As you are undoubtedly aware, this week saw our industry join with other industries and organisations across the community to celebrate International Women's Day. This year, all of us were asked to think about how we can 'Choose To Challenge' the stereotypes and biases that too often lead to women being denied opportunities.
Of course, achieving greater gender diversity is an especially acute challenge for our industry - which is why actively promoting diversity and inclusion is an integral part of all RA's activities under our Strategic Plan.
To put it simply - diversity matters because it is only by ensuring those from a wide range of backgrounds feel welcome in our industry that we will we build a sustainable workforce, capable of properly meeting the needs and expectations of the community we serve.
As CEO, I was especially proud to see the way RA's members supported International Women's Day and shared with us why they #ChooseToChallenge and be a catalyst for change. Watch the video below to learn more about our industry's commitment to supporting gender diversity.
I was also very pleased to meet with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Hon. Michael McCormack in Melbourne this morning.
This was an important opportunity for RA to discuss progressing the recommendations in our Procurement Reform Report - particularly the role the Federal Government can play in coordinating consistent approaches across jurisdictions, which RA previously highlighted in our submission to the November 2020 Infrastructure and Transport Ministers' Meeting.
We also explored several of the recommendations RA put forward in our pre-Budget submission to the Federal Government, particularly those around establishing a national road worker safety program, accelerating reform around road user charging and investment and facilitating a national approach to promote sustainable transport infrastructure.
HURRY - Nominations for the John Shaw Medal
There's less than a month remaining for you to recognise an industry champion by nominating them for the John Shaw Medal.
The award is named in honour of John (JAL) Shaw, a former Commissioner of the (then) Department of Main Roads in NSW, Commissioner of the City of Sydney and National President of the Australian Road Federation.
With the 2020 award having been held over due to the impact of COVID-19, RA is looking forward to again celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of our industry's outstanding achievers.
The full eligibility and assessment criteria, as well as past winners, may be viewed here, and nominations can be made by downloading the nomination form.
Nominations will close at COB on Friday 9 April, and the award will be presented to the winner during the 2021 John Shaw Award Dinner in Sydney on 17 June. For further information, please contact Simon Morgan, RA Director Corporate Affairs.
RA's interactive webinar for International Women's Day this week applied the #ChooseToChallenge theme to our industry, and considered how we can address barriers that may be inhibiting the attraction and retention of talented women to our workforce.
We brought together senior industry representatives, educational sector professionals and those now embarking on their career journeys to examine what we can be doing to enhance the profile of the infrastructure and transport sectors as a career of choice. Thanks to the the inspiring group of emerging female leaders, senior industry representatives and educational sector professionals who took time to share their perspectives and ideas and solutions for this industry-wide challenge.
Last week also saw our RA Fellows around Australia connect with Sergio Cinerari, RA Board Member and Chief Operating Officer, Downer Australian Operations to get his perspective on the qualities that are essential to good leadership and building effective teams. This engaging session explored why leaders need to “bring dissonance to the conversation” and seek out different views.
Last night was a special one on the RA calendar, as we held our Emerging Leaders Annual Gala Dinner and Award Presentation in Sydney.
Attendees heard an insightful address by Joost de Kock, Deputy Secretary, Customer Strategy and Technology at Transport for NSW, sharing thoughts from his leadership journey.
A particular highlight of the evening was the formal presentation of our 2020 Emerging Leaders 'PPP' Award to Rezarta Rushitaj by Camilla Drover, Acting Deputy Secretary, Infrastructure and Place, Transport for NSW.
The PPP Award is awarded to someone who demonstrates strength across all the 3 P’s – Passion, Promise and Pursuit, in expanding their knowledge and leadership capability. As our winner, Rezarta is undertaking a 12-month industry exposure experience, including meetings and events with some of our industry’s most senior leaders. We also heard from our 2019 PPP Award winner Verity Williams about her experiences over the past year.
Special thanks to Turnbull Engineering for sponsoring the Gala Dinner, to Transport for NSW for sponsoring the PPP Award, to Jill Boag, RA Future Leaders Committee Acting Chair, and Project Director at CPB for hosting and to Jacinta Halim, Civil Engineer, Turnbull Engineering for her eloquent vote of thanks.
Arcadis has appointed its first Chief Sustainability Officer, with Alexis Haass joining the organisation to help deliver on its goal of making a significant, quantifiable, and positive contribution to sustainable development. This follows the release of Arcadis' new three year strategy in November 2020, which includes an even greater focus on sustainability in client solutions, business operations, and engagement with people and communities.
There have been two recent executive appointments at ARTC Inland Rail. Steve Jones has been appointed as Director of Health, Safety and Environment. Prior to joining Inland Rail, he held executive positions at Transport for New South Wales and was responsible for all operational readiness activities to deliver Australia’s first driverless railway on the NSW Government’s Sydney Metro project. Rob Storey has been appointed as Director of Pre-Contracts, having been with Inland Rail since 2017. He has previously held senior leadership positions during the delivery of landmark projects throughout Australia, Singapore, South Pacific and New Zealand.
Arup Australasia has also placed an enhanced focus on sustainability through the appointment of its new leadership team. From April 1 2021, Kate West and Kerryn Coker will become co-Chairs, taking over from Peter Chamley, who is retiring. Murray Kretschmer will be the new Chief Operating Officer, succeeding Bruce Tanner. All are current Board members, senior engineers and experienced project directors who have worked internationally. They will work as a leadership group, and plan to have sustainable development and climate services front and centre of their agenda.
CPEE (Centre for Pavement Engineering Education) has promoted Dr Kym Neaylon to the newly-created position of Principal Engineering Advisor Pavement Surfacings. CEO CPEE, Madeleine McManus OAM, said: "This role acknowledges Kym as an industry leader and expert who can enrich CPEE’s education, industry and student engagement activities through his recognised industry knowledge, expertise and practice." Kym has been a member of the Austroads Pavement Task Force for many years, and has recently been appointed to be the Engineers Australia representative on a pavement surfacings related Standards Australia committee.
RA's latest Policy Insights piece looks at the approach NSW has taken to the management of risk around utilities - an especially challenging aspect of delivering integrated transport infrastructure projects. What clearly emerges is that early access, early investigations and early discussions are at the core of a successful approach to utilities management. Having a robust set of practice notes and guidelines in place is likewise essential to encourage conversations about risks - and who is best placed to manage them. Download your copy here.
RA has provided a submission to Infrastructure Victoria (IV) containing feedback on its Draft 30-year Infrastructure Strategy. The submission addresses a number of key policy areas that were also the subject of recommendations in the Draft Strategy itself, including:
- Zero Emission and Automated Vehicles;
- Mobility as a Service (including Public Transport and Active Transport);
- Freight Movement;
- Recycled Materials in Transport Infrastructure;
- Priority Infrastructure Sectors;
- Transport Network Pricing;
- Road Safety; and
- Roadworker Safety
You can read RA's submission here.
RA is continuing work to develop submissions to the following policy consultations:
RA members wishing to provide feedback for consideration in the development of submissions should contact Royce Christie, RA Director - Policy.
In NSW, the State Government has shortlisted three consortia to deliver tunneling works for the Sydney Metro - Western Sydney Airport project - Acciona Construction Australia Pty Ltd, John Holland Gamuda Joint Venture and Bouygues Construction Australia Pty Ltd. The successful contractor will be responsible for the delivery of 10km of twin Metro railway tunnels, along with excavations for station boxes. It is expected the contract will be awarded by the end of 2021, with the first of four tunnel boring machines deployed on the project by mid-2023.
Last week, the Victorian Government announced it intends to pursue a joint venture partnership to modernise its vehicle registration and driver licensing services. The Government made it clear that it will retain control of pricing, road access and safety matters, but says a partnership model will enable it to deliver a wider range of digital services, including the establishment of an Online Learner’s Test. Government will retain ownership of motorists’ data and maintain privacy safeguards, and VicRoads customer service centres will continue to operate. Further details can be seen here.
To Queensland, where major milestones have been marked on the Cross River Rail project this month. In the Brisbane CBD, nearly 400 metres of tunnels have been excavated beneath Roma Street, as work continues on the new underground station that will be one of five new and upgraded inner-city stations associated with the project. At the same time on the Gold Coast, the State Government has provided an early view of the new Pimpama station, one of three that will service Cross River Rail in that region. Designed by GHD, the new stations feature among other significant investments the Queensland Government is making in integrated transport infrastructure on the Gold Coast, including the $1 billion M1 upgrade, $1.5 billion second M1 and $709 million for Stage 3 of light. View the design here.
In South Australia, concept designs have been released for upgrade works to improve safety and traffic flows along the Mitcham Hills corridor. The proposed works are funded by contributions from both the Federal and SA Governments, and will see $40 million invested to enhance safety at dangerous junctions and stretches along the corridor that services the Adelaide foothills. Public comment is being sought on the concept designs, with submissions being taken until 23 April. View the proposed designs and animations here.
The benefits of the Hobart City Deal are beginning to flow, with construction now underway on the Tasman Highway Hobart Interchange Upgrade. This $46 million initiative will lift the Tasman Highway over Kennedy Drive and Holyman Avenue with on and off ramps serving the connecting roads, while dual-lane roundabouts will be built underneath the highway to efficiently and
safely control the intersections. The project forms part of the larger $349.5 million South East Traffic Solution (SETS) program jointly funded by the Federal and Tasmanian Governments, which is designed to enhance road safety and traffic flows in one of fastest-growing parts of Hobart.
The Australasian Certification Authority for Reinforcing and Structural Steels (ACRS) has launched a new certification scheme to help consumers, industry & government to confidently source sustainably and ethically produced steel. ACRS has partnered with the UK’s peak steel certification authority, CARES to introduce the internationally recognised Sustainable Constructional Steel Certification Scheme into Australasian markets. The Scheme is the first of its kind in Australia and will help ensure that construction steel coming into Australia from anywhere in the world meets the highest global environmental, social and ethical standards. Learn more here.
Arcadis has been awarded a $30 million contract that will see the organisation deliver design of rail signalling systems from concept through to final commissioning on key sections of Inland Rail over the life of the project. ARTC Inland Rail CEO Richard Wankmuller said “This is a specialised aspect of the Inland Rail project and by engaging one company to deliver the majority of this important body of design work there will be a consistency of quality and a more efficient use of resources across the program.” See more here.
Aurecon has this week acquired Digital Node, a boutique digital construction consultancy and training provider. This will further enhance the organisation's digital transformation capacity across its engineering and advisory practices. Digital Node founder, Rebecca de Cicco, is recognised globally as a Building Information Modelling (BIM) subject matter expert and is also Founder and Chair of global not-for-profit ‘Women In BIM'. She will continue in this role as part of her work with Aurecon, building on the company's commitment to diversity and inclusion. View more details here.
EastLink is supporting local residents experiencing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic through a donation of $100,000 to the Eastern Community Legal Centre, an independent not-for-profit provider of free legal assistance to communities in EastLink’s northern corridor. The Centre will use the donation to provide additional services that will focus on women and children experiencing family violence, older people at risk of elder abuse, people experiencing mental health issues, and culturally diverse communities. Learn more.
TSA Management (TSA) has secured a new investment partnership with private equity firm, Quadrant, as part of its plan to expand beyond Australasia. TSA's CEO, Andrew Wilson, said, "It's clear that Quadrant understands our vision for TSA and can provide the support we need to achieve it. We are well-positioned to continue to grow TSA's range of services and geographic reach, and this will allow us to provide the best outcomes for our clients and career opportunities for our people." More about the announcement here.
Don't miss out on the Future Safe Industry Heavy Vehicle and Pedestrian Safety Forum being conducted by RA member Holcim Australia on 24 March 2021. The virtual event is free of charge and will see speakers with a range of expert knowledge help industry participants gain greater understanding and create positive change to improve the safe interaction of pedestrians and heavy vehicles. Learn more here.
Work to build Australia's greenest freeway continues, with the Victorian Government confirming noise walls along the Mordialloc Freeway will be made from 75 per cent recycled plastic collected from households. In total, the project will utilise 570 tonnes of plastic waste – half of which is plastic reclaimed through kerbside recycling (such as milk and soft drink bottles), with the other half comprising soft plastics such as bread bags, food wrappers and bubble wrap - items that generally end up in landfill.
In addition to the environmental benefits, recycled plastic noise wall panels are quicker and safer to install, while still meeting or exceeding traffic noise reduction requirements. The non-porous nature of recycled plastic panels also means that paint and graffiti will not be absorbed into them. Further details can be viewed here.
New RA events are continuing to roll out all the time, so keep an eye on your inbox and on our website www.roads.org.au 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
Upcoming Industry Events/Training
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