Last Thursday Roads Australia recognised the outstanding contributions that two individuals have made to our industry over many years during the John Shaw Dinner in Sydney.
The John Shaw Medal honours an industry champion who has made a lasting contribution to Australia's roads. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no medal was awarded in 2020 and it was decided that in 2021 it was fitting to award a medal to two individuals - Neil Scales OBE and Ray Farrelly OAM.
Neil Scales OBE currently leads the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads with over 9000 staff in more than 100 locations across the state.
He is responsible for an annual budget of almost $10B (including capital expenditure of $3.5B), and manages assets worth in excess of $80B. He is well-recognised for delivering a number of major projects including the Toowoomba Bypass and Gold Coast Light Rail. He successfully led the transport task for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and responses to several natural disasters, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Neil sits on five national transport boards (including Roads Australia) and is Australia's First Delegate of the World Road Association. Prior to 2012, Neil was one of the UK's most senior public transport executives who was awarded Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to public transport.
Ray Farrelly OAM was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 2019 to recognise his significant contribution to civil engineering and the road construction industry through pavement education and skills training.
Ray was instrumental in establishing the Centre for Pavement Engineering Education (CPEE) in 1996 as a nationally registered higher education learning and teaching body. This enabled CPEE to operate as a post graduate educational provider offering a Graduate Certificate and a Masters in Pavements. This was subsequently complemented through a partnership with the University of Tasmania offering a Bachelor of Engineering Technology (with Professional Honours) in “Infrastructure Asset Management” and in “Road Engineering and Construction”. These specialist qualifications were unique offerings - not only in Australia, but world-wide.
Prior to joining CPEE, Ray was influential in training and developing road pavement professionals through his work as CEO of the Australian Asphalt Pavement Association (AAPA) in the early 1980s, where he established the AAPA Training and Advisory Centre.
During the evening, I was also pleased to announce the winner of the RA Champion Award. This award is judged by the RA staff team and acknowledges an individual who has shown exceptional support for Roads Australia.
This year's winner is Clare Gardiner-Barnes, in recognition of her almost five years as a member of the RA Board, and during which time Clare led two of RA’s policy streams, contributing greatly to RA’s capacity to propose coherent, consistent policy solutions for our industry on critical issues, especially around procurement. The Award also recognises Clare's significant role in the growth of RA’s Diversity and Inclusion program, as well as her active participation as a mentor in the RA Fellowship program.
Thank you to all those who took part in this special evening recognising some of our industry's most outstanding contributors.
Chief Executive Officer
Another highlight of last week's John Shaw Dinner in Sydney was the opportunity to present membership certificates to those new members who have joined RA over the last two years.
Preferred Bidder Chosen for North East Link
The Federal and Victorian Governments have announced the preferred bidder for the tunnelling package for the North East Link - Victoria's biggest road project.
North East Link will connect the M80 Ring Road to an upgraded Eastern Freeway, reducing journey times by up to 35 minutes and diverting heavy vehicles away from local roads.
The Spark consortium - which comprises RA members Webuild, CPB Contractors, Ventia and Pacific Partnerships along with GS Engineering and Construction, China Construction Oceania, Capella Capital, John Laing Investments and DIF - will deliver the twin three-lane tunnels and key interchanges for the project. The tunnelling package will be delivered as a Public Private Partnership (PPP), with the concept design expected to be available before the end of the year.
Once the tunnelling package is finalised, other key elements of the project will go out to market. These include a major overhaul of the Eastern Freeway, Melbourne’s first dedicated busway, the completion of the M80 Ring Road and more than 25 kilometres of new and upgraded active transport infrastructure.
See more here.
Last week's John Shaw Dinner in Sydney also provided an opportunity to publicly thank and acknowledge RA's National Event & Membership Manager Marlie Curtis, who will be leaving RA on Friday 2 July to take up a new opportunity.
Marlie has played an integral role in managing member engagement and stakeholder relations, and her professional and attentive approach has been a vital factor in maintaining RA's strong sponsorship support during her time with us. Marlie's enthusiasm and dedication has also been a key element in the growth and success of RA's Emerging Leaders Program, Fellowship Mentoring Program, international delegations and RA's Diversity and Inclusion Program over recent years, all of which make a crucial contribution to enhancing our industry's profile in the wider community. Of course, Marlie has also been a friendly and familiar face for RA members at many of our events over the four-and-a-half years she has been with us, and has been a vital support to the RA team in the delivery of the events program.
RA wishes Marlie all the very best with her new role and thanks her for her outstanding contribution to the organisation during her time as part of the team.
Prue Northey, who has been part of the RA team for the past two years, will become RA's Manager - Membership & Programs.
Altus Traffic CEO Jeff Doyle is leaving the organisation after over 6 years in the role. Jeff is well known to RA members for his incredible passion for and dedication to improving safety outcomes, and has been Deputy Chair of RA's Safety Policy Stream and chair of our Road Worker Safety Working Group. He has spoken at numerous RA events, and was heavily involved in our recent Spotlight on Safety event in Brisbane. Altus has announced that Ben Marsonet will become the company's new CEO.
AECOM has appointed Roger Jeffries as ANZ Technical Practice Lead, Transport Advisory. He has been with AECOM for over 11 years and has 20 years experience in the industry. He is recognised as a technical leader on major transport and urban infrastructure and services projects.
Downer has announced the appointment of its new Chairman, with Mark Chellew set to replace Mike Harding with effect from 1 September. Mr Chellew is currently Chairman of Cleanaway Waste Management and has 40 years of experience in the building materials and related industries, including as Managing Director of Adelaide Brighton and executive positions at Blue Circle Cement in the United Kingdom and the CSR group of companies in both Australia and the United Kingdom.
Mott MacDonald has added two new technical directors in the rail space to its Victorian team. Nikky Smales brings 23 years of experience as a rail engineer, having led design teams across 14 countries. Also joining the team is Roy E. Unny who has over 25 years of experience in transport and infrastructure systems and operations domestically and internationally.
Yesterday was International Women In Engineering Day (#IWED21), and RA members took the opportunity to highlight the contributions women are making to our industry's workforce. Aurecon marked the occasion with a short video featuring some of their senior leaders talking about what working in engineering means to them, and a video from WSP highlighted the importance of gender balance in STEM careers for bringing new perspectives to everyday challenges. The team at AECOM shared a collection of articles written by their women engineers showcasing the impact their work has for communities.
Austroads and the Centre for Pavement Engineering Education (CPEE) also celebrated International Women in Engineering Day by launching the Women Leading in
Roads, Pavements & Asset Management Scholarship. The scholarship will support post graduate study in
Roads, Pavements, Transport, Construction and Asset Management with CPEE.
CPEE CEO Madeleine McManus OAM said: “Roads, Pavements and Asset design and performance, optimisation, sustainability and management are essential principles which underpin best practice. Gaining a depth of knowledge in these areas with academics who are leading practitioners in their fields, will accelerate your understanding in an area which is thriving and will position you well for future success.” Learn more here.
As Refugee Week continues, EastLink's Managing Director Charles Griplas has announced the company is supporting migrant and refugee families through a $100,000 donation to Reading Out Of Poverty - a non-profit organisation providing early literacy skills and school preparedness for children aged 0-5 years from a disadvantaged background. The organisation's CEO Andrew Kay said, “This level of support will allow us to reach 20,000 migrant and refugee families in the region with children’s books, literacy starter packs and specialised tutoring.” See further details here.
This week the Federal Government announced the addition of 22 occupations to the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL). This included a number of roles relevant to the delivery of transport infrastrucutre projects, including electrical engineer, structural engineer, geotechnical engineer and transport engineer.
This is a welcome development and is in line with recommendations RA put forward in our joint submission with the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) to Federal Parliament's Inquiry into Australia's Skilled Migration Program earlier this year.
RA and the ARA issued a joint media statement outlining how the changes will help our industry deliver the massive national pipeline of transport infrastructure projects.
RA welcomed the significant measures included in this week's NSW State Budget designed to escalate uptake of zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs) by waiving stamp duty and offering rebates for ZEVs purchased in NSW from 1 September this year, as well as making significant investments in vehicle charging infrastructure.
RA also noted the shift to ZEVs will require us to review the way we pay for road infrastructure. Victoria has already legislated a modest road user charge for ZEVs. This week's South Australian State Budget confirms plans to introduce legislation for a similar charge in the coming weeks, and NSW has also acknowledged this question will need to be addressed. Given the complexity of the issues involved, it is important that all remaining jurisdictions begin work on the issue in preparation for the impending changes.
Additional investment in charging infrastructure nationally is vital to ensure there is an accessible and reliable network in place for ZEVs carrying passengers and freight.
Following a vote in Federal Parliament this week that will prevent the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) investing in EV charging equipment, RA was quoted in this story in the Australian Financial Review. We noted wide industry support for decarbonisation of the transport sector through measures such as increased use of electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and said the issue was too important to get bogged down in technical arguments about which pool funding is drawn from.
RA issued a statement welcoming the significant incentives to promote uptake of zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs) contained in the NSW State Budget announced on Tuesday. More broadly, the Budget invests in a number of major transport infrastructure projects in NSW. This includes $6bn for the Sydney Metro City and Southwest and Sydney Metro West projects, $1.2 billion to continue construction of the WestConnex project, and funding to commence construction of the Sydney Gateway project and the M6 Stage 1 Extension. A more detailed breakdown of the transport infrastructure projects across Greater Sydney supported in the NSW Budget can be viewed here.
There is also a breakdown of projects in regional NSW available here.
The South Australian Government also handed down its Budget on Tuesday, containing a record spend for that jurisdiction on transport and infrastructure projects. Highlights include a $202 million investment to build the Truro Bypass on the Sturt Highway, $180 million for further duplication works on the Augusta Highway, and a further $105 million investment in the state's Road Safety Package, boosting the total package to $315 million for works including shoulder sealing, audio tactile line marking and physical barriers to prevent run-off road crashes. A more detailed list of measures can be found here.
Road Safety Victoria and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) are sponsoring $70,500 worth of Regional and Rural Scholarships to attend the Australasian Road Safety Conference 2021 in Melbourne on 28-30 September. The scholarships are available to those working in road safety in regional and rural areas outside of the capital cities of all Australian states and territories (and New Zealand regions). Applications close on 30 June - see more details here.
In Western Australia, RA member Decmil has been awarded a contract to deliver significant works on the Great Eastern Highway at Wooroloo, which involve the realignment of a two-kilometre section of the road that will remove three substandard curves and improve safety and visibility for motorists. The project is being funded in an 80:20 contribution between the Federal and WA Governments and construction is expected to begin as early as July.
RA member Redflex has been acquired by Verra Mobility, creating a large multinational company capable of delivering innovative Intelligent Transportation Solutions globally. Both companies will continue to operate under their current names, and their associated products and branding will remain as they exist today until long-term plans are in place. The acquisition will also see Mark J. Talbot, who served as Redflex Group CEO, join Verra Mobility’s executive leadership team as Executive Vice President to head the organisation's Government Solutions business segment. Additional details are available here.
A competition in underway to name a tunnel boring machine (TBM) on the Snowy Hydro 2.0 project, and Victoria's first Chief Engineer and Managing Director of Exner Group Dr Collette Burke is among the names you can vote for. To learn more about the the competition and to cast your vote, click here.
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
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.
To unsubscribe, click here.
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.