This week the Federal Government released the 2021 Intergenerational Report (IGR), which examines how demographic, technological and other structural trends may affect the economy and the budget over the next 40 years.
Perhaps the most striking aspect of the IGR is that population growth and our labour force participation are both lower than previously forecast in the 2015 IGR. Essentially, this means that enhanced productivity becomes an even more vital to sustaining our economy and standard of living.
In recent history, transport infrastructure construction has not enjoyed the same growth in productivity as many of the other major parts of the economy. RA has previously put forward a number of recommendations from our Procurement Reform Report which - if applied by governments across Australia - should lead to significant improvements in productivity and workforce participation (through attracting a more diverse workforce to the sector).
While lower population growth may lead some to reconsider the expenditure on transport infrastructure currently underway in Australia, given the infrastructure backlog in Australia, and the benefits to the economy that these projects deliver, halting these projects now would be short-sighted.
The impacts of climate change, and the necessary adjustments to the economy to reduce emissions will also require massive changes to the transport sector, one of the largest emitters in Australia. Governments should be planning and acting on this required transition now - so they can mitigate the economic impacts while preparing to capitalise on the opportunities it will provide.
This IGR is not a signal to pull back on investment in transport infrastructure. Rather, we should be embracing the opportunity to catch up - and set the nation on a course to grow sustainably in a post-COVID world that is increasingly alert to the need for resilient, sustainable infrastructure.
Stay well and safe
Chief Executive Officer
The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has appointed Andrew McKellar as its new CEO. He is currently CEO of the Australian Trucking Association and has an extensive background in transport issues, having previously served as CEO of the Australian Automobile Association (AAA), the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) and as Secretary General for Automobile Mobility and Tourism at the Federation International de l’Automobile. He will commence at ACCI in August.
The Freight and Logistics Council of WA (FLCWA) has appointed a new chair, with Megan McCracken replacing outgoing chair Nicole Lockwood. Ms. McCracken is currently chairs the board of the National Association of Women in Operations (NAWO) and has three decades of experience across the rail, resources, energy and automotive sectors. During this time, she has served on the boards and policy committees of many national freight and logistics organisations, including the Australian Logistics Council (ALC).
Following the weekend's Federal Cabinet reshuffle, the Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP has been confirmed as the new Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development.
As part of International Women In Engineering Day (#IWED21), last week, RA member WSP teamed up with Engineers Australia to host a virtual panel discussion which explored ways to expand opportunities for women in the sector and create a more diverse workforce.
You can now check out the video of the discussion - click here to watch. Alternatively, you can download the highlights from the discussion.
One of RA's D&I partners, the National Association of Women in Operations (NAWO) is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a special offer for those considering becoming an individual member, as well as for students or jobseekers, and those wishing to become a male ally supporting women in operations. For more information about the offer and NAWO membership, click here.
Remember, if you have news or achievements in the D&I space to share with readers of RA Insider, please submit them to Prue Northey.
In road safety news, a new offence has come into effect in NSW this week which attracts higher penalties for those caught both drink and drug driving at the same time. Research indicates that the combined use of illicit drugs and alcohol increases the risk of a fatal crash by 23 times. The new measures target those with the highest road safety risk and repeat offenders, and entail increased fine levels and increased minimum disqualification periods. Alcohol interlocks will be mandatory for those convicted of a combined drink and drug driving offence, and vehicle sanctions may also apply. Learn more here.
Also in the road safety space, the Queensland Government has launched a new campaign to highlight the impact of crashing without a seatbelt, following a rise in the number of fatalities among unrestrained drivers and passengers. The campaign includes footage demonstrating the drastic impact of a crash at only 40km/h on restrained versus unbelted test dummies, and encourages viewers to use seatbelts every time. The new StreetSmarts campaign is being rolled out across television and digital outlets, social media, at sporting events and at petrol stations. View the campaign here.
In South Australia, a new Ten Year Level Crossing Removal Program will identify crossing removals that deliver the greatest community dividend. Planning work will entail community engagement, survey geo-technical investigations, constructability assessments, design development, cost estimates and the development of business cases. The SA Government will then identify and fast-track the top five project for priority funding and delivery. More details of the announcement can be seen here.
High-profile speakers from Uber, the government and the public sector have been locked in to share their insight into the future of integrated mobility at the upcoming ARRB Symposium in Melbourne on November 17-19. Uber’s Public Policy and Government Affairs senior advisor, Polly Epov, will discuss the future of delivery and role of micro-freight, while Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) Director-General Neil Scales OBE, TMR Deputy Director-General Amanda Yeates and Victorian Department of Transport Secretary Paul Younis are also confirmed speakers. Victoria’s Parliamentary Secretary for Transport, Vicki Ward, will join TMR Chief Engineer Dennis Walsh and Monash University public transport expert Professor Graham Currie to talk policy, technology, public transit and infrastructure. The program for the ARRB Symposium can be found here. Discounted ticket prices are available for a limited time as part of an End of Financial Year special.
CPEE continues to deliver excellence in roads, pavement and education, with higher degree programs in Pavement Technology attended by leaders across Roads 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”. Enrolments are happening RIGHT NOW for 2nd Semester. For course details, visit the website.
RA member 3M has produced an eBook will help you understand the benefits of wet continuous retroreflective pavement markings and the consequences of sticking with standard markings. It is easy to see line markings on a bright, sunny day. But what about at night? Or rainy conditions? During these conditions, low level retroreflective markings disappear, leading to impaired driver visibility. Therefore the type of markings you choose is critical to helping keep drivers safe in all conditions. A recent independent study shows that wet weather line markings reduce wet-night crashes by 32% and wet-night fatal crashes by up to 49%. The eBook sets out why choosing the right road markings matters. To learn more and request an eBook, click here.
As COVID-19 related restrictions have been reinstituted across several states and territories over the past week, construction has remained classified as an essential activity, meaning on-site work for projects has largely been able to continue.
However, it is important to ensure that teams are complying with COVID-related safety requirements and adhering to other restrictions imposed during lockdowns. This is not only important to protect the safety of our workforce, but also to demonstrate to the wider community how seriously our industry takes its obligations in this respect. Be sure to stay in touch with safety leaders within your organisation and to monitor the relevant COVID-19 websites in your state/territory to make certain you are keeping up-to-date with requirements.
Several presentations from those who spoke during sessions at last month's 2021 RA Transport Summit are now available to download. Additional presentations will be uploaded to the site as final versions for publication are received from speakers.
The innovative lighting displays used in Sydney's NorthConnex tunnel have been recognised internationally, with the project receiving an Excellence Award at the International Association of Lighting Designers Awards. Transurban NSW Group Executive Michele Huey said: “Since it opened in October, drivers on our city’s newest motorway have loved driving under the lighting displays, and now the experts agree. The Excellence Award recognises lighting design that reaches new heights, moves beyond the ordinary, and represents excellence in aesthetic and technical design achievement."
The lighting display deploys an innovative advanced LED lighting system to ensure motorists can safely transition from bright daylight to the darker interior tunnel section, and were installed after extensive research exploring how to help keep drivers alert and engaged. See this video for more.
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 Manager Membership & Programs Prue Northey
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