16 June Insider - 29 May 2020 by Roads Admin General, Insider 0 Comment 5 Views From the CEO's Desk The RA Board met earlier this month to review our work program and endorse the newly revised Strategic Plan that will take us through to 2022. Strategically, a key focus of the coming 12 months will be on consolidating our position as a voice of influence - recognised by government, industry and the community as driving value and connectedness for the Australian roads and integrated transport sector. In terms of our current program, we have added several new events and tweaked others to reflect shifting priorities (such as resilience and the impacts of COVID on different aspects of the infrastructure business). This week's Mobility as a Service (Maas) webinar, for example, looked at challenges and opportunities through the prism of COVID. One of the lessons RA has taken out of this whole COVID experience is that webinars can work very effectively. That is not to say we won't be returning to face-to-face events as soon as it is safe to do so, but beyond COVID we will continue to use the webinar platform when and wherever it suits. It is worth noting too that our key stakeholders have embraced this new engagement model. Over the past two weeks we have hosted very successful webinars with NSW Transport and Roads Minister Andrew Constance; Head of Transport Services at the Victorian Department of Transport Jeroen Weimar, and Infrastructure and Project Financing Agency CEO Leilani Frew. In June we will host (among others) Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas and Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey. A full list of coming events/workshops is included below. Over the last two months, RA has been tracking industry concerns around COVID-19. These concerns have changed as the focus has turned towards post COVID-19. At the beginning it was about continuity and pipeline, which evolved into longer term concerns about: procurement reform; industry capability and capacity; resilience and sustainability of infrastructure; safety (road workers, users and infrastructure); transport reform (EVs, AVs and funding/pricing); diversity and inclusion; and journey reliability (network integration/MaaS). These latest survey concerns were the subject of our RA CEO Workshop on 13 May. Further information on the RA COVID-19 survey results can also be found in the RA media releases of 27 March and 17 April. Finally, I want to remind you about our Road Work podcast series. The latest episode has just been published, and if you are interested in diversity and inclusion and what it might look like post-COVID, I urge you to download it and have a listen. Stay safe and well. Michael Kilgariff Businesses respond to COVID-19 challenges COVID-19 has forced 70 per cent of Australian businesses to change how they operate, according to results from the fourth Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) survey on Business Impacts of COVID-19. ABS Head of Industry Statistics John Shepherd said this week the survey also showed that seven in 10 businesses (72 per cent) had a decrease in revenue as a result of COVID-19. “Businesses that had changed the way they operate were more than twice as likely to report a decrease in revenue compared with those that were trading normally, 83 per cent against 37 per cent,” Mr Shepherd said. The survey also found that almost three quarters of businesses accessed support measures as a result of COVID-19. This included accessing wage subsidies (55 per cent) and other government support measures (38 per cent). Looking ahead, government restrictions are expected to continue to have an effect, with businesses reporting they expect some level of impact from social distancing measures (71 per cent), restrictions on trading (63 per cent) and travel restrictions (50 per cent) in the next two months. 2.1 billion plan to bust North Brisbane congestion The Queensland Government has this month unveiled a $2.1 billion congestion-busting road plan for Moreton Bay and North Brisbane commuters. The plan backs a new arterial road, informally dubbed the ‘Moreton Connector’, to be built between Dohles Rocks Road at Murrumba Downs and Anzac Avenue at Mango Hill. It would also deliver upgrades to the Gateway Motorway, Gympie Road and the Bruce Highway, including new north facing ramps at Dohles Rocks Road. Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey says both the State and Federal governments have locked funding into future budgets for the northside upgrades, with both governments committed to working with Moreton Bay Regional Council to deliver the proposed new road. “The Gateway Motorway, Bruce Highway and Gympie Road in this part of Brisbane’s outer northern suburbs collectively carry about 310,000 vehicles a day,” Mr Bailey said. “That’s 100,000 more vehicles a day than on the busiest section of the M1, so it’s clear a plan is needed for new roads and major upgrades there. “This is the plan that will deliver those upgrades.” Victorian recycling needs $1 billion investment by 2039 to close loop on waste Victoria can transform its resource and recycling sector to recover up to 90 per cent of its waste with $1 billion of investment in infrastructure from both government and the private sector by 2039, according to Infrastructure Victoria. Advice from Infrastructure Victoria released this month suggests upgrading or building new processing infrastructure for six priority materials – plastics, paper, cardboard, glass, organics, tyres and e-waste – would create over 5000 new jobs and create high quality, recycled products for use in major infrastructure projects, manufacturing and agriculture. Regional Victoria stands to benefit most from significantly increased processing capacity, with the advice recommending 52 out of 87 new or upgraded facilities be located outside of metropolitan Melbourne. Infrastructure Victoria CEO Michel Masson said the advice contained all the elements for Victoria to develop a world-class recycling and resource recovery system within the next two decades. “By encouraging investment in new infrastructure and developing new uses for recycled products, we can transform to a circular economy,” he said. The report finds Victoria will need to boost its recycling capacity by more than three million tonnes to 2039 to meet targets and address the issues of stockpiling and illegal dumping. Other key recommendations include: support the establishment of safe and clean waste to energy facilities for waste that cannot be recycled; provide greater clarity of roles and responsibilities for Victorian Government bodies involved in recycling and resource recovery; collaborate with the Australian government to foster a repair culture and expand product stewardship and producer responsibility schemes; and consider levies or bans on specific materials, such as non-recyclable coffee cups, where viable alternatives exist. The report’s 13 recommendations were developed in consultation with government and industry stakeholders to align with the recently released Recycling Victoria: a new economy policy and associated programs like Recycled first. Policy Roads Australia will be hosting an on-line workshop on 18 June to discuss principles and priorities for a future transport and mobility environment, with a specific focus on bus infrastructure and modal integration of bus services. Registration for this workshop will open shortly. Industry Tenders have been called for the design and construction of the $93 million Leach Highway and Welshpool Road Interchange project. The scope of works includes a new road bridge to carry Leach Highway over Welshpool Road and an additional road bridge on Leach Highway over the Armadale railway line, Railway Parade and Sevenoaks Street. With construction set to commence later this year, the upgrade is one of 24 transport projects being fast-tracked to support the WA economy on the road out of COVID-19. WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti last week announced the awarding of two major METRONET contracts - the Bayswater Station upgrade and the removal of the Denny Avenue level crossing. Evolve Bayswater Alliance (Coleman Rail and Decmil) won the contract to design and build the new METRONET Bayswater Station project, while Downer EDI was awarded the contract to remove the Denny Avenue level crossing. As well as designing and building a new four-platform station and all associated track, signalling, civil, drainage and overhead line works, the Evolve Bayswater Alliance will build a rail turnback for the Forrestfield-Airport Link, a new bridge at King William Street/Coode Street and make provision to support a connection to the Morley-Ellenbrook Line. Still in WA, the State Government is expediting historic planning reforms through the Parliament to support the wider economic response to the coronavirus pandemic. Upon the passing of the legislation (currently before the Legislative Council), a new development application process will be immediately introduced to support significant, job-creating projects for the next 18 months. The legislative reforms will be supported by changes to planning regulations and State planning policies, and add to the launch of Design WA policies last year which prioritise the importance of good design in planning and development. A number of COVID-response road funding packages have been announced over the past fortnight. The Queensland Government has brought forward more than $400 million in new funding, including $200 million to increase resilience, widen and seal key freight routes and upgrade older bridges and culverts across regional areas of the State. Meantime, the Victorian Government has unlocked $328 million for transport works, including road maintenance, as part of its $2.7 billion investment in shovel-ready projects. The NSW Government has committed a $100 million stimulus package for regional road and maintenance works, to come out of its $2.3 billion COVID-19 package announced in March. The NSW Government has signed two construction contracts worth about $600 million to modernise and upgrade rail infrastructure. The Next Rail partnership, comprising John Holland and Jacobs, will deliver a range of upgrade projects from Central to Hurstville, including stabling yards, signalling, track, station platforms and power supply. The Transport for Tomorrow partnership comprising Laing O’Rourke and KBR will deliver similar works between Mortdale and Kiama. Construction will begin in the middle of this year and be completed in advance of service improvements, which are planned for late 2022. New findings from Infrastructure Victoria show Melburnians are willing to embrace greater urban density if the area has good access to public transport, quality urban design and green open space. The findings are contained in a report released last week by Infrastructure Victoria based on consultation last October with residents from three established Melbourne suburbs. One of Australia’s biggest concrete recycling projects has helped turn more than 200,000 tonnes of the old cracked surface of the M1 Pacific Motorway between Tuggerah and Doyalson into new pavement. The process saw a threshing machine used to break up the existing concrete pavement into football-sized pieces, which were then transferred to a mobile crushing plant where the rubble was refined into gravel and incorporated into the new surface. This particular section of the Motorway was built in the 1980s and is used by more than 70,000 vehicles each day. Meantime, another upgraded section of the M1 - Kariong to Somersby - opened to traffic yesterday. Further north, a 36-kilometre section of the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade between Glenugie and Tyndale has opened this month. This latest section was delivered by Pacific Complete, a joint venture between Laing O’Rourke and WSP. The Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade is the final link in the upgrade of the national highway between Hexham and the Queensland border, with the project now about 89 per cent complete. Transport for NSW has this week deployed a new Customer Management Team to help keep people safe on the Sydney Trains network.The dedicated team of 80 people is based at the new Rail Operations Centre, and will monitor 11,000 CCTV cameras and utilise new real time app technology to monitor patronage numbers and help facilitate physical distancing across the rail network. Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance says this latest initiative is part of the NSW Government’s COVIDSafe Transport Plan. RA member GTA Consultants has recently released a number of Insights papers tackling issues relating to the transportation and economic impact of COVID-19, and the opportunities for governments in response. Shovel Ready Projects and Improving Transport Corridors outline opportunities in deploying stimulus funding to create implementable improvements to our road networks, whilE Transport and Public Health explores the impact of modal choices on public health. Transport innovation The National Transport Commission has this month released two discussion papers that cover issues critical to Australia's roll-out of new vehicle technologies. Review of 'Guidelines for trials of automated vehicles in Australia' aims to identify whether existing guidelines have been useful to governments and trialling organisations, and whether they can be updated to further support a nationally consistent and safe approach to trials. Government access to vehicle-generated data explores policy options for government access and use of vehicle-generated data for the purposes of network operations, investment, maintenance, planning and road safety. Meantime, the Federal Government has released a Technology Investment Roadmap discussion paper, with the aim of bringing a strategic and system-wide focus to future investments in low emissions technologies. The Roadmap goals will be developed in consultation with industry, researchers and the financial sector, with progress reported through an annual Low Emissions Technology Statement. The Government has appointed a Ministerial Reference Panel, led by Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel, to support the development of the first Low Emissions Technology Statement, to be published later this year. Submissions on the discussion paper close 21 June. Diversity and social responsibility Next week is Reconciliation Week and on Tuesday 2 June (between 9 and 10.30am), Victoria's Training For The Future (TFTF) Transforming Transport Program will be hosting a Building Aboriginal Victoria: In This Together webinar to showcase new Aboriginal businesses. This is part of an industry-wide initiative aimed at building the industry's inclusion capability. TFTF is delivered by the Level Crossing Removal Project in partnership with the Rail Academy Newport, Rail Projects Victoria, Metro Trains Melbourne, Yarra Trams, V/Line, VicTrack and Public Transport Victoria. Upcoming RA events June 2 - Webinar with NT DIPL GM of Transport and Civil Services Louise McCormick. June 3 - Webinar with SA DPTI Chief Executive Tony Braxton-Smith. June 4 - Webinar with Qld DTMR Chief Engineer Dennis Walsh. Proudly sponsored by Arup. June 5 - Webinar with Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas. Proudly sponsored by Wamarra. June 10 - Webinar with TfNSW Deputy Secretary, Infrastructure and Place, Peter Regan. June 23 - Webinar with Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey. October 28 & 29 - RA Transport Summit, Sydney. Bookings now open. October 28 - John Shaw Dinner, Sydney. Bookings now open. The RA Insider is proudly sponsored by Cardno. 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