SA Govt to turn Adelaide PT operations over to private hands

The South Australia Government last week released tenders to contract for the operation of Adelaide Metro tram and train services.
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Victoria and Canberra step up responses on road safety

The Victorian Government will establish a dedicated office of road safety – Road Safety Victoria – merging the road safety functions of VicRoads and the Department of Transport.

The decision comes as the Commonwealth’s new Office of Road Safety commences operations this month, focused on improving leadership and co-ordination across governments to reduce deaths and serious injuries on the nation’s roads.
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Applications open for CPEE Semester 2 post-grad programs

The Centre for Pavement Engineering Education (CPEE) is now taking enrolments for its Semester 2 higher education on-line postgraduate programs covering roads, pavements and infrastructure asset management.
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Tasmanian Premier Will Hogman announced his new Ministry last week, with Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff passing the transport and infrastructure baton to Michael Ferguson. Mr Ferguson was previously Health Minister.

Former WestConnex CEO, Dennis Cliche, has taken up the position of President, Australia Business and Operations for Samsung C&T’s Engineering and Construction Group. Dennis brings more than 40 years of global industry experience to the table – including the past 15 in the Australian transportation sector – and has been instrumental in designing, building and operating infrastructure to meet customer demands and generating billion dollar business deals for the companies for which he’s served. Dennis is also a former Roads Australia Board member.

Arup’s NSW Transport leadership team has been bolstered by the recruitment of Kyle Clements, an expert in market insight, business development, client relationships, bid management and pursuit planning across the public and private sectors. Kyle takes over the role of NSW/ACT Highways Business Leader from David Thompson, who will focus on his roles as major infrastructure project director and provider of technical oversight for major projects. Kyle will work alongside the team’s senior leadership cohort of David, Emma Davies, Diana Loges and Barry Hancock.

Sad news this week with the passing of a former stalwart and Life Member of Roads Australia, Kay Thorne. Kay was our Executive Director for a period of 10 years up to 2003, when Ian Webb took the helm. Kay was here during the Presidency of former NSW DMR Commissioner, Bruce Loder, when the disparate autonomous state structures were consolidated into a national body and the groundwork laid for what we have today. To quote another former RA President, Ray Fisher, ‘we all stand on the shoulders of those who went before us’. Kay’s funeral will be held in Castlemaine at 11am on Friday July 26. Our sincerest condolences to her family and friends.


A reminder about our upcoming policy events – the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa workshops hosted by Cardno in Sydney next Tuesday (July 16) and Brisbane (July 23), and our Roadworker Safety workshop at 3M‘s North Ryde offices next Wednesday (July 17). Still a few places, but you’ll have to be quick.

Roads Australia has made two important submissions over the past week which are now available on our website – the first a response to the South Australian Government’s call for views on the challenges and opportunities presented by the rapid emergence of electric vehicles, and the second in answer to the Victorian Government’s Royal Commission into the State’s mental health system.


Roads Australia’s Pipeline web page has recently been refreshed with the most up-to-date information from Queensland Transport and Main Roads and Infrastructure NSW. The Pipeline provides an overview of procurement timelines for some of the major road projects on the immediate horizon.

The major works contract on the $354.3 million North-South Corridor, Regency Road to Pym Street project has been awarded to a consortium of McConnell Dowell, Mott MacDonald and Arup. The consortium will design and construct a new 1.8-kilometre motorway along South Road, connecting the South Road Superway to the Torrens to Torrens Project. Main construction works are expected to commence in late 2019, with completion expected in 2022. The three partners are currently working together on the delivery of the Oaklands Crossing Grade Separation Project.

Roads and Maritime Services is currently inviting Pre-Registration of Interest to design and construct the Sydney Gateway project, a NSW Government initiative to improve road and freight rail transport to and from Sydney Airport and Port Botany. The project comprises two separate but interrelated works packages – a new high capacity road connection linking the Sydney motorway network at St Peters Interchange with Sydney Airport’s International Terminal and Qantas Drive (Stage 1), and an arterial road connection and flyover to Sydney Airport’s Domestic Terminals (Stage 2). Pre-registration closes on August 5.

The latest Infrastructure Priority List from Infrastructure Australia (IA) has elevated three Queensland projects worth more than $2 billion to priority status. The M1 Pacific MotorwayEight Mile Plains to Daisy Hill and Varsity Lakes to Tugun upgrades are expected to commence construction in mid-2020 following completion of the M1/M3 Pacific Motorway – Gateway Motorway merge project and the upgrade between Mudgeeraba and Varsity Lakes. Pending formal project approval, initial work on the the Bruce HighwayEdmonton to Gordonvale project is expected to get underway in early 2020.

It’s been a long time coming, but this weekend Sydneysiders will get their first run through the New M4 Tunnels. The $3.8 billion, 5.5 kilometre underground tollway provides three lanes in each direction and extends the widened M4 from Homebush to Haberfield. Drivers will bypass 22 sets of traffic lights and cut up to 20 minutes off a trip from Parramatta to the Sydney CBD. As a consequence, overall traffic volume on Parramatta Road is expected to reduce by 53 per cent by 2021.

Congratulations are in order to the Roads Australia members who have played a key role in the delivery of the M4 East (New M4 Tunnels). The lead contractor on the project was a JV comprising CPB Contractors, Samsung C&T Corporation and John Holland, with the detailed design provided by Arcadis and AECOM. Roadside tolling equipment was provided by Kapsch TrafficCom Australia, with back-office services and systems by Roads and Maritime Services. The operations and maintenance contract will be delivered by the Fulton Hogan and Egis JV.

It was announced last week that Glenroy Road crossing will be the next dangerous and congested level crossing to be removed on the Craigieburn line as part of the Victorian Government’s level crossing removal program. Extensive technical investigations have determined that lowering the rail line below Glenroy Road is the best approach, avoiding significant compulsory property acquisition. The project will also deliver a new Glenroy Station and be the second level crossing to go on the Craigieburn Line, used by 36,500 travellers each weekday.

Preferred designs have also been released for three level crossing removal locations along the Werribee line. It’s proposed that the rail line be elevated over the road at Werribee Street, Werribee, while road bridges will be built over the lines at Cherry Street in Werribee and Old Geelong Road in Hoppers Crossing. Works to remove the latter will also be fast-tracked so it can be delivered alongside the two Werribee crossings, with construction to begin next year and all three crossings gone in 2022.

In the Northern Territory, the tender to upgrade Keep River Road has been awarded to local company, Exact Contracting, for $58 million. Territory Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics, Eva Lawler, says the upgrade will improve road safety and increase flood immunity, ensuring year-round access. The works will also support Project Sea Dragon – the $1.45 billion prawn aquaculture project which has the potential to create around 1500 ongoing local jobs.

On the other side of the country, tenders have been called to construct the new overtaking lane on Tasmania’s Arthur Highway. As well as a new southbound overtaking lane, the Arthur Highway upgrade will provide turn lanes at Valleyfield Road and Schofield Drive, as well as U-turn facilities and safer bus stops for public transport. Construction is expected to start in late 2019.

And in SA, a tender has been released for construction of Stage One of the $20 million Golden Grove Road upgrade. The 3.4-kilometre section between One Tree Hill Road and Park Lake Drive is being delivered in two stages, with Stage One works from One Tree Hill Road to the signalised intersection of Golden Grove Road/The Grove Way/Yatala Vale Road. Main construction works for Stage One are expected to commence late 2019 and be completed in mid-2020.

Contractual and financial close was reached last week on the Tunnel, Stations and Development PPP package for the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project. The package will be delivered by the Pulse consortium (Pacific Partnerships, CPB Contractors, UGL, DIF, BAM, and Ghella), with construction to begin later this year and be completed in 2024.

Metron T2M, a joint venture between RA members Arcadis Australia Pacific and Mott MacDonald has been awarded a $26 million contract to deliver design services for the stations and the railway corridor between Marrickville and Punchbowl as part of the metro upgrade of the T3 Bankstown Line between Sydenham and Bankstown.

The National Transport Commission (NTC) has released a Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) seeking feedback on the role and regulation of different parties in the safe operation of automated vehicles on Australian roads. The RIS considers the role of manufacturers, repairers, registered owners and the legal arrangements needed to support the safe operation of AVs. The NTC is seeking feedback by August 26, with a view to presenting recommendations to Australian transport ministers in May 2020.

WA Planning Minister Rita Saffioti has released new proposals to guide contributions for infrastructure and confirmed the State Government will not be proceeding with a value capture model. Originally it was planned that value capture would generate a portion of funding to help deliver METRONET. However, the Government says this is now no longer necessary on the back of additional Commonwealth funding and current housing and property market conditions.

In Perth, planning work and consultation is underway for the $93 million upgrade of the Leach Highway and Welshpool Road intersection. The intersection is the second-worst in the State for crashes and is ranked Perth’s seventh most congested.The project will deliver a grade-separated interchange with a new bridge at Leach Highway over Welshpool Road.

Meantime, a consortium comprising Laing O’Rourke and BG&E in partnership with Main Roads WA has won the $134 million contract to deliver the Armadale Road to North Lake Road bridge project. The project will see the construction of a new bridge over Kwinana Freeway connecting Armadale Road and North Lake Road. Armadale Road will also be upgraded from Tapper Road to Kwinana Freeway, passing over the intersection of Tapper Road with a new bridge, and under the intersection of Solomon Road via a trench structure. Construction of the project will begin in late 2019.

On July 1, the former Victorian Department of Transport came together with VicRoads and Public Transport Victoria to form a new integrated Department of Transport, a move the Government says reflects the way transport policy, planning and services need to be designed and delivered in Victoria. The new Department will work closely with the Major Transport Infrastructure Authority as it delivers the Victorian Government’s $57 billion investment in new transport infrastructure.

The Queensland Government last month proposed some of the toughest driver distraction penalties in the country, with Transport Minister Mark Bailey foreshadowing a fine of up to $1000 and possible loss of licence for a second offence imposed for the illegal use of mobile phone devices. Mr Bailey’s announcement came on the back of the release by the National Transport Commission (NTC) of a Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) seeking feedback on technology-neutral options to regulate driver distraction.

RA member Aurecon has just released a new report, 2035: Moving People and Goods, the conclusions of which are based on responses from 1300 Australians asked to imagine themselves 16 years from now – where and how they lived, worked, commuted, what foods and goods they purchased, and how they preferred things to be delivered. Overwhelmingly, the most important overall consideration when it came to future freight and transport decisions was convenience, cited by over 59 per cent of respondents. Among other things, the report also explores how to integrate all modes of transport into people’s lives and ensure fair and equitable access for all, and considers the various challenges that increased freight demand will have on road safety.
Transport innovation
In Europe, the technology to create a safe space between vehicle and pedestrian continues to evolve. German automotive technology supplier Continental has recently unveiled a new short-range radar that offers more precise detection of a vehicle’s surroundings.

Meantime, according to a report in the UK’s Auto Express, a senior Continental executive has reportedly told a German audience that electric cars represent poor value for money compared to petrol or diesel alternatives, predicting hydrogen fuel cell technology will come into its own from 2030.

A National Hydrogen Strategy is a step closer in Australia with the release of consultation papers last week. The nine issues papers – one of which is specifically focused on transport – have been developed by the COAG Energy Council Hydrogen Strategy Working Group after national and international consultation. Industry comment is sought by July 28.
Diversity and social responsibility
Main Roads WA has taken out top honours in the Corporate Social Values category at this year’s IPAA Achievement Awards for its indigenous employment and participation numbers on major regional projects in the State’s North-West. Main Roads fostered key partnerships with a number of training organisations on four major projects in the Kimberley region, with mandatory targets for indigenous engagement implemented as a primary objective on each project.The IPAA Awards, presented on June 28, recognise individual and organisational excellence by showcasing projects, initiatives, programs and organisations that demonstrate best practice and contribute significantly to the public service and broader community.
Upcoming RA events
July 16 – Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) workshop, Sydney. Proudly supported by Cardno.
July 18 – By invitation. Single-table lunch with WSA CEO, Graham Millett, Sydney. Proudly sponsored by Aurecon.
July 22-Aug 2 – RA international study visit, Future Transport:Smart Cities, USA and Canada.
July 23 – Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) workshop, Brisbane. Proudly supported by Cardno.
July 24 – By invitation. Single table lunch with Rail Projects Victoria CEO, Evan Tattersall, Melbourne. Proudly sponsored by Arcadis.
July 31 – By invitation. Single table-lunch with CRR CEO, Graeme Newton, Brisbane. Proudly sponsored by Advisian.
Aug 13 – By Invitation. Single-table lunch with Port of Melbourne CEO, Brendan Bourke, Melbourne. Proudly sponsored by Coffey.
Aug 20 – Melbourne Forum with Minister Jacinta Allan, Proudly sponsored by Aurecon, SMEC and Advisian.
Upcoming industry events
Aug 21-22 – ALC Inland Rail Conference, Toowoomba.
Oct 1-3 – Institute of Quarrying Australia National Conference, Geelong.
Oct 27-29 – 4th International Driverless Vehicle Summit, Sydney.
Nov 15 – ARRB National Transport Research Awards Gala Dinner, Melbourne.
Industry training
July 30-31 – CPEE Road & Public Space Lighting Workshop, Brisbane.
Aug 7 – Road Design Workshop, Melbourne.
Aug 13-14 – CPEE Flexible Pavement Design, Principles and Practice course, Perth.
Aug 15 – CPEE Mechanistic Pavement Design – CIRCLY course, Perth.
Sept 3-4 – CPEE Road & Public Space Lighting Workshop, Sydney.
Sept 17-18 – CPEE Road & Public Space Lighting Workshop, Melbourne.
Sept 24 – CPEE Heavy Duty Pavement Design, Container Terminals (HIPAVE), Sydney.
Sept 25 – CPEE Heavy Duty Pavement Design, Airports (APSDS), Sydney.
Oct 15-16 – CPEE Flexible Pavement Design, Principles and Practice course, Melbourne.
Oct 15-16 – CPEE Concrete Pavement Design & Construction course, Sydney.
Oct 17 – CPEE Mechanistic Pavement Design – CIRCLY course, Melbourne.
Oct 22-23 – CPEE Flexible Pavement Design, Principles and Practice course, Brisbane.
Oct 24 – CPEE Mechanistic Pavement Design – CIRCLY course, Brisbane.
Nov 26-27 – CPEE Flexible Pavement Design, Principles and Practice course