I have been in Albury-Wodonga over the past two days, where I was pleased to speak as part of a panel session at the Inland Rail Conference. The session explored the critical role that intermodal terminals will play in integrating Inland Rail with other transport modes, enhancing the interconnectivity of the system and delivering improvements to safety, efficiency and sustainability for all transport modes.
Skills have been another recurring theme throughout the conference. The discussion has been both in terms of ensuring skills training programs are properly aligned with industry needs, as well as the pressures industry is now experiencing sourcing specialist skills for complex projects, given the scale of the current infrastructure pipeline and continuing migration restrictions as a result of COVID-19.
As you may have seen, earlier today RA and the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) released a joint statement calling for the Priority Skilled Occupations List to be updated to include specialist skills that are critical to the delivery of major road and rail construction projects.
This is consistent with the position contained in our joint submission to Federal Parliament’s inquiry into skilled migration, as well as RA's submission to tomorrow's Infrastructure and Transport Ministers' Meeting (ITMM).
RA CEO Michael Kilgariff with ARA CEO Caroline Wilkie
Tomorrow's ITMM is an ideal opportunity for all jurisdictions to urgently consider this issue. RA will be monitoring the outcomes closely and looks forward to working collaboratively with governments and industry to develop an effective solution.
Stay safe and well.
Chief Executive Officer
2021 RA Transport Summit - Offer for Emerging Leaders
RA is committed to supporting professional development and networking opportunities for the next generation of our industry's leaders.
As part of that commitment, we are pleased to offer a special rate for the 2021 RA Transport Summit for those with 10-or-fewer years experience in our industry, and those aged under 35.
Emerging Leaders RA members $300 (inc GST)
Emerging Leaders Non members $400 (inc GST)
The Transport Summit is the biggest policy event on RA’s calendar and will bring together international and Australian-based experts to explore the challenges and opportunities that now confront those who design, construct and maintain our integrated transport system.
Of course, the Summit is also a fantastic opportunity to meet and network with industry peers to share your experiences and ideas for how we can build a sustainable and diverse industry workforce for the future.
You can view the latest Summit program here, and secure your registration today by clicking here.
RA has made a submission to the NSW Legislative Council's Inquiry into Road Tolling Regimes.
The submission notes that it is ultimately a matter for government as to how a particular road is to be financed and funded, and this needs to be determined on a case-by-case basis. However, it is clear that toll roads do have a place in the road mix of Australian cities. The involvement of the private sector in designing, constructing, financing, operating and maintaining toll roads allows road owners to capture the benefits of innovation that can lead to better outcomes.
RA also makes it clear that competing demands for a limited pool of public funds means that some form of direct payment is sometimes necessary so the high-quality motorways required to safely move people and freight around our cities can be built. Without this option, many worthy projects would be delayed or never occur.
Once the submission is approved for publication by the Legislative Council, it will be available here.
RA has also issued a statement this week welcoming the Victorian Parliament's passage of the Zero and Low Emission Vehicle Distance-based Charge Bill 2021. This follows Victoria's recent introduction of incentives to promote further uptake of ZEVs.
RA said the Victorian Government's approach is an exemplar of how to strike the right balance between supporting the shift to ZEVs and making certain those driving such vehicles make an appropriate contribution to the construction and maintenance of road infrastructure.
View the statement from RA President Michael Bushby here.
RA members wishing to provide suggestions or feedback for consideration in the development of RA policy submissions should contact Royce Christie, RA Director - Policy.
The Victorian Government has announced the appointment of a new Board for Homes Victoria – the agency responsible for rolling our the state's Big Housing Build, a $5.3 billion investment in affordable and social housing. Among the appointees is Pat Cashin, Regional Director at RA member Laing O'Rourke.
Symal Group has announced the appointment of Cameron Healy to lead a newly formed team aimed at smaller civil works in the building and construction sector (trading as Symal Contractors). Managing Director Joe Bartolo said: "The addition of a specialist small works team allows us to continue servicing our valuable past and present clients whilst we fulfil our strategic vision of growth, diversification, and expansion."
Tetra Tech Coffey has announced the appointment of Brigid Moriarty as President of Tetra Tech Coffey. As operations leader for the region and General Manager of Major Projects she leads highly qualified multi-disciplinary teams to deliver complex, innovative, and sustainable solutions for clients. Andrew Mailer was also recently named Head of Asia Pacific Strategy and Growth. This appointment expands Andrew’s current role as General Manager of NSW/ACT/QLD within Tetra Tech Coffey. In his expanded role, Andrew will be responsible for identifying and developing new opportunities to support our clients on critical large-scale programs across Australia, New Zealand, and the greater Asia Pacific region.
Reconciliation Week (27 May to 3 June) is a time for Australians to reflect on our shared history and our shared future. It’s a time for non-Aboriginal people to explore what they can do to help move towards reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The week is framed by the anniversaries of two significant milestones; the successful 1967 Referendum (27 May) and the High Court Mabo decision (3 June).
The 2021 theme is ‘More than a word’, and Victoria's Transforming Transport program is inviting people to take part in a film screening of: ‘Living Black’, featuring prominent indigenous leader Patrick Dodson.
There are options to attend the screening in-person or view the film online. You can learn more and register to take part here.
RA's D&I Partner, the Women in Transport Mentoring Program supports professional development for women in Victoria’s transport industry, in both government and private sector roles.
Applications for Round Two of the program for 2021 close on 31 May - and the program is especially keen for applications from potential mentors. You can learn more about how the program operates via this video, and applications can be completed here.
The NSW Government has announced details of the design and construct contract for Stage 1 of the M6 Motorway - and it's congratulations to RA members CIMIC Group, CPB Contractors, UGL and Ghella who will deliver the project in a joint venture. Construction is expected to begin in early 2022, with the project open to traffic in 2025. The M6 Stage 1 will connect President Avenue at Kogarah with the WestConnex M8 at Arncliffe via four kilometre twin tunnels. The project will also deliver enhanced active transport infrastructure for the community, with around 5km of shared pedestrian and cycling pathways incorporated into the design.
In Victoria, there's been a major milestone in construction work on the Metro Tunnel, with four tunnel boring machines (TBMs) having completed the 20 month task of digging two nine kilometre-long, 6.3m-high rail tunnels under the city. Together, the TBMs have removed 600,000 cubic metres of rock and soil and tunnelled an average of 90 metres per week since commencing in August 2019. Roadheaders will now continue excavation work on new CBD rail stations that form part of the project, and work has also commenced on entrance structures for the new tunnels. More here.
There has also been significant tunnelling progress on Queensland's Cross River Rail, with the two TBMs deployed on the project marking significant points on their journey. TBM Else has now crossed the Brisbane River on approach to Albert St, while TBM Merle has arrived at the tunnel's deepest point. You can see a video tour of progress on the project to date here.
In South Australia, more than 600 sites including supermarkets, service stations and accommodation facilities have registered to be part of the state's EV Fast Charging Network. The $13.4 million State Government initiative is indented to boost EV uptake by addressing 'range anxiety' among consumers. As well as installing charging infrastructure in Adelaide, there is a focus on increasing EV use across key tourism areas within SA. Proposals are now being sought from industry to develop a section or sections. More information on submitting a proposal is available here.
The ACT is also working to enhance uptake of low emissions vehicles, announcing that from this week, newly-purchased zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs) will receive two years of free registration in the ACT. The measure will be in place for ZEVs purchased or acquired from now until 30 June 2024 and is designed to support the ACT's target of net zero emissions by 2045. See details here.
- June 1 2021 - RA Webinar with Simon Hickey. Bookings now open. Sponsored by CIMIC Group
- June 4 2021 - RA Webinar with Tim Pallas. Bookings now open Please note: The planned Industry Lunch with Tim Pallas is now unable to proceed due to Victoria's current COVID restrictions. Those who have booked seats for the lunch will be refunded.
- June 10 2021 - RA Brisbane Industry Lunch with Adrian Schrinner. Bookings now open. Sponsored by SMEC.
- June 16 2021 - RA Pre-Summit Board Dinner with Rob Sharp (Sydney). By invitation. Sponsored by BMD
- June 17-18 2021 - RA Transport Summit, Sydney. Bookings now open.
- June 17 2021 - John Shaw Dinner, Sydney. Currently at COVID capacity. Sponsored by WSP
- June 18 2021 - RA Industry Lunch with Minister Paul Fletcher (on location at the RA Transport Summit). Bookings now open. Sponsored by ACRS
New RA events are continuing to roll out all the time, so keep an eye 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
Sponsorship Enquiries - Contact RA National Event & Membership Manager Marlie Curtis
Upcoming Industry Events/Training
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