From the CEO’s Desk

A reminder that from next week, RA Insider will published weekly each Thursday, providing you with even more opportunities to catch up with what’s happening across the transport and infrastructure sectors.

The move to a weekly publication also provides RA members with more opportunities to highlight their achievements and activities to our 18,000+ subscribers.

Remember, if you have items for inclusion, please send them through to Simon Morgan, RA Director – Corporate Affairs.


I was pleased to be among the more than 170 people gathered in Brisbane yesterday to take part in RA’s signature safety policy event, Spotlight on Safety.

It was an incredibly informative day of presentations and panel discussions featuring some of Australia’s most respected and passionate champions for enhancing road safety in order to protect our industry’s workforce and all road users.

Spotlight on Safety identified a number of key priorities for RA and the industry to pursue to continue reducing fatalities and serious injuries on our roads. You can read more about those priorities in the Concluding Statement from the event.

Spotlight On Safety was held in the lead up to National Road Safety Week (NRSW) from 16-23 May, and RA is proud to again be Principal Partner of this important national event. With just over a week to go until the official launch, I encourage you to visit the NRSW website to learn more about some of the activities that will be occurring and how you can get involved.

Stay safe and well.

Michael Kilgariff

Chief Executive Officer

Early Bird Extended – 2021 RA Transport Summit

Act quickly to take advantage of a special extended Early-Bird rate for this year’s RA Transport Summit in Sydney on 17 and 18 June.

This offer is only available until 21 May and allows you to make a significant saving on the price of a full registration:

Before 21 May After 21 May

RA members $1,180 (inc GST) $1,475 (inc GST)

Non members $1,540 (inc GST) $1,925 (inc GST)

Emerging Leaders RA members $300 (inc GST)

Emerging Leaders Non members $400 (inc GST)

The Emerging Leaders Rate is a special rate for those with 10-or-less years’ experience, and/or who are under the age of 35.

The Transport Summit is the biggest policy event on RA’s calendar and will bring together international and Australian-based experts to explore the challenges and opportunities that now confront those who design, construct and maintain our integrated transport system.

In addition to insightful policy discussions and thought-provoking presentations, you’ll also have the opportunity to network with your fellow industry professionals and to meet our industry’s next generation of leaders.

Your registration includes your participation in one-and-a-half days of plenary and concurrent sessions, as well as your place at the Summit’s closing industry networking lunch.

RA can now confirm that our special guest speaker at the industry lunch will be the Hon. Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts.

You can view the latest Summit program here, and secure your registration today by clicking here.

Diversity & Inclusion

Last week, the 2021 cohort of RA Fellows gathered in Sydney (or participated virtually) in the annual RA Fellows Mid-Year Workshop. It was an intense but inspiring two days of thought-provoking presentations, with experienced industry leaders sharing the benefits of their insights with participants as to what effective leadership looks like in a contemporary environment. The Fellows also kicked off their 2021 project with a focus on reducing job stressors among the white collar workforce, which will include collecting data on hours worked and trialling a work redesign. This will contribute to RA’s focus on culture and wellbeing by creating a more sustainable work environment for our industry’s employees.

A particular highlight was the thoughtful and humourous Workshop Dinner address by Jayne Whitney, Chief Strategy Officer, John Holland, who related some of her own experiences from throughout her career journey and offered advice to our 2021 RA Fellows about effective approaches to leadership. Jayne particularly emphasised the importance of positive role models and workplace culture in developing team members who derive personal satisfaction from their role and will then go on to inspire others.

Applications are now open for the second round of the Women in Transport (WiT) Mentoring Program. Delivered by the Level Crossing Removal Project, WiT Mentoring facilitates growth and knowledge transfer for women in Victoria’s transport industry, supporting their personal and professional development. Over six-months, custom matched mentors and mentees participate in industry-wide professional development sessions, networking and structured monthly mentee-mentor meetings.

Applications are open until 31 May. For further information about the program and how to apply, click here.


Remember, if you have news, views or innovations in the D&I space to share with the readers of RA Insider, please get in touch with Marlie Curtis at RA.


Pre-construction works on Victoria’s Suburban Rail Loop are powering ahead, with seven kilometres of ground already drilled in the area between Cheltenham and Box Hill that will eventually be home to twin 26km tunnels to be built during Stage One of the project. The Victorian Government has announced that three RA members – CPB Contractors, John Holland and Laing O’Rourke have been invited to submit bids to deliver Stage One, with the contract expected to be awarded by the end of this year and construction to commence in 2022.

In Queensland, the Cross River Rail project’s ‘Year of Tunnelling’ is well underway, and it is now possible to view progress being made by two Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM) via an online Live TBM Tracker. The machines are each tunnelling between 20-30 metres each day, and have progressed to the stage where tunnelling is now taking place beneath the Brisbane River. The TBMs are expected to complete their journey to Normanby this year.

To Western Australia, where Perth’s active transport infrastructure is set to receive a significant boost via the construction of a new pedestrian and cycle bridge over the Swan River, linking the CBD with Victoria Park. The project is jointly funded by the Federal and WA Governments under the Perth City Deal, and two consortia involving RA members have been shortlisted to deliver the works: Civmec SWC WSP (involving Seymour Whyte and WSP), and the Matagarup Heirisson Alliance (involving Decmil and Arup). It is anticipated the contract for the $50 million project will be awarded in the latter part of 2021, with construction to commence next year.

In the Northern Territory, a significant step forward for the coordinated planning and delivery of critical public infrastrucutre has been announced with the establishment of the Infrastructure NT Commission. The new body will have a direct channel to the NT’s Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics and is also charged with working close with Infrastructure Australia to deliver nationally significant infrastructure projects, ensuring the NT has a seat at the table with other jurisdictions when it comes to bidding for significant infrastructure projects.

The latest Thinking Paper produced by Aurecon makes the case for including a measurement of sustainability performance as part of all major projects. Rather than viewing sustainability reporting as a ‘ticking a box’ compliance, those delivering projects should view the setting of meaningful sustainability targets as an opportunity to demonstrate tangible outcomes for the wider community. Read the paper here.

EastLink is continuing to support those in the community experiencing challenges due to COVID-19, donating $100,000 to Beyond Blue to support those affected by anxiety and depression. This brings the total of EastLink’s donations to local community organisations in 2021 to $400,000 and reflects the organisation’s ongoing commitment to supporting local communities in the areas of Melbourne where it operates.

Registrations are now open for the construction industry’s most prestigious award. The Australian Construction Achievement Award (ACAA) celebrates the skills and innovation at the heart of our construction industry. This year’s finalists include some of the best constructors from across Australia. Join your industry peers at our celebration event by registering today.

RA CEO Michael Kilgariff is one of the speakers at the Traffic Management Association of Australia (TMAA) Annual Conference in Melbourne on 3-4 June. RA members are eligible to register for the conference at the Member Rate. For more details, see the conference website.

The University of Adelaide’s Centre for Automotive Safety Research (CASR), has developed a self-paced online course, Safe Systems for Road Managers and Engineers. Designed for anyone in the public and private sector responsible for the management, planning, design and construction, operations and maintenance of the public road network, the course helps participants to effectively utilise the Safe System in road safety in their day-to-day role. Discover how the Safe System addresses the ethical imperative of eliminating harm from road crashes, why harm from road crashes occurs and how this can be mitigated. There is also an overview of road safety infrastructure and its alignment with leading-practice road safety thinking. Learn more here


Arup has announced the appointment of Kate West and Kerryn Coker as new Co-Chairs for the Australasia Region, following the retirement of Peter Chamley. The new Co-Chairs will work with Murray Kretschmer, Arup’s new Region Chief Operating Officer to build the organisation’s services and technical specialties as part of their vision to create liveable, resilient and sustainable places that promote community well-being.

TSA has appointed Peter Whelan to the role of Associate Director, Stakeholder Engagement, noting that his two decades of experience in developing and leading stakeholder and communications teams will enable TSA Advisory to expand its service offering to clients.

Veitch Lister Consulting has appointed Michael Hopkins as its State Director for Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. Michael’s most recent role was with the National Transport Commission (NTC), where he was Executive Lead, Strategy and Engagement. More here.


Last weekend the Victorian Government announced a $100 million suite of measures designed to enhance uptake of zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs), the centrepiece of which is a $3,000 subsidy to assist with meeting the costs of purchasing ZEVs, as well as substantial investments in charging infrastrucutre. At the same time, the Victorian Government has established a target for 50 per cent of all new vehicle sales by 2030 will be ZEVs.

RA issued a statement welcoming the announcement – particularly as it is further demonstration that incentivising the uptake of ZEVs is entirely compatible with the wider policy imperative of designing an equitable, sustainable and nationally-consistent system of road user charging that will ensure governments have sufficient revenue can construct and maintain our road networks into the future.


The Federal Budget will be delivered next Tuesday, 11 May – and RA will be closely monitoring Budget announcements to assess the extent to which they align with the priorities set out in our pre-Budget submission. Following the Treasurer’s speech on Tuesday evening, RA will issue a brief that will highlight Budget measures of interest to the transport infrastructure sector.


National Road Safety Week is just days away – and throughout the week of 16-23 May, we are eager to highlight what RA members are doing in order to spread the message about driving so that others survive. If you have plans and/or activities that you would like RA to share on its social media channels during National Road Safety Week, please get in touch with Simon Morgan, RA Director – Corporate Affairs.


RA members wishing to provide feedback for consideration in the development of RA policy submissions should contact Royce Christie, RA Director – Policy.

Upcoming RA Events

May 11 2021 – RA Single Table Lunch with Camilla Drover (Sydney) (by invitation) Sponsored by Cardno
May 12 2021 – RA Fellows Leadership Webinar with Philip Helberg (by invitation) Sponsored by John Holland
May 19 2021 – RA Single Table Lunch with Dennis Walsh (Brisbane) (by invitation). Sponsored by Arcadis
May 20 2021 – RA Emerging Leaders Breakfast (Brisbane). Bookings now open. Sponsored by Arup.
June 10 2021 – RA Brisbane Industry Lunch with Adrian Schrinner. Bookings now open. Sponsored by SMEC.
June 17-18 2021 – RA Transport Summit, Sydney. Bookings now open.
June 17 2021 – John Shaw Dinner, Sydney. Currently at COVID capacity. Sponsored by WSP

New RA events are continuing to roll out all the time, so download our events calendar or keep an eye on our website to make sure you don’t miss out on networking opportunities.

Event Enquiries – Contact RA Director Events Rachael Rooney

Booking Enquiries – Contact RA Event Coordinator Alex Smith

Sponsorship Enquiries – Contact RA National Event & Membership Manager Marlie Curtis

Upcoming Industry Events/Training

May 25-26 2021 – CPEE – Flexible Pavement Design: Unbound – basic principles and practices (Online)

June 3-4 2021 – TMAA Annual Conference – Redefining Traffic Management

June 22-23 2021 – CPEE – Haul Road Design Workshop (Online)

Ongoing (self-paced) – Centre for Automotive Safety Research (CASR) Online Course – Safe System for Road Engineers and Managers