From the CEO’s Desk
As Australia’s largest city sees its COVID lockdown extended by a further week, it is fair to surmise that the ‘return to normal’ many of us hoped for at the beginning of 2021 has not materialised exactly as we hoped, or envisaged.
As working from home restrictions endure for many and the closure of both domestic and international borders continue to disrupt our lives, it is important for all industries to maintain a focus on the wellbeing of their most valuable asset – their people.
It’s also important to appreciate that attitudes to arrangements like working from home have not remained static – and that protracted lockdowns and restrictions on movement are having continued impacts on mental health in the community.
I was interested in the results of some recentresearchshowing that extensive periods working from home have engendered challenges for many, including an increased sense of social isolation and a blurring of boundaries between work and home.
Moreover, these challenges are likely to be more pronounced among younger cohorts. Gen Z workers have felt the biggest negative impact of the pandemic in their mental health (65%, as against 55% for Gen Y, 40% for Gen X and 33% for Baby Boomers).
The workplace is also likely to be a more vital source of social connection and community for younger workers – 76% for Gen Z, 70% for Gen Y, 68% for Gen X and 63% Baby Boomers.
Perhaps most significantly, the experience of the pandemic has altered the workplace expectations of some. In particular, there is an increased prioritisation of mental health for many. As the research report notes, “Australians are no longer just looking to be paid, but also to be cared for.”
These evolving expectations will undoubtedly be a focus for many as we move beyond the COVID experience. If you’ve not yet done so, I’d encourage you to check out a recent RA podcast around encouraging flexible work, which explores how senior industry leaders can support and empower teams during what remains a challenging time for many.
Stay well and safe
Chief Executive Officer
Training Opportunities – Enrol With CPEE For Semester 2
The Centre for Pavement Engineering Education (CPEE) was established more than 25 years ago with foundation members Austroads and AfPA to deepen discipline expertise in roads and pavements sector. It has since diversified its educational offerings to meet industry needs in a range of contemporary areas.
CPEEcontinues to deliver excellence in roads, pavement and education, with higher degree programs in Pavement Technology attended by leaders across roads and transport agencies, consulting, government and industry. The suite of programs are delivered flexibly on line and encompass short courses through to higher degree accredited programs of Grad Certificate and Masters.
A recent Masters Graduate, Jennifer Kemp, Senior Pavement Engineer at Aurecon said: “Studying my Masters with CPEE was flexible and has allowed me to strengthen and deepen my specialist pavement expertise, giving me the confidence and knowledge to be able to tackle and solve real-life roads and pavement challenges”.
Enrolments are happening RIGHT NOW for 2nd Semester. For course details, visit the website.
Changes at RA
It is with sadness that we announce Hannah Sauvarin has tendered her resignation as Director – Stakeholders with Roads Australia. After nearly 6 years with the business, including 2.5 years leading the Stakeholders team, Hannah has decided that the time has come to take on a new challenge.
Over the course of her employment Hannah has played a key role in the growth and development of membership and program offerings, including the Fellowship and Emerging Leaders program, and she been actively involved in generating value for our stakeholders.
Hannah’s last day with the business was Wednesday, 30 June 2021. We wish her all the best in her future endeavours.
As part of the continuing evolution of Roads Australia’s activities and priorities as set out in the recently launched RA Strategic Plan 2021-2023, a review of our Membership and Events functions is currently being undertaken to ensure roles and resources are fully aligned with the RA team and the objectives set out in the Plan.
As a result, RA is now recruiting for a Director – Membership to work as part of the RA team. This is a great opportunity to use your experience and expertise to contribute to a well-established and high-profile association. For further details about the role, please see the job advertisement.
To support this new role and continue the growth of RA’s signature programs including the RA D&I action agenda and the Fellowship and Emerging Leaders programs, Prue Northey has been promoted to the position of Manager – Membership and Programs.
Of course, facilitating networking and stakeholder engagement opportunities through industry-leading events remains RA’s top priority. To help support the delivery of this experience for our members, this week RA is pleased to welcome Daniel Mellow to the team as Event Administrator.
Daniel comes to RA with experience in customer facing roles in aviation sector and has recently completed studies in event management. He will bring a fresh perspective to RA’s program of events as it continues to roll out. Daniel is looking forward to meeting and engaging with RA’s members over the weeks ahead and can be contacted at email@example.com
ARRB has secured former Altus Traffic CEO Jeff Doyle to lead its new Infrastructure Measurement Group. Jeff – well known to RA members as a former Deputy Chair of our Safety Policy Stream and Chair of our Road Worker Safety Working Group – will assume the role of Executive Director, Infrastructure Measurement, delivering a new level of service to all those in the transport sector across road, rail, ports and airports. He will lead innovation and product development within this ARRB group, and roll out the delivery of next generation network-wide digital data collection, utilising world leading technology.
Clough has added to its team in Brisbane, appointing Brent Maas as Vice President Asset Services Australia and Asia Pacific. He brings 20 years of experience in the engineering, maintenance, and construction industries to the role, which will see him manage Clough’s Queensland and PNG operations and the recently relaunched the e2o brand. More information is available here.
WSP has made several new appointments to its Transport team in Victoria. Tim Gosbell has been promoted to the role of Director of Transport Clients, where he will be responsible for client relationships and pursuing bids for clients. The team will be further augmented by the appointment of
Diane Riley as Client Director Victoria, Transport who will gauge opportunities that align with emerging market trends (such as net zero and the use of technology), and by Liz McGregor, who returns to WSP as Key Account Manager for Department of Transport, Victoria. See further details about these appointments here.
Utility Mapping has appointed Paul Wehbe to the newly-created role of Utility Engineering Manager. He brings to the role a comprehensive understanding of Digital Engineering and its application to complex projects, having provided technical advice to key government and contractor clients in previous roles. He was recently part of Transport for NSW’s Digital Engineering Working Group.
Diversity & Inclusion
This week is NAIDOC Week – an opportunity to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This year, the theme for the week is ‘Heal Country’, encouraging all of us to take action to protect and preserve the lands, waterways, sacred sites and cultural heritage of our Indigenous peoples.
Roads Australia is committed to supporting Indigenous engagement by encouraging the adoption of social procurement practices that provide opportunities for Indigenous industry participants and promote Indigenous business participation. This approach was reflected in recommendations in the RA Procurement Reform Report. You can learn more about our commitment to Indigenous engagement in the Roads Australia Strategic Plan 2021-2023
A further example of Indigenous participation in infrastructure projects has been published this week by RA member CPB Contractors. The case study highlights indigenous engagement during the delivery of the RAAF Base Williamtown Redevelopment Stage 2. View it here.
One of RA’s D&I partners, the National Association of Women in Operations (NAWO) is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a special offer for those considering becoming an individual member, as well as for students or jobseekers, and those wishing to become a male ally supporting women in operations. Individual and ally memberships are now just $99 and student ad jobseeker $48. For more information about the offer and NAWO membership, click here.
RA and the Centre for Pavement Engineering Education (CPEE) have launched the Women Leading in Roads, Transport and Asset Management Scholarship. This initiative is designed to encourage women to accelerate their careers through postgraduate study with CPEE by undertaking:
- Graduate Certificate in Asset Management (GCAM);
- Graduate Certificate in Pavement Technology (GCPT); or
- Masters in Pavement Technology (MPT)
The scholarship is open to women employed by an RA member in the roads, transport or asset management sector and will provide $2,000 for every year of study. Applications close on Tuesday 13 July. To register your interest, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Level Crossing Removal Project in Victoria is on-track to meet its target for removing 50 level crossings a year ahead of schedule. In an expedited timeframe of just over three months, five level crossings will be removed – and three new stations will be constructed, at Edithvale, Chelsea and Bonbeach – on the Frankston Line. Works will commence from 25 July, with completion expected in November. The completion will mean the original commitment to remove 50 crossings across the city by the end of 2022 will be met a year earlier than planned. See more here.
In Queensland, the extension of the light rail from Broadbeach to Burleigh Heads is moving ahead, with an agreement to commence early works now finalised. As part of the process, representatives of RA member John Holland will be engaging directly with local communities and businesses to ensure they are informed about Stage 3 prior to construction work commencing. John Holland will also facilitate a Local Industry Forum in September that will highlight opportunities for local contractors and suppliers. Further details are available here.
To Western Australia, where the State Government has chosen NAIDOC Week to highlight the commencement of the updated version of its Aboriginal Procurement Policy. The new policy includes and expanded target for increasing contracts awarded to Aboriginal businesses to four per cent by 2023-24. The updated initiative builds on the success of the approach first introduced in 2018, which saw a significant increase to contracts awarded by the WA Government to Aboriginal businesses. You can view the updated policy here.
An exciting development on the North-South Corridor in South Australia this week, with the announcement of a launch site for the Torrens to Darlington (T2D) tunnels. The purpose-built area will be used to assemble tunnel boring machines that will dig the 4km tunnels that form the centrepiece of the T2D project, which once completed will connect Darlington to Anzac Highway. The T2D is the final link required to complete a 78-kilometre non-stop motorway between Gawler and Old Noarlunga. View this week’s announcement here
Drivers in Tasmania have been offered an incentive to make the switch to zero emissions vehicles, with the State Government announcing it will waive stamp duty on the purchase of EVs for the next two years. The measure commenced from 1 July, and will mean a saving of $2,000 on the average purchase price, making them more affordable for a larger number of motorists. See more.
Nominations are now open for the 2021 Australian Freight Industry Awards. The awards are hosted each year by the Victorian Transport Association and recognise the outstanding achievements of Australian freight and logistics operators and the people they employ across a number of categories. Nominations can also be submitted online with a deadline of Monday, 16 August. Winners will be announced at the 2021 AFIA Gala in Melbourne on 4 September.
RA is continuing to develop its submission tothe House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities’ inquiry into procurement practices for government-funded infrastructure.
The Terms of Reference for the inquiry are wide-ranging, and include challenges and opportunities with existing procurement practices, as well as intersections between tiers of government and the private sector. Roads Australia’s submission to the inquiry will reflect the content of the RA Procurement Reform Report last year.
Submissions close on 16 July. RA members with suggestions for ideas and recommendations for incorporation into RA’s submission should contact Royce Christie, Director – Policy as soon as possible to ensure there is adequate opportunity for consideration.
A six month trial of advanced light detection and ranging (LiDAR) technology in Victoria has been completed, finding that the technology can accurately and reliably detect potential hazards within 0.2 seconds and has the potential to provide real-time warnings to alert road users.
This was the first extended trial of LiDAR to collect road data undertaken in Australia, and it also examined ways for intersection infrastructure to communicate hazard warnings to connected vehicles using roadside Co-operative Intelligent Transport System technology.
The data captured during the trial will now be closely analysed by Road Safety Victoria, with the outputs used to enhance safety at intersections across the metropolitan area.