highways England, and Andrew Fennell, Chief Strategy Officer, Chevron Traffic Management Ltd.

Themes addressed include how technology is being deployed to enhance safety for road workers, why data-sharing between industry participants is central to delivering improvements across key safety areas and what is being done to upskill the UK’s workforce in these areas. There’s also domestic context from James Bennett, Program Director, VBA and Amanda Tarbotton, Director WHS Sydney Division, Transport for NSW and our webinar host Jeff Doyle, CEO, Altus Traffic Australia about what the industry in Australia can do to promote cross-jurisdictional consistency in qualifications for road workers and elevate the importance of road worker safety for decision makers across industry and government.

Also keep an eye out for two additional Policy Insights pieces we’ll be publishing shortly – one based on our International Insights webinar that addressed the use of hydrogen fuel cell technology in our public transport system, and one exploring issues discussed at our policy webinar on utilities management in NSW.

Industry

In NSW, the State Government has confirmed planning approval has been granted for a $6.5 billion Western Habour Tunnel and Warringah Freeway upgrade. When completed, the new tunnel will help to alleviate pressure on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Harbour Tunnel, Anzac Bridge and Western Distributor corridors. The first stage of the project entails upgrading a four kilometre section of the Warringah Freeway, with construction works expected to begin in the first quarter of 2021.

The sustainability of road infrastructure in Victoria will benefit from a joint $46 million investment by the Federal and Victorian Governments that will double Victoria’s domestic glass recycling capacity and increase plastic recycling by 40 per cent. The recycled materials generated will be used in road and footpath construction across the state.

In Queensland, Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey is highlighting the central role road and transport infrastructure is playing in post-COVID economic activity as he hailed “the start of a record four-year, $26.9 billion roads and transport budget that will create more than 23,600 jobs.”

Meanwhile in Western Australia, the search is on for a contractor to build the 14 kilometre Tonkin Highway Extension from Thomas Road to the South Western Highway, providing better road network access for growing residential communities and businesses operating in industrial areas, Perth Airport and the future Outer Harbour.

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RA was proud to commence 2021 by welcoming a new member. Ghella is renowned worldwide for its expertise in tunnelling and particularly in the use of Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM). This technology has become an increasingly prominent feature of major integrated transport infrastructure in Australia over recent years – and Ghella is currently involved in the delivery of Brisbane’s Cross River Rail as well as the Sydney Metro.

Congratulations to RA member company SICE, which is celebrating its centenary Established in Spain in January 1921, SICE has evolved from delivering the first traffic lights in Madrid and Barcelona to centralising the traffic management systems for complex infrastructure globally, including WestConnex in Sydney. SICE also used the occasion of its centenary to unveil its new corporate logo.

Be sure to check out a new report from Infrastructure Victoria highlighting the risk of increased road congestion as people return to office work. The report deals with many of the same issues contained in a mid-2020 RA Policy Insights piece focusing on steps needed to give commuters confidence to return to public transport services.

Infrastructure Australia is in the process of developing its 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan – and is seeking industry involvement in a nation-wide research survey of public and private infrastructure owners, delivers, operators, and supply chain partners that will help inform development of the Plan.

RA members can take advantage of a 15% discount being offered by the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) for a short course titled ‘Infrastructure Delivery – Time for a Reset’. The course will be offered vis in-person and online options, and will examine issues through a practitioner lens, considering the different perspectives of government, contractors, operators and investors in forging solutions across the entire lifecycle. Please email DABshortcourses@uts.edu.au with your expression of interest.