From the CEO’s Desk
It goes without saying that 2020 has brought challenges for every household and business nation-wide, disrupting many activities we had previously taken for granted. For many Roads Australia members, the ability to attend our regular networking events in-person and enjoy the company of industry peers has been especially missed.
Pleasingly, that is beginning to change, and over the past several weeks we have been able to offer a number of in-person events for our members in several states. Even more in-person events scheduled in the weeks leading up to the end of the year, including RA’s highly anticipated Annual Lunches in those locations where COVID restrictions and guidelines permit.
In a difficult year, it is even more important to put the spotlight on those who have made an exceptional contribution to our industry. One way that Roads Australia does this is through the Ray Fisher Award for Technical Excellence.
Named in honour of RA’s former President and Life Member Ray Fisher, the Award recognises and celebrates an individual who has made an outstanding scientific or technical contribution to the broader transport industry in Australia.
Nominations are currently open for the 2020 Award, which will be presented at the Roads Australia Annual Lunch in the recipient’s home state or territory. Should COVID-19 restrictions prevent an Annual Lunch from occurring, appropriate alternative arrangements will be made for recognition of the winner.
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I also strongly encourage readers of RA Insider to join us next Wednesday 28 October for our RA Policy Webinar on Progressing Procurement Reform, which will explore the next steps that need to be taken by industry and government to advance the recommendations in the recently-released Roads Australia Procurement Reform Report.
It is clear from the measures contained in the recent Federal Budget that those who design, construct and operate transport infrastructure will be at forefront of driving Australia’s post-COVID economic recovery. Similarly, state and territory governments are also investing record amounts in transport infrastructure as a means of economic stimulus.
It will be important to ensure that funds begin to flow quickly so that projects commence and the benefits of this investment are reflected in employment growth and increased economic activity as rapidly as possible.
By attending our webinar, you’ll hear from a number of leading industry figures about the practical steps we can take to support this outcome through a more collaborative approach to procurement that will deliver greater certainty for our industry. Register now to take part in this important policy conversation.
Stay safe and well.
Change of Date – 2021 RA Transport Summit & John Shaw Dinner
A reminder that the 2020 RA Transport Summit and John Shaw Dinner originally scheduled for May 2020 then moved to October 2020 has now been postponed until 17/18 June 2021, with the John Shaw Dinner to take place on the evening of 17 June.
The venue remains as previously advised – the Fullerton Hotel, 1 Martin Place, Sydney.
Roads Australia Director – Events Rachael Rooney has contacted all those who had booked seats/tables for these events advising that their seats will now be transferred to the new date in June 2021.
Further information on the 2021 RA Transport Summit is available here, and more details on the 2021 John Shaw Dinner can be found here
If you have any questions regarding either event, please contact Rachael via email.
TfNSW Releases Transport Infrastructure Pipeline 2025
This week Transport for NSW (TfNSW) released its Transport Infrastructure Pipeline 2025 via an online event that included briefings from Ministers and senior leadership figures within TfNSW.
Enhanced pipeline visibility and industry engagement was a key recommendation in the Roads Australia Procurement Reform Report, as it provides industry with time to innovate in the procurement process to maximise efficiency and to deliver value for money. Detailed project scoping and delivery timelines, ideally out to two and three years ahead, would greatly improve the capacity of industry to deliver.
Details of the pipeline itself are now available via the TfNSW Transport Infrastructure Industry Portal.
This includes the ability to filter pipeline information by project type, scale, region and timelines to allow industry participants to find the information most directly relevant to them.
Feedback sought on New Bridgewater Bridge
The Tasmanian Government is inviting feedback on the reference design for the new $576 million Bridgewater Bridge, which is the biggest investment single transport infrastructure project ever undertaken in Tasmania.
The new bridge forms part of the Hobart City Deal between the Tasmanian and Federal Governments and is intended to provide the state with a fit-for-purpose passenger and freight transport link between Hobart and northern Tasmania. The reference design includes a new two lane bridge and a second two lane bridge to be built on the alignment of the existing bridge, creating two lanes in each direction. This includes the removal of the existing bridge.
Details of the consultation process (which will include community information sessions) are available here. Submissions close on 13 November.
Progress on Warringah Freeway Upgrade
The NSW Government has released the shortlist of preferred tenderers for the upgrade of the Warringah Freeway in Sydney. The list comprises:
- CPB Contractors
- John Holland – Seymour Whyte joint venture
- Warringah Linx (Acciona, Fulton Hogan, Georgiou joint venture)
The Warringah Freeway upgrade will provide connections to the future Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link, helping to relieve congestion on the Anzac Bridge, Sydney Harbour Tunnel and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The project is also designed to enhance public and active transport options through a dedicated continuous bus lane onto the Harbour Bridge, new cycle and pedestrian paths and links to the new Victoria Cross station being built as part of the Sydney Metro project.
Austroads seeks input on review of AGTM
The Austroads Guide to Traffic Management(AGTM) is the primary guide for the Austroads Transport Network Operations program. Austroads is currently reviewing the purpose, objectives and structure of the AGTM to define the next generation guide that supports transport practitioners in the detailed planning, implementation, and operation of the road network, providing leadership and national consistency in best practice.
RA is participating in the review across a number of areas, including on safety issues through the RA Road Worker Safety Group that has been established. As evidenced by the tragic death of a road worker on the Western Highway in Victoria this week, this is an area which requires a significant focus by industry, governments and the community.
To assist the review, Austroads is currently seeking input from current and potential users to understand how they interact with the Guide, and how emerging practice areas might influence current and future guidance needs.
Feedback can be provided via this online survey,
Simon Moorfield has joined Transurban as Group Executive Customer and Technology, where he will lead the integration of Transurban’s Customer and Technology functions. He was previously Executive General Manager Future Business & Technology and Chief Information Officer at AGL.
Stantec has appointed Liz McGregor to lead its Transportation team in Melbourne. Liz is an experienced leader in the field of transport and transit planning, with specific focus on strategic and integrated planning and with in-depth experience in managing transport modeling projects. She has more than 25 years of professional experience in the transport sector, gained in Australia and in Southern Africa.
Nathan Burmeister has been appointed as Managing Director of FSC Range – a newly created business working alongside FSC Group specialising in innovative project delivery, design management and environmental management. Nathan was previously Victorian Transport Manager for Cardno. FSC Range have also launched their new website this week.
Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) has announced the appointment of three new Board members, including Louise Adams, Chief Executive Australia and New Zealand, Aurecon, Preet Brar, Chief Financial Officer, Veolia Australia and New Zealand and Scott Power Group Executive Director – Operations at BMD.
Roads Australia will host a significant Policy Webinar next week exploring the next steps needed to progress recommendations contained in the Roads Australia Procurement Reform Report.
Australia is witnessing its greatest infrastructure boom in generations, with governments stepping up their investments to help fast-track transport infrastructure projects to spur the nation’s post-COVID economic recovery. In this environment, it is more important than ever for industry and governments to work together to ensure projects are delivered in a way that maximises benefits to the community and enables industry to get the best use of its capital and people.
Don’t miss this chance to join us on Wednesday 28 October as we bring together subject matter experts from across government and the private sector to explore the next steps needed to achieve lasting change that will enhance the viability and sustainability of projects – and of our industry.
RA will also shortly open registrations for our remaining International Insights Webinars for 2020.
These include an 18 November session on road worker safety (being held as part of National Road Safety Week) and a session in early December focussed on the application of hydrogen fuel cell technology in our transport system.
Further details on these upcoming International Insights Webinars will be circulated shortly.
The NSW Government is encouraging local supplies around Forbes and West Wyalong to get involved in the construction of new overtaking lanes on the Newell Highway. Registrations for local involvement are now open for a range of works, including construction of northbound and southbound lanes near Gullifers Road (south of Forbes); a northbound lane near Booberoi Hill (north of West Wyalong) and a southbound lane near Back Creek. The works form part of a larger $500 million Newell Highway upgrade program, which will deliver around 30 new overtaking lanes over four years.
In Victoria, the State Government says lower traffic volumes due to COVID-19 restrictions has allowed significant progress to occur with its program of level crossing removals. As a result, level crossing removals at Neerim Road and Glen Huntly Road in Glen Huntly will now be fast-tracked, with construction to start in 2021, the boom gates gone in 2023 and the project complete in 2024 – a year earlier than originally scheduled. These will be the final two crossings out of the 18 slated for removal on the Frankston Line, and will mean the line will be level crossing-free between Flinders Street and Moorabbin Station.
South Australia’s State Government has announced its upcoming Budget will include a $100 million allocation for road safety projects, part of which will unlock an additional $168 million from the Federal Government’s $2 billion for shovel-ready small scale safety projects announced in the Federal Budget earlier this month. The State Government’s contribution will support maintenance works on metropolitan roads such as Port Road, Fullarton Road, Marion Road, Greenhill Road and Anzac Highway.
Tasmania’s first responders have joined forces to support a new social media campaign designed to encourage the community to take more care on the roads. The five short videos focus on the likely contributors to fatal accidents: inattentiveness, speed and not driving to the conditions, fatigue behind the wheel, alcohol and drugs, and not wearing a seatbelt or helmet. The videos can be viewed here.
In Western Australia, the Federal & WA Governments have confirmed the MELconnx Consortium (Laing O’Rourke Australia Construction) has been awarded the $700 million main construction contract for the Morley-Ellenbrook line as part of the WA Government’s METRONET project. Spurring off the existing Midland Line at Bayswater Station, the new Morley-Ellenbrook Line will run up the middle of Tonkin Highway, through land north of Marshall Road, along Drumpellier Drive and finish in the Ellenbrook town centre.
SLR has announced its acquisition of Newcastle-based planning and development consultancy KDC, allowing SLR to further build its industry-leading environmental planning, management and approvals capabilities. Neil Penhall, SLR’s Chief Executive said “This is a really exciting time for our team in the Asia Pacific region. Not only will this acquisition provide us with a recognised and established planning presence in the region, but it gives us the ability to help our clients through every stage of their project lifecycle, regardless of the sector.” More details are available here.
In a world-first, Downer’s Reconophalt asphalt has received the first cradle-to-grave lifecycle assessment for an asphalt product. Reconophalt is Australia’s first asphalt product containing high-recycled content derived from true waste streams that would ordinarily end up going to landfill. Downer’s asphalt plants across Australia are capable of producing the sustainable product, which brings no increased environmental risk and substantial broader sustainability and performance benefits to our customers and their communities. You can learn more here.
Austroads is seeking industry representatives interested in participating in the Temporary Traffic Management Industry Consultative Group, which will help support development of the National Training Framework and Prequalification Scheme for Temporary Traffic Management. Nominations can be made via the online form.
Entries are now open for the 2021 Australian Construction Achievement Award, presented by the Australian Constructors Association and Engineers Australia. The Award celebrates the very best projects across the nation, and submitting an entry provides you with the opportunity to showcase the skills and innovation of your organisation or project team. Stage 1 entries are now open and will be received until 28 January 2021. For more details, click here.
The International Road Federation (IRF) is holding an online event on 12 November that will explore how unprecedent investment in road infrastructure by governments in response to COVID can help shape better and more sustainable mobility for all. The event is free of charge for all participants and will include a session focussed on how innovation can accelerate road sector transformation. Further details can be found here.
The community can now experience the new NorthConnex Tunnels wherever they are via innovative new driver experience videos that demonstrate the benefits the project will deliver to motorists.
The videos are part of preparations for the 31 October opening of the $3 billion NorthConnex project, which will help motorists to avoid 40 sets of traffic lights on the Pacific Highway, or 21 sets of traffic lights between the M1 and the M2.
It is hoped that drivers will also use the videos to familiarise themselves with new entry and exit points, where they will navigate new movements and how the motorway connects to the broader road network.
Diversity and social responsibility
Today is your last chance to get you nominations in for the 2020 RA Emerging Leaders PPP Award. Each year, this award offers the opportunity for one emerging leader who shows Promise, Passion and Pursuit to engage in a 12-month industry exposure and ambassador experience in order to fast track his or her career growth and industry profile. If you’re an enthusiastic industry professional with less than 10 years’ experience, now is the time to put yourself forward! Applications close at 8.00pm AEDT today. Further information is available here.
This week’s meeting of RA’s D&I Committee focussed on developing our D&I action plan, as well as the next practical steps we need to take to progress the Culture and Inclusion recommendations contained within the Roads Australia Procurement Reform Report.
Applications for the Victorian Government’s Women in Transport Leadership Development Scholarship are now open for 2020-21. Worth up to $30,000, scholarship funding can be used for leadership and development courses at masters, postgraduate and executive-level in a transport and/or infrastructure related area. Applications close 2 November 2020 – for eligibility criteria and details on how apply, email email@example.com
NAIDOC Week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It is a time of celebration and hearing from Aboriginal voices. While COVID-19 means that the usual July celebrations and in-person events were postponed, this November Victoria’s transport and infrastructure industry will go ahead with a live-streamed webinar on Friday 6 November celebrating Aboriginal culture and connection to land through urban and landscape design. For details on how to register, click here.
Remember, if you have any D&I success stories or practices that you would like to share with readers of RA Insider, please get in touch with Marlie Curtis.
Upcoming RA events
- Oct 28 – RA Policy Webinar – Progressing Procurement Reform. Register now
- Nov 10 – (By invitation) RA Single Table Lunch with Jon Lamonte (Sydney)
- Nov 13 – (By Invitation) RA Single Table Lunch with Tony Braxton-Smith, Jon Whelan and Wayne Buckerfield (Adelaide)
- Nov 16 – RA Canberra Annual Lunch with Alison Playford. Sponsored by ARUP. Bookings open soon.
- Nov 17 –