From the CEO’s Desk
Challenges around long-term project pipeline visibility, potential skills shortages and workforce culture issues have been a key focus for RA this week.
This morning, I was joined by Scott Olsen, RA Vice-President and CEO, Fredon and Royce Christie, RA Director – Policy as RA appeared at a public hearing of the House of Representatives Inquiry into Procurement Practices for Government-funded Infrastructure.
This was an important opportunity to engage with MPs from all parties on the issues raised in RA’s submission to the Inquiry, as well as the recommendations put forward in the RA Procurement Reform Report.
The need for solutions that will effectively address issues with current procurement models has unquestionably become more urgent, given the extent to which governments are relying on the delivery of transport infrastructure projects as a major aspect of post-COVID economic stimulus.
These were brought into even sharper relief yesterday, when Infrastructure Australia (IA) released its first Infrastructure Market Capacity Report, which forecasts significant issues ahead for the sector given the scale of the current pipeline. IA’s report notes that there is potential for one in three advertised jobs in the construction sector to go unfilled by mid-2023 – a workforce shortage of more than 105,000 people.
To address this, governments and industry will need to support actions that will help the industry be viewed as an employer of choice – somewhere that allows its people to be innovative, experience personal safety, have opportunities for personal growth and feel included and valued.
This is exactly what initiatives such as RA’s Fellowship Program and Emerging Leaders Program are designed to achieve – helping today’s workforce to build supportive networks and pursue innovations that will help drive the type of cultural change needed attract and retain talented workers for the future.
You can see more of what RA said about IA’s Report in our media statement and in the Australian Financial Review.
Stay well and safe
Chief Executive Officer
RA Welcomes New Policy Officer
RA is delighted to welcome another new member to the team, with Chloe Robertson joining us as Policy Officer.
Chloe has considerable experience in research and issues analysis across a broad range of sectors that will prove invaluable in addressing the complex challenges involved in integrated transport policy. Originally from Adelaide, Chloe studied Criminology and Politics and International Studies at the University of Melbourne, and over the course of her career has garnered experience in the energy and animal welfare sectors.
She is also passionate about sustainability issues, and is especially looking forward to the opportunity to assist RA’s efforts to identify and lead opportunities to enhance the decarbonisation of the transport sector.
Chloe can be contacted via email at email@example.com
RA’s latest Policy Insights paper is now available for download, and focuses on the major issues highlighted during our Policy Webinar in late August that explored challenges around road worker safety.
The paper examines some of the major issues and potential solutions that can be deployed to enhance safety outcomes. These include measures to reduce vehicle speeds at they move through roadworks, more effective driver education programs, improving standards and qualifications around traffic management, embracing automation and developing a repository of reliable data about incidents and ‘near misses’ that can inform policy development.
There will be a further opportunity to focus on the safety of those who construct, maintain and operate our roads next week when RA presents our next Policy Webinar – Leading Change in Work Zone Safety – as part of National Safe Work Month.
The webinar will be held at 1:00pm AEDT next Thursday, 21 October. Make sure you register ahead of time to attend.
Reminder: RA is seeking examples from member companies of projects which can be used as examples of best practice in the sustainability project being undertaken by the recently-announced industry partnership. The focus of the project is to showcase best-in-class initiatives that accelerate decarbonisation throughout a transport asset’s lifecycle, by reducing embodied, operating and enabled emissions.
Local and international examples are welcomed. If you know of any, please contact Royce Christie, RA Director – Policy
Steve Lennon has joined GHD, where he will lead the GHD Digital practice in Australia. Steve joins GHD from the Nous Group, where he has been Principal – Digital & Design for two years. In his new role with GHD, Steve will support clients across multiple sectors in the digital transformation of their assets, operations and business models to rapidly adapt to change and remain competitive.
BG&E is expanding its Sydney team with the addition of Daniel Sutcliffe as Senior Associate – Transport. He brings significant experience as a consulting engineer to his new role, having previously worked on the delivery of landmark projects across NSW in senior roles with with Lindsay Dynan, Cardno, SMEC, GHD and Robert Bird.
Infrastructure Victoria (IV) has announced its inaugural CEO Michel Masson will depart from his position at the end of October to take up an opportunity with global executive search and leadership consultancy, Spencer Stuart. IV’s Deputy CEO Jonathan Spear will serve as Acting CEO while the recruitment process for Michel’s replacement occurs. Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas said: “Michel has done a fantastic job guiding Infrastructure Victoria in its crucial first years, helping to inform our state’s record infrastructure program.”
The Federal and NSW Governments have announced the shortlist of companies that have been invited to tender for construction of the Coffs Harbour Bypass. The list comprises the CPB Webuild Joint Venture, the Acciona Seymour Whyte Joint Venture and the Gamuda Ferrovial Joint Venture. The successful tenderer is expected to be announced in mid-2022. The Coffs Harbour Bypass is expected to create 12,000 jobs during its construction, and when completed is forecast to remove 12,000 vehicles a day from the town centre, bypassing 12 sets of lights and saving around 11 minutes in journey time.
RA members are at the forefront of delivering Western Sydney Airport, with a Joint Venture between Arcadis, Aurecon and NACO having been selected by the project’s construction partner the CPB ACCIONA Joint Venture to deliver the new facility’s airside civil and pavement works. This follows the recent announcement that WSP has been appointed as the Independent Certifier for the airport’s airside package. This will see WSP audit the quality processes and undertake targeted design reviews to confirm compliance with requirements, and ensure the design and construction of the runway and supporting infrastructure goes to plan.
As Victoria’s construction sector resumes operations following the recent two week COVID-related pause, designs have been released for two new stations being delivered as part of the Level Crossing Removal Project. The new Pakenham and East Pakenham stations will service one of Melbourne’s fastest-growing areas, extending the Pakenham line by 2km to cater to new residential developments. The project is also removing level crossings at McGregor Road, Main Street and Racecourse Road in Pakenham, with works set to commence late this year.
Two projects delivered by Main Roads Western Australia in partnership with RA members have been recognised for excellence in civil construction at the Civil Contractor’s Federation WA’s Annual Earth Awards. The Wanneroo Road & Ocean Reef Road Interchange (delivered in partnership with WBHO and SRG) incorporates colourful bridge designs which reflect the agricultural heritage of the project’s site. Also recognised was the Murdoch Drive Connection project, delivered in partnership with the Metropolitan Road Improvement Alliance (MRIA) comprising CPB Contractors, Georgiou, W.A. Limestone, GHD, BG&E and AECOM. This major project improved safety and connectivity in Perth’s southern suburbs, delivered new active transport infrastructure and provided skills training and work opportunities for the local Indigenous workforce.
The 5th International ADVI Summit is being held over two half days on October 18-19. This year’s Summit showcases Australian expertise in the driverless vehicle sector across Mining, Defence, Insurance, Research and Technology. The Summit also includes three of the world leading Robotaxi companies, Zoox, Motional and Cruise, who will share their technology pathway to commercialising on demand driverless taxis. ADVI is offering Roads Australia members a 10% discount on the registration fee for the Summit. To register, follow the link and put in ROADS10 in the discount code to redeem your discount.
Remember, if your organisation has news to share with the readers of RA Insider, please send details through to Simon Morgan
Diversity & Inclusion
It was fantastic to bring some of RA’s Emerging Leaders together this week for a virtual mentoring session that examined some of the complexities around commercial negotiations.
Our panel of speakers drew on their experiences in sharing advice with participants about pathways to success when leading teams in negotiations around major projects.
Our speakers shared some of their key observations with the group, noting the importance of planning your approach and understanding what other parties will be looking to obtain from the process before walking into the room.
Preparation is key – as is an ability to remain respectful. Compromises are invariably needed, and a successful negotiator will understand how to avoid becoming ‘bogged down’ on a particular issue, so that momentum is maintained. Being willing to understand the ‘pain points’ for others – and identifying ways you may be able to help address these – can often lead to mutually beneficial outcomes.
Special thanks AECOM for sponsoring the session and to our host Rezarta Rushitaj, RA’s 2020 PPP Award Winner & Principal Engineer, AECOM.
RA member BMD is supporting Indigenous communities and those experiecning disadvantage in Central Australia during land development works now underway in Alice Springs.
Following the facilitation of a crew from the Alice Springs Correctional Centre to install temporary fencing on the project, BMD identified that one of the individuals participating was interested in obtaining work on the project upon release.
This was subsequently arranged, and the opportunity has helped the worker transition from prison by staying positive and allowing him to focus on his future. Learn more here.
Remember, if you have news or achievements in the D&I space to share with our readers, please send details through to Prue Northey at RA.
Upcoming RA Events
21 October – RA Policy Webinar: Leading Change in Work Zone Safety. Bookings now open Sponsored by Transurban
27 October – Single Table Lunch with John Erceg (Perth). By invitation. Sponsored by SMEC.
29 October – Industry Webinar with Pete Allaway. Bookings now open. Sponsored by Arcadis
3 November – Single Table Lunch with Anne Moffatt (Brisbane). By invitation. Sponsorship available.
New RA events are continuing to roll out all the time. Check out our Events Calendar and keep an eye on our website to make sure you don’t miss out on networking opportunities.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with all event enquires.
Upcoming Industry Events/Training
Ongoing (self-paced) – Centre for Automotive Safety Research (CASR) Online Course – Safe System for Road Engineers and Managers
18-19 October – Australia and New Zealand Driverless Vehicle (ADVI) Summit (online)
19-20 October – CPEE Online – Road Surfacings – Sprayed Seals – presented by Dr Kym Neaylon
26-27 October – CPEE Online – Flexible Pavement Design – BOUND Basic Principles & Practices Short Course – presented by Ross Paul
27-28 October – CPEE Online – Rural Road Surfacings – Unsealed Workshop – presented by Paul Robinson
17-19 November – ARRB Symposium – Integrated Mobility Impacts 2021
March 2022 TBC (Postponed from 1-2 September) – TMAA Annual Conference – Redefining Traffic Management
March/April 2022 TBC (Postponed from 15-16 September) – TrackSAFE Level Crossing Safety Forum
2022 date TBC (Postponed from 20 October) – Australian Pavement Recycling and Stabilisation Conference