Last week the Roads Australia Board held its first meeting for 2021, as we embark on a year in which the design and delivery of integrated transport infrastructure will play a critical role in stimulating national economic recovery.
I’m pleased to advise that during the meeting two new directors were appointed to the RA Board, further enhancing our position as a voice of influence and strengthening our unique capacity to work collaboratively with industry and governments to achieve policy change.
Dr Gillian Miles, CEO and Commissioner at the National Transport Commission has over three decades of experience across the public sector, particularly in the transport and community-focussed services. She has previously been Head of Transport for Victoria, where she led a significant reform of the state’s transport system that put users’ interests at the forefront of Victoria’s approach to designing and delivering integrated transport solutions. Gillian has held several other senior leadership roles within Victoria’s public sector, and is a former Head of Strategy and Performance for the Transport Accident Commission.
Juan Santamaria, Executive Chairman and CEO of CIMIC Group Limited has extensive international experience in the delivery of large and complex construction, services and PPP projects and has been responsible for projects and businesses in Australia, Europe, North America, Latin America and South Africa. Prior to commencing as CIMIC Group’s CEO in February 2020, he was Managing Director of CPB Contractors (CIMIC Group’s construction business), with responsibility for CPB Contractors, Leighton Asia and Broad across their international operations. Prior to that, Juan held roles as the Managing Director of UGL (CIMIC Group’s services business) and Executive General Manager Public Private Partnerships and Construction West at CPB Contractors.
In joining the Board, Juan has also agreed to chair RA’s Safety Policy Stream.
In other changes to the leadership of our Policy Streams, Sergio Cinerari, RA Board member and COO at Downer Infrastructure becomes Chair of Customer Experience, and we welcome Mandi Mees, Executive Leader Safety at the National Transport Commission as Deputy Chair of Transport Reform.
Together, these appointments further strengthen RA’s ability to champion our industry, enhancing its profile and relationship with the community.
I look forward to working with our Board, Policy Stream leaders and all our members to continue advancing reforms and innovations that will secure a more sustainable industry and enhanced integrated transport solutions for Australia.
Recently, Quentin Crombie, RA’s Director Policy advised me of his decision to resign from his role with RA, with effect from late March 2021. This has not been an easy decision for Quentin, but one that is necessary due to changing personal circumstances and the need to spend more time supporting his family.
Since joining RA in November 2019, Quentin has significantly enhanced the quality and quantity of RA’s policy output. He has led our policy team with skill and dedication while working collaboratively with our Policy Streams to identify positive and practical policy solutions for RA to pursue. Through the development of major policy submissions, the publication of the RA Procurement Reform Report, coordination of policy events and the production of associated Policy insights pieces, Quentin has undoubtedly lifted RA’s policy profile and our contribution to public policy discussions around integrated transport.
Given RA’s significant forward policy agenda, it is essential that we maintain momentum and continue to pursue the reforms our industry needs.
Accordingly, I am pleased to advise that Royce Christie will shortly join the RA team as Director Policy. Royce comes to RA with a significant background in transport and infrastructure issues, including experience as a ministerial adviser and senior corporate roles with Toll Group and VicTrack.
Royce will commence in the RA office from next week, working alongside the policy team over several weeks before assuming the role in March.
I know readers of RA Insider will join me in thanking Quentin for his contribution to RA and in welcoming Royce to the team. I look forward to working with them both over the coming weeks to effect a smooth transition and ensure RA continues to lead the policy conversation on behalf of our industry.
John Shaw Medal - Nominations Now Open
Nominations are now open for the roads industry's most prestigious accolade - 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.
The John Shaw Medal is awarded to an industry champion who has made a lasting contribution to Australia's roads. 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.
Jeff Gallus is the new Executive General Manager of Construction for BMD Group. He has worked with the company for 17 years and was most recently CEO of BMD Group's business in the Philippines. See more here.
HKA has announced Dr Kourosh Kayvani has joined the firm as Principal, Forensic Technical Services, and will be based in Sydney. Dr Kourosh is a chartered professional engineer and Fellow of Engineers Australia and brings with him a wealth of specialist engineering, expert witness, and failure investigation expertise. He has played leading roles in the design and delivery of many innovative, complex, and award-winning projects across Australia, New Zealand, Asia, UK, Middle East, and Africa.
The CEO of ARTC Inland Rail Richard Wankmuller will retire from the position in mid-2021. Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack noted that he will leave Inland Rail in a strong position, and that leadership team established by Richard "has shown a strong commitment to working with communities, a legacy that will continue as ARTC delivers this essential freight backbone for Australia.” See further details here.
Ventia has appointed Dean Banks as Group Chief Executive Officer. Dean was previously the Chief Executive Officer, UK Construction Services, Balfour Beatty plc (a FTSE 250 listed infrastructure company). David Moffatt has now stepped back to his role as Ventia’s Chairman. Dean said: “I am proud and privileged to be appointed the new Group Chief Executive Officer of Ventia. It’s an exciting time following the acquisition of Broadspectrum which affords us with a rare and exciting opportunity to create a truly world-class essential services organisation with safety as our number one brand promise. I believe Ventia has the scale and quality of people to uniquely assist our clients to achieve their objectives in the Australian and New Zealand markets.” Dean commenced in the role from January and is based in Sydney.
At WSP, Rowan Dick has been appointed as National Executive for the Planning and Mobility Team. His experience includes Rowan has managing the Hobsons Bay Transport Planning Study for Victoria's Department of Transport, as well as serving as Project Director for the Tram Stop Rollout Strategy, aligning designs for new tram stops with the DoT’s Movement and Place Framework and User Mindsets.
RA has provided a pre-Budget submission to the Commonwealth Treasury, setting our priority areas for investment and policy reform ahead of the Federal Budget due to be delivered on 11 May.
Among the key recommendations put forward are:
- Funding to support collaborative cross-jurisdictional efforts to advance procurement reform;
- Funding to accelerate reform around road user charging and investment;
- Funding for pilot multi-jurisdiction collaborative transport research projects;
- Supporting the establishment of a small-scale vehicle manufacturing Co-operative Research Centre;
- Providing matched funding to support and accelerate state/territory mass transit projects;
- Investing in the establishment of a national road worker safety program through the Office of Road Safety;
- Funding to facilitate a national approach to promote sustainable transport infrastructure, including the use of recycled materials in road construction;
- Grant funding to support state/territory projects that advance the National Hydrogen Strategy; and
- Providing resources to facilitate the operations of the Office of Future Transport Technologies over the full forward estimates period.
On 6 May 2021, RA will again host government, industry and community representatives in Brisbane for Spotlight on Safety to hear from the leaders in road safety and showcase some of the latest innovations designed to create a safer environment for all road users. With the next National Road Safety Strategy to 2030 being developed, the event is an ideal opportunity to become involved in the discussion that will help frame key aspects of this strategy. More details here.
Also keep an eye out for a new Policy Insights piece RA will be publishing next week, based on our International Insights webinar that addressed the use of hydrogen fuel cell technology in our public transport system.
The Federal Government last week released a Future Fuels Strategy Discussion Paper, which considers the role of a mix of technologies, including traditional fuel, hybrid, hydrogen fuel cell, electric and bio-fuelled vehicles. There is opportunity for industry participants to provide comment on the issues raised in the Discussion Paper, with submissions closing on 2 April.
Federal Parliament is undertaking an inquiry into the skilled migration program, to determine if any immediate adjustments are necessary in the context of the future of work and pandemic recovery and whether the program is meeting the needs of industries and businesses and keeping pace with Australia's job landscape. Submissions close on 1 March.
The NSW Government is hailing another major milestone on the WestConnex project, with roadheaders making their way through the M4-M5 Link Tunnels into the M8 Motorway, connecting the two stages of the project for the first time. NSW Minister for Transport & Roads said the tunnels "will change the way people move around Sydney, providing a link between the M4, M8 and through to the M5 corridor as well as connections to future motorway projects including Sydney Gateway, M6 Stage 1 and the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link via the Rozelle Interchange."
In Victoria, the Level Crossing Removal Project continues apace, with Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan confirming level crossings at Oakover Road, Bell Street, Cramer Street and Murray Road in Preston will be removed by the end of 2022. The works will also see new rail stations at Bell and Preston and significant new open space under the two-kilometre rail bridge ready for the public to use in 2023.
Enhanced road safety is the focus of a new partnership between the Queensland Government, the Gold Coast SUNS and AFL Queensland. The partnership will see the SUNS will promote road safety messaging to fans, club members, corporate partners and the wider community via the club’s digital channels and at Metricon Stadium home games.
In South Australia, the State Government has announced the Master Advisory Services contract for the final stage of the North-South Corridor has been awarded to SA based joint venture Aurecon Mott MacDonald. SA Minister for Infrastructure & Transport Corey Wingard noted that "Aurecon Mott MacDonald JV have extensive experience in projects of similar size and complexity, including the North-East Link, WestConnex, Torrens to Darlington and other major road projects in South Australia."
In Western Australia, the State Government confirmed that Laing O'Rourke Australia Construction, Arup Australia and WSP Australia will form an alliance with Main Roads to guide the next stage of work to replace the old Fremantle Traffic Bridge. The project was expedited to promote post-COVID economic recovery in WA, and will include enhanced active transport infrastructure via a new dedicated pedestrian and cycling path.
RA's membership continues to grow, and this week we are pleased to welcome Bamser. Established in 2008, Bamser provides frontline advisory services to clients on complex infrastructure projects across Australia and internationally, and has particular expertise around road, rail and tunnelling projects. You can learn more about Bamser's transport infrastructure expertise here.
RA is also proud to have become a Strategic Partner of Healthy Heads in Trucks & Sheds. This not-for-profit foundation has been created to promote the prevention and understanding of mental health issues in truck drivers, distribution centre and warehouse staff, and other road transport industry participants, as well as to support healthier options around diet, exercise and individual wellbeing. Learn more about the foundation and its work here.
RA member Holcim Australia is conducting a Future Safe Industry Heavy Vehicle and Pedestrian Safety Forum on 24 March 2021 to raise awareness and improve safety standards and practices in the construction, road transport and associated industries. 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.
Infrastructure Australia is in the process of developing its 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan - and is seeking industry involvement in a nation-wide research survey of public and private infrastructure owners, delivers, operators, and supply chain partners that will help inform development of the Plan.
Office of Projects Victoria (OPV) is seeking Expressions of Interest from infrastructure construction, consulting, engineering and design professionals to provide an industry guest speaker perspective in the commercial training course run for government staff involved in infrastructure projects. The time commitment is one hour and this is a non-paid opportunity. The course is attended by senior project, procurement and commercial managers from Victorian Government infrastructure agencies and will run four times in 2021. If interested, please email an EOI to firstname.lastname@example.org
Post Graduate Study for 2021 focusing on roads, infrastructure and asset management whilst learning from thought leaders and influencers in their field is a smart career move. CPEE’s programs are attended by leaders across road and transport agencies, consulting, government and industry. A recent Masters Graduate, Jennifer Kemp, Senior Pavement Engineer at Aurecon said: “Studying my Masters with CPEE was flexible and has allowed me to strengthen and deepen my specialist pavement expertise, giving me the confidence and knowledge to be able to tackle and solve real-life roads and pavement challenges.” For 2021, CPEE are excited to announce a collaborative partnership with the Asset Management Council (AMCouncil). AMCouncil chair Dave Daines said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with CPEE who are known for delivering excellence in education in roads, pavements and asset management, whilst leveraging the expertise of AMCouncil to deliver this new course to the industry – Grad Cert in Asset Management - starting in semester one, 2021.” CPEE’s suite of programs are delivered flexibly online and encompass short courses through to higher degree accredited programs of Grad Certificate and Masters. Enrolments are now occurring for Semester 1 - learn more here.
RA members can take advantage of a 15% discount being offered by the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) for a short course titled 'Infrastructure Delivery - Time for a Reset'. The course - which commences on 3 March - will be offered via in-person and online options, and will examine issues through a practitioner lens, considering the different perspectives of government, contractors, operators and investors in forging solutions across the entire lifecycle. Please email DABshortcourses@uts.edu.au with your expression of interest.
Diversity & Social Responsibility
Book now for RA's fourth Emerging Leaders Annual Gala Dinner and Award Presentation on 11 March in Sydney, which promises to be an evening of stellar networking for our ELs. Our events across Australia have brought together thousands of emerging leaders to share ideas and experiences, and to hear from current leaders about the challenges of 'stepping up' to the next level. We will also be formally presenting the 2020 Emerging Leaders 'PPP' Award to our winner Rezarta Rushitaj, and hearing from our 2019 award winner Verity Williams.
RA members can also register now for our International Women's Day webinar, an interactive session discussing the theme of 2021, #ChooseToChallenge. This event will bring together senior leaders to hear directly from students and education professionals to consider what more we can be doing to enhance the attraction and retention of women in our industry moving forward.
RA's D&I Committee held its first meeting for 2021 this week, discussing the best way to carry forward the Culture & Inclusion recommendations contained in RA's Procurement Reform Report. There were also presentations from Robogals - Madeleine McManus OAM, Global Director and Collette Burke, CEO Exner Group and Partnerships Committee Member - about effective approaches to inspiring and empowering young women to consider studying engineering and related fields.
RA has now established an online resource library to publish thought leadership papers, best practice policies and examples of diversity and inclusion in action in the industry. The resource library will be open for members and strategic partners to contribute and available to members and non-members. We would welcome additional material for inclusion - please submit material to Marlie Curtis at RA.
2020 RA Emerging Leaders Award runner-up Samantha Dungey has written 'I want to be an Engineer' - a book that celebrates some of Australia’s everyday engineering marvels and encourages STEM careers to girls and boys as both an exciting and world changing career. Learn more about the book and purchase a copy here.
Upcoming Industry Events/Training
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