From the CEO’s Desk

Last week Roads Australia appeared before the House of Representatives Inquiry into Procurement Practices for Government-funded Infrastructure.

Our submission to that Inquiry called out cultural issues within the sector that are leading to burnout through a lack of work-life balance, as well as poor outcomes around mental health, workforce diversity and the attraction and retention of talented personnel.

These issues have again been highlighted this week, as the Construction Industry Culture Taskforce begins public consultation on its proposed industry Culture Standard. The first phase of the consultation is considering practical steps that can be taken to improve the wellbeing of construction workers.

Many of the elements contained within the proposed Culture Standard align with recommendations around workforce culture contained in RA’s own Procurement Reform Report. This is a critical issue for our industry to get right if we are to attract and retain the diverse and skilled workforce needed to deliver the record pipeline of transport infrastructure projects nationally.

I look forward to keeping you informed regarding RA’s submission on the proposed Culture Standard – as well as our ongoing efforts to champion a diverse, inclusive, sustainable and values-led organisation and industry.

Stay well and safe

Michael Kilgariff

Chief Executive Officer


Feel like celebrating? Here’s your chance!

2021 has proved to be another challenging year across Australia and for many in our industry, as COVID-19 again imposed restrictions in many parts of the country.

As vaccination rates continue to climb and lockdowns ease in Sydney and Melbourne, RA is thrilled that we’ll again be able to offer our members in each capital city the chance to come together in-person and mark another extraordinary year at our 2021RA Annual Lunches.

Being held throughout November and December and featuring senior ministerial speakers, these events will allow our members to again connect with each other, learn more about major transport projects and initiatives being delivered and – most importantly – celebrate the festive season in style!

All events will be held in strict accordance with COVIDSafe arrangements in place in each state/territory. Due to COVID capacity limits currently in place for many venues, bookings for Annual Lunches are currently only open for RA members.

These events will sell out – so make sure you book early to avoid disappointment!

For more details on dates, venues and speakers, visit our upcoming events page or see the list in the ‘Events’ section in this edition of RA Insider. If you have further questions, feel free to get in touch with us by emailingevents@roads.org.au


Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety

The World Health Organization and the United Nations Regional Commissions, in cooperation with partners in the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration and other stakeholders, have developed the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030.

The Global Plan emphasises the importance of a holistic approach to road safety, and calls for continued improvements in the design of roads and vehicles; enhancement of laws and law enforcement; and provision of timely, life-saving emergency care for the injured. The Global Plan also encourages policies to promote walking, cycling and using public transport as inherently healthy and environmentally sound modes of transport.

There is an opportunity to learn more about the Global Plan at its official online launch on 28 October. You can register here to attend the online event.


Policy

This week RA released the latest paper in our Policy Insights series, which picks up on the major issues discussed during our Policy Webinar on sustainability and recycling.

The construction and operation of transport infrastructure requires inputs that can result in significant greenhouse gas emissions every year. As community expectations change and governments set national and global sustainability goals, those engaged in the design and delivery of transport infrastructure will need to make adjustments to ensure they keep pace with these expectations.

The Policy Insights paper sets out some of the innovations already being embraced across the transport industry to capture opportunities offered by the circular economy and work towards a net-zero future.

As governments and industry around the world prepare for the forthcoming UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, this Policy Insights paper helps to provide an overview of where things are heading  – and some of the issues industry participants need to be thinking about now to prepare for changes in policy settings.


People

Huge congratulations to RA’s 2020 PPP Award Winner Rezarta Rushitaj, who is being promoted to the role of Technical Practice Leader, Highways for ANZ at AECOM. Rezarta’s strong technical experience is matched by a passion for enhancing our industry’s gender and cultural diversity. Coming from a non-English speaking background, Rezarta has drawn on her own experiences to support initiatives that shape a more inclusive industry. She has been particularly active within RA’s Emerging Leaders Program, and recently hosted our Emerging Leaders Webinar exploring pathways to success in commercial negotiations.

Also at AECOM, TJ Hong has been appointed as Principal Infrastructure Economist – Transportation. He has considerable experience in economic modelling and analysis across the transport, health, sport, and events sectors, and has previously held transport infrastructure focused roles with EY and in the Victorian public service.

Major Road Projects Victoria (MRPV) has recently announced the appointment of Anthony Moran as Delivery Director. He has previously held key project delivery roles with major construction companies including John Holland, BMD and Thiess, and will now work with Tony Carecos and Danny Benjamin to oversee MRPV’s six delivery program areas.

Alana Newbrook has become CEO of Systra in ANZ, having until recently been Regional Director for WSP in NSW. Systra specialise in innovations that help deliver complex projects across sectors including transportation, government, security and technology.

Robert Anderson has joined Mooven, taking up an Auckland-based position as Head of Data Science. This role will see him lead the company’s advanced analytics function, drawing together research, technologies and statistical techniques to enhance customer experience by providing real-time insights into traffic and delays.


Industry

Registrations of interest are being sought from prequalified contractors to deliver the M1 Pacific Motorway extension to Raymond Terrace. One of the largest projects ever undertaken in the Hunter, the works are being funded by the Federal and NSW Governments and will deliver a ‘missing link’ in enabling smoother journeys between the Victorian and Queensland borders. 15 kilometres of motorway will be constructed with two lanes in each direction, linking to the existing road network from four new interchanges at Black Hill, Tarro, Tomago and Raymond Terrace.

Major Road Projects Victoria (MRPV) have welcomed a number of RA members as contractors within its Program Delivery Approach (PDA) model. Hatch has joined Design Panel 2, Gamuda Berhad has been added to Construction Panel 3, while Ventia, Downer and Fulton Hogan have been invited to join Specialist Panel 5 for activities such as utility or bridge rehabilitation works.

Melbourne’s EastLink has been awarded the top “5 Star” ESG sustainability rating for the sixth year in a row by the internationally recognised GRESB Infrastructure Asset Assessment. EastLink was rated 24th out of the 549 infrastructure assets that were assessed globally, placing the tollway in the top 5 per cent. Adding to the accolade, EastLink was ranked second in the world in GRESB’s Transport (Road Companies) category. Doug Spencer-Roy, EastLink Manager Corporate Affairs said: “Since we opened EastLink in 2008, our attention has been concentrated on sustainably maintaining and operating this single tollway, with a customer focus, and with safety at the forefront of our decisions and actions.”

In road safety news, learner drivers in South Australia now have the opportunity to take their test online, and engage in a more comprehensive driver education program before physically getting behind the wheel. The new program takes 4-6 hours to complete and addresses road safety, driver attitudes and behaviours and road rules. The online offering provides an alternative to attending and sitting the test in-person for anyone looking to obtain their Learner’s Permit. It has been informed by similar programs that are being offered in Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland.

The Western Australian Government has released updated business and employment targets for Aboriginal people on WA’s major transport infrastructure program. The expanded commitment aims to award $700 million of contracts to Aboriginal businesses, and having 3.5 million work hours of work on transport infrastructure projects completed by Aboriginal workers. The new targets are part of the WA Government’s updated Aboriginal Procurement Policy and come into effect on 1 January 2022.

RA member WSP is highlighting the benefits of using ‘digital twins’ in the delivery of major transport infrastructure projects. This tool provides a dynamic digital representation of the built and natural environment that can be used to plan, visualise, report on and control assets and operations. In a real-life application of the technology, WSP has developed a system on the Melbourne Metro Tunnel project that monitors the air quality, noise and vibrations during major tunnelling and excavation works. If specific parameters are exceeded, the system immediately notifies relevant personnel so corrective actions can be taken.

The SmartCrete CRC has released an independent report which sets out decarbonisation pathways for Australia’s cement and concrete sector. The Report confirms that decarbonising by 2050 will require significant regulatory, structural and behavioural changes across all segments of the cement and concrete value chain. It also notes that changes will be required in government and private sector
procurement policies and regulatory frameworks to safely promote the uptake of lower carbon products.

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Remember, if your organisation has news to share with the readers of RA Insider, please send details through to Simon Morgan


Diversity & Inclusion

Nominations are now open for RA’s 2021 PPP Award!

RA’s Emerging Leaders Program for our industry’s under-35’s has been a huge success since its launch in 2017. It taps into a previously unfulfilled demand for ‘industry-wide’ networking and learning opportunities for the next generation of leaders.

As part of this Program each year, RA offers one emerging leader who shows Promise, Passion and Pursuit the opportunity to engage in a 12-month industry exposure and ambassador experience.

The winner of the PPP Award year-long access to a range of unique and invaluable opportunities, including complimentary access to RA events, the opportunity to host/facilitate at Emerging Leaders events, and the chance to shape the growth and development of our Emerging Leaders Program going forward.

Nominations close on Friday 19 November 2021. To learn more and to submit a nomination, click here.

2020 RA PPP Award Winner Rezarta Rushitaj from AECOM

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Women & Leadership Australia provides world-class leadership development programs for emerging, middle, and senior women leaders. Their programs bring together the latest in leadership theory and practice with a focus on applied learning and are designed to foster excellence and equity in leadership across Australia.

Scholarships are now available through Women & Leadership Australia to encourage more women to step into leadership roles and to support the further development of current women leaders in the Transport and Logistics sector. Partial scholarships of $1000-$5000 will support participation in one of three leadership development courses designed for emerging through to senior leaders.

You can learn more and apply by 30 November 2021 by visiting wla.edu.au/transportlogistics

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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.


Transport Innovation

Two RA members have been featured in the Australian Financial Review’s Top 10 Innovative Professional Services firms for 2021.

Aurecon was recognised for the Aurecon A-Bridge – which provides a low-cost, short road closure solution for the replacement of timber road bridges that are vital for keeping communities connected particularly in regional Australia.

The list also recognised Stantec for its application of virtual reality technology in acoustics. This technology allows a user to freely move through a virtual reality scenario while listening to the real acoustics of the space.