This week I was pleased to welcome Peter Frazer, President of the Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH) Group to the RA office.
Peter briefed myself and Jeff Doyle, CEO of Altus Traffic and Chair of the RA Road Worker Safety Group on plans for National Road Safety Week, which this year will run from 16-23 May.
Peter was also kind enough the share a few words about RA's support for National Road Safety Week - see the video below.
Release of the 2021 Infrastructure Priority List
Earlier today, Infrastructure Australia released the 2021 Infrastructure Priority List, which sets out the infrastructure projects and initiatives that should be prioritised for funding in order to promote optimal outcomes for the economy and the community.
This year's list adds a record 44 new projects and initiatives to the IPL, reflecting the vital role the delivery of infrastructure projects will play in supporting post-COVID economic recovery. There is a welcome focus on enhancing connectivity within Australia’s integrated transport networks.
From the perspective of our industry, the IPL confirms the pandemic will have long-lasting impacts on demand for transport infrastructure and services. This makes it more urgent that governments and industry work collaboratively to implement reforms like those outlined in RA’s Procurement Reform Report, that will permit our industry to adapt to this changed environment.
Click here to read RA's media statement.
RA's International Women's Day webinar on 9 March exploring the IWD theme of 2021, #ChooseToChallenge has proved extremely popular and is fully subscribed. 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.
This is a terrific chance for industry leaders and those embarking on their careers to engage in a meaningful discussion about what we can be doing better, as well as celebrating the achievements of those who have led change. If you are interested in joining the waitlist, please feel free to reach out to Rachael Rooney, RA Director - Events.
You can also 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. This year, we will be joined by Joost de Kock, Deputy Secretary, Customer Strategy and Technology at Transport for NSW who will deliver the keynote presentation and share insights from his leadership journey.
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.
The Australian Roads Research Board (ARRB) has announced that Dr Collette Burke will join the organisation, working as part of its Road Asset Performance team, which specialises in asset management, data collection and analysis, and infrastructure measurement. Dr Burke is well known as Victoria's inaugural Chief Engineer, a capacity in which she served for two-and-a-half years. Her role with ARRB will be strategic, highlighting the benefits of infrastructure measurement and data analysis to both government and the private sector.
In South Australia, Andrew Ockenden will become Executive Director - Public Affairs at the Department for Infrastructure and Transport. Andrew has significant experience in the infrastructure and transport sectors, having worked in senior roles across government and the private sector in Adelaide, Canberra and Sydney.
Qube Holdings Ltd has announced that its Managing Director Maurice James will step down from the role on 30 June 2021, and will formally retire from Qube at the end of December. Maurice has been with Qube since the company's formation, having previously worked in senior roles with Port of Melbourne and Patrick. Qube's current Chief Operating Officer Paul Digney has been appointed as the organisation's incoming Managing Director and will assume the role from 1 July this year.
Last week RA released our newest Policy Insights piece, which sets out the significant potential of hydrogen fuel cell technology to transition our public transport networks towards cleaner fuel solutions. Drawing on information presented during an RA International Insights webinar in December 2020, the piece explores some of the economic opportunities for Australia in hydrogen exports and advantages offered through its long-term storage potential. We also look at some of the practical advantages offered by hydrogen fuel cell powered buses over other low emissions vehicles, including more rapid charging and greater compatibility with existing depot infrastructure. Finally, the need for greater investment in enabling infrastructure (including delivery pipelines) is discussed - an issue also highlighted in the 2021 Infrastructure Priority List published by Infrastructure Australia today. You can download your copy here.
RA recently provided a submission to the NSW Parliament's inquiry into the Inland Rail project and regional NSW. Our submission encourages the NSW Government to maximise the project's potential benefits by pursuing early engagement with contractors, working collaboratively with ARTC Inland Rail to collaboratively assess and manage risks and use the project as an opportunity to enhance industry capacity in regional NSW, particularly around skills training. You can read RA's submission here.
RA is also developing submissions to the following policy consultations:
RA members wishing to provide feedback for consideration in the development of submissions should contact Royce Christie, RA's new Director - Policy.
This week the Office of Road Safety released the draft National Road Safety Strategy 2021 - 2030 and is calling for public comments to assist in its further development prior to finalisation and presentation to governments. The draft Strategy has three key themes: Safe Roads, Safe Vehicles and Safe Road Use, with speed management embedded within all three themes. These themes represent a continued commitment to the safe system approach and aim to strengthen all elements of our road transport system through improvements under each. RA will be making a submission and will encourage a particular focus on the safety of road workers.
In a related move, the House of Representatives voted this week to establish a Joint Select Committee on Road Safety, with the Senate expected to agree shortly. The Committee will examine the effectiveness of road safety programs nationally and will have until 1 July 2022 to report to Federal Parliament.
The Federal Government is inviting applications for grant funding that supports innovative research and technology contributing to a safer road system under Round 2 of the $12 million Road Safety Innovation Fund. There is $10 million available across the next three years, and eligible projects can include new technologies and delivery techniques, road safety management initiatives or research to develop policy and improve road safety outcomes. Further details can be seen here.
The NSW Government has made an additional $1 billion investment in its integrated transport system through the next wave of funding in its More Trains, More Services program. The measure will add hundreds of additional services weekly, including an 80 per cent increase in morning peak services at key stations on the T8 Airport Line, which will help to alleviate road congestion in the airport precinct.
The Victorian Government has announced RA members WSP and Seymour White have signed contracts to undertake design and early contract works as part of the $125 million Port Rail Transformation Project. This initiative is designed to reduce road congestion around the Port of Melbourne by allowing port users to utilise rail to efficiently move containers to distribution centres around Melbourne, including planned new intermodal freight terminals at Truganina and Beveridge. More details here.
In South Australia, Minister for Infrastructure & Transport Corey Wingard says around $233 million in contracts were awarded and tenders released by the SA during the first two months of this year. Expected tenders for release to market in the current month total at least $70 million and include pavement rehabilitation along Port Road between Junction Road and East Avenue, shoulder sealing on the Horrocks Highway and pavement rehabilitation along Golden Grove Road between North East Road and Park Lake Drive. See further details here.
Roads Australia is proud to welcome our newest member. Family-owned company MOITS has been a leading civil and construction contractor delivering projects across NSW for over 35 years and is characterised by strong industry relationships and repeat client work. MOITS now employs more than 300 people and offers expertise across demolition, excavation, remediation, shoring and site retention, underpinning, shotcrete, culverts, stormwater, sub-soil drainage, landscaping, relocation and diversion of services, pavements, kerbs & gutters, and electrical and communication works. Learn more via the MOITS website.
Two other RA members are joining forces, with Stantec signing an agreement to acquire GTA Consultants, enabling the organisation to better serve its clients by adding further depth to its transport sector service offerings. Joe Geller, Regional Leader Australia and New Zealand, Stantec said: “GTA has been involved—and remains involved—in many substantial transportation and social infrastructure projects in Australia, some already in conjunction with Stantec. Additionally, their culture of excellence and collaboration aligns beautifully with our core values, and we’re thrilled to welcome them to our growing global community.” For more details, click 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.
Three previous winners of RA’s John Shaw Medal and Ray Fisher Award for Technical Excellence – Max Lay, John Metcalf and Kieran Sharp have combined their experience and insights to author a book on the international history of road pavements, titled ‘Paving Our Ways’, which has now been published in the UK. The book will appeal to those interested in road paving, and in the history of engineering and transport, and can also serve as a text for courses in engineering history. See further details on the book here.
Protecting the safety of those engaged in the delivery of transport infrastructure is vitally important – yet available training options don’t always provide participants with proper awareness of how to understand, control and manage safety risks.
Safe Traffic Town (STT) is an online, real-time traffic management training platform developed through the collaboration of two industry experts, Exner Education and Road Safety Audits. The tool provides trainers with a contemporary, interactive training delivery system that enhances knowledge of traffic management, then tests students’ knowledge through realistic traffic management scenarios that reflect best practice.
The platform has been developed in response to fatalities among traffic management workers and road users. You can learn more about Safe Traffic Town through this article.
We will have many additional events rolling out over the coming weeks, so keep an eye on our website www.roads.org.au as new events are added to the program.
Event Enquiries - Contact RA Director Events Rachael Rooney
Booking Enquiries - Contact RA Event Coordinator Alex Smith
Upcoming Industry Events/Training
RA Insider is proudly sponsored by Cardno. If you'd like to add more people in your organisation to our distribution list, or if you have industry news to share, please email Simon Morgan - RA Director Corporate Affairs.
Copyright © 2021 Roads Australia. Roads Australia does not warrant, guarantee or make any representations regarding the currency, accuracy, correctness, reliability, useability, or any other aspect, of the material presented in Roads Australia Insider, nor of material provided by others to Roads Australia and presented in this newsletter, nor of material provided by others and accessed from this site using links or connections to their Web sites or distribution services. The user accepts sole responsibility and all risk for using material presented on or accessed from Roads Australia Insider. Roads Australia does not accept any liability for any loss or damage which may be incurred as a result of using Roads Australia Insider or any material presented in or accessed from Roads Australia Insider.