Rail gets the nod over Northern Beaches and Western Harbour tunnels in NSW Opposition transport plan.
The NSW Opposition launched its pre-election transport plan last week, promising to prioritise public transport over toll roads by re-allocating funding from existing projects into a $13.5 billion public transport acceleration fund.

Transport ministers back a more collaborative approach to contracting.
Transport ministers have endorsed a set of ‘high-level principles’ that put a more collaborative approach to procurement, project management and risk allocation squarely on state and territory agendas.

RA policy news

At our CEO Workshop earlier this year, road and roadworker safety was identified as the number one priority for our members and key stakeholders. Next Wednesday (Nov 21) in Brisbane we hold the first of what will be a series of road safety roundtables – this one hosted by Queensland Transport and Main Roads Deputy Director-General, Mike Stapleton.  Mike will lead participants through the Queensland Government’s strategies in the context of the recently endorsed National Road Safety Action Plan 2018–2020.

Meantime, our Capacity Chapter will be in Perth on November 29 for a skills and capacity workshop led by Director-General of Transport, Richard Sellers. Richard will talk about the skill and capacity requirements to deliver WA’s transport and road infrastructure pipeline over the next four years.

The Commonwealth and Territory governments, along with Darwin City Council, have finally signed off on the $200 million Darwin City Deal. The Deal is a commitment from all three levels of government to the planning needed to support Darwin’s future growth, and will see investment in a range of job-creating initiatives, including a new education and civic precinct on Cavenagh Street and a new Art Gallery in State Square. The Deal also supports the Larrakia people as the traditional owners of Darwin by increasing the share of jobs held by Indigenous Australians through an 8.8 per cent employment target and three per cent supplier-use target. A number of these initiatives were flagged at our Sustainability Workshop held in Darwin earlier this year.

Industry appointments

Arcadis has appointed Malcolm McDowall as CEO of its Australia Pacific business. Malcolm takes over from Greg Steele, who was recently announced as Group Executive – Asia Pacific. Malcolm has been with Arcadis for over 18 years, holding various leadership positions including Managing Director – Environment, Advisory and Assurance, and Managing Director – Buildings and Urban Development.

Clayton Utz has appointed Graham Read as a partner in its national Construction and Major Projects practice. Graham is an experienced construction and infrastructure lawyer who works with both public and private sector clients, with a particularly strong track record advising NSW and Commonwealth government clients.

Transport Certification Australia CEO, Chris Koniditsiotis, has announced his retirement and will leave the organisation next March. Well-known across the transport and technology sectors, Chris has led TCA since its establishment in 2005.

The Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) Board has appointed energy sector leader, Alison Rowe, as its new Chair. Alison will be replacing long-serving Chair, David Singleton AM, who stepped down from the role at the AGM on November 14 and is retiring as an Independent member Director when his tenure is up next April. Transurban’s Head of Sustainability, Matthew Brennan, has been elected to the Board as the new member Director.

Industry news in brief

Roads Australia’s annual lunch season kicks off with an attendance-breaking event in Adelaide next Wednesday (November 21) with Minister Stephan Knoll, sponsored by Aurecon. If you’ve already booked for this lunch, please note that we’ve moved it to a larger venue to accommodate the numbers. It’s now at The Ellington, 23 Hackney Rd, Hackney. By popular demand, we’ve also reopened bookings.

Seats and corporate tables are still available for all of our upcoming interstate annual lunches – Sydney on November 30, Perth on December 4, Brisbane on December 7, Hobart on December 10, Darwin on December 11 and Melbourne on December 13. We’ve also opened member-only bookings for next year’s John Shaw Award Dinner in Sydney on May 30. There will be a strict cap on numbers, so if you want to secure your corporate table we urge you to book now.

Two of WA’s biggest infrastructure projects – the Thornlie-Cockburn Link and Yanchep Rail Extension – have been elevated on Infrastructure Australia’s latest Priority List following assessment of their respective business cases. The Thornlie–Cockburn Link, a 17.5-kilometre extension connecting the existing Thornlie Rail Line to Cockburn Central Station on the Mandurah Line, has been assessed as a Priority Project; while the Yanchep Rail Extension, a 14.5 kilometre extension of the Joondalup Line between Butler and Yanchep, has been assessed as High Priority.

The Federal Government says it has locked in $112 million for the 6.4 kilometre extension of the Gold Coast Light Rail (GCLR) from Broadbeach to Burleigh Heads, and now awaits the Queensland Government to commit its contribution. Stage 3A of the GCLR will include eight new light rail stations, upgraded pedestrian and cycling facilities and an upgraded bus interchange facility at Burleigh Heads.

Funding applications for Round 4 of the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI) program are now being accepted. Administered by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), the program supports implementable, value-for-money projects that deliver tangible improvements to heavy vehicle safety. The first three rounds have seen $11.61 million invested in 32 projects, while Round 4 will deliver another $3.92 million into the program. Applications are being received until February 22.

ARRB still has a few spots left for its three-day Bridge Inspection Levels 1 and 2 Workshop in Brisbane next week (November 20 – 22). Attendees should have a basic knowledge of bridges and culverts. ARRB is also hosting a two-day workshop in Melbourne next month (Dec 6 – 7) to provide an understanding of basic geometric road design. The workshop also includes considerations of the Safe System approach to road safety, extended design domain and whole-of-life costs.

In a first for a major road project in Western Australia, Main Roads WA will pilot the use of recycled materials for road base on the Kwinana Freeway widening project. About 25,000 tonnes of recycled construction and demolition (C&D) waste will be used as road base on the section between Russell Road and Roe Highway. Main Roads plans to work with the Waste Authority and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation in a push to increase the use of recycled C&D products in major civil construction projects throughout the State.

Austroads has published a new report outlining a framework to help assess the value of maintenance and renewal works, consistent with capital investments. Th report includes cost benefit analysis (CBA) frameworks developed for three distinct road asset functional groups – the road surface and related features, bridges and other structure, and navigation and guidance infrastructure (such as traffic lights and line markings).

The Traffic Management Association of Australia (TMAA) Tasmanian Division is holding its AGM and Annual lunch in Hobart on November, with guest speakers Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH) Group President, Peter Frazer, and TMAA Treasurer, Andrew White.  The Qld Division hosts its lunch in Brisbane on December 13.  Details on bother events are on the TMAA website.

WA Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti, has this month officially opened the $38.49 million Bow River Bridge, in the Kimberley region. The new bridge is designed to provide greater flood resilience, accessibility and safety on the Great Northern Highway.

RA member, TSA Management, has announced a new partnership with Xigo, a New Zealand-based project management organisation. Xigo has 55 employees across three offices in Wellington, Auckland and Tauranga. The partnership marks TSA’s first step outside of Australia, opening the doors for other international opportunities.

The Tasmanian Government says its $72 million Roads to Support Tasmania’s Visitor Economy program is the State’s first ever tourism roads-specific investment program, aimed at protecting the State’s reputation as a premium destination for visitors. The investment will improve roads to a number of popular tourist destinations, including the Three Capes Walk, Bruny Island, the Tarkine and the Great Eastern Drive. A number of works are programed over the coming summer on the Great Eastern Drive.

The design and delivery of the Western Sydney Aerotropolis is taking shape with the establishment of the Western City and Aerotropolis Authority (WCAA). Health Infrastructure NSW CEO, Sam Sangster, has been appointed as CEO, with the Western Parkland City Chief Coordinator and Greater Sydney Commission Deputy Chief Commissioner, Geoff Roberts, as interim Chair. The Authority will design and oversee delivery of the metropolitan centre of the Aerotropolis, to be established on 114 hectares of Commonwealth land at North Bringelly. NSW Minister for Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres, says the project will be the catalyst for the 200,000 jobs that the three levels of government have committed to creating through the Western Sydney City Deal.

Roads Australia has welcomed two new members into our ranks in recent weeks. With offices in Adelaide and regional SA, Darwin, Brisbane, Sydney and Mildura, Tonkin Consulting provides professional advisory services to plan, design, develop and maintain infrastructure in the built and natural environment. The Australian Automotive Research Centre (AARC), a Linfox company, offers an extensive range of automotive engineering services to vehicle and component manufacturers, and operates the largest privately owned and independently operated automotive testing facility in Australia at Anglesea, 125km south-west of Melbourne.