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NICOLA GRAYSON Registration – The Way Forward




CPRS vs. Direct Action – Who will Emerge Victorious?


JONATHAN CARTLEDGE Sydney Towards Tomorrow – Central Coast Community Consultation Forum



Your Free Copy of the 2009 Awards Ceremony on DVD




Contents AUTUMN 2010











From the President


From the CEO


Industry News


State News


Practice & Procurement


Contracts & Liability






Things Do Not Change, We Change


Economics & Taxation


Skills & Resources






Legal Outlook


AUTUMN 10 National Outlook



FROM THE PRESIDENT Paul Reed is the President of Consult Australia and WA Regional Director for consulting engineering firm, Parsons Brinckerhoff Australia

MARCH 2010 With the vote by the membership for a name change to your Association late last year, we begin 2010 with great opportunities to advance our efforts in creating a better business environment for all firms that provide professional and technical services to the built and natural environment. In many ways, the change of name and branding of the Association will do little to impact on the overall direction and focus of the National Office and State teams. They will continue with their current and ongoing agendas, responding to the changing market and regulatory circumstances that arise. I am sure you will agree with me that the number and range of issues that are being addressed by the Association is astounding but very necessary if we are to deliver value to the membership.

What the change of name will offer is the opportunity to market the value of the Association to new member firms that feel comfortable aligning themselves with our efforts. This will both widen the base of the membership as well as expand the networking opportunities across the existing membership. I am personally hopeful that with the changes there will also be the opportunity to extend and deepen the engagement of our member firms and those that work within them. While individuals who are active within the Association can readily appreciate the value of what is done and achieved, I am concerned that there are many influential people within those businesses who do not have a clear appreciation of what can be, and indeed, is being achieved through our collective efforts. This is particularly the case at State levels where the effectiveness of the Association agenda is heavily dependent on the voluntary efforts of State Committee members supported by the respective State Managers. I believe that in 2010 there is a need to refocus the States on creating greater member engagement through their various programs and so I will be making increased efforts personally and through the Board to generate and guide this focus. The Association of Consulting Engineers Australia has developed the profile and potential to exert considerable influence for the industry in which we all work. This year we will be working to ensure that those whom we seek to engage with understand the change of identity of the Association and that we continue to enhance our hard won reputation for constructive and factually based lobbying.

As our markets show increasingly positive signs of recovery during this early part of 2010 we all have a great opportunity to work together to strengthen the foundation of what has been created through the Association of Consulting Engineers Australia over many decades. I hope you will join with me in applauding the significant efforts of all those that have worked so hard over so many years within the ACEA and to look forward with great optimism to the future as we move to be known and recognised as Consult Australia.

Paul Reed Consult Australia President

National Outlook

Editor Julia Lemercier Communication & Production Coordinator Matilde Ejlertsen Advertising Enquiries Brandon Vigon (03) 8844 5822 *112 Email:

National Outlook is produced by Consult Australia. Phone: (02) 9922 4711. Website: and MediaEDGE Communication Australia. Phone: (03) 8844 5822. Fax: (03) 9602 1188.

President Paul Reed Chief Executive Megan Motto National Operations Manager Julia Lemercier Director of Policy Nicola Grayson Policy Officer Caroline Ostrowski Policy Officer Jonathan Cartledge Business Relationship Manager Benjamin Jung Events Manager Nicole Pusic Designer Hugh Peinke Education & Training Coordinator Daniel Condon Finance & Membership Coordinator Aman Chandra Executive Assistant (CEO & Policy) Kerri Clifford Executive Assistant (Operations) Leena Moorjani Immigration Officer Svetlana McNeil Editorial Submissions GPO Box 56, Sydney NSW 2001 National Outlook Š 2010. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, internet or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publishers. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication, the publishers accept no responsibility or liability for any errors, omissions or resultant consequences including any loss or damage arising from reliance on information in this publication.


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FROM THE CEO Megan Motto is Chief Executive of Consult Australia

MARCH 2010 Welcome to the very first edition of National Outlook published by Consult Australia! Clearly this marks a monumental change for your association, and the strategic priority for the coming year is to make sure that our members and all those who have an interface with us understand and embrace that change. Importantly, the next twelve months and beyond will present a unique opportunity for us to reposition our brand in the market to consolidate an already strong reputation. In doing this, one of the questions we must ask ourselves is what does our brand currently represent? For some members/clients/stakeholders our brand represents a solid reputation and badge of excellence. It demonstrates that they can interface with our members knowing that their service delivery is backed by training, knowledge, professional and business acumen and ethics. Companies who join the association are saying to their colleagues and clients that they are serious about running a professional business and associating with the best practice leaders in their chosen field.

For many our brand represents leadership in its many forms - thought leadership, industry leadership and policy leadership. In terms of thought leadership it might be taking a stance on important issues like climate change and infrastructure (as evidenced through our Sydney Towards Tomorrow work). Industry leadership is also incredibly important in this regard - the Built Environment sector has an enormous role to play in solving some of the planet’s most pressing problems including climate change, water and food supply and poverty. It is essential that Consult Australia continues to help to professionalise and support our industry so that we can continue to grow in prominence and strength. Much of this work is progressed through our policy leadership in Australia and globally through FIDIC. Taking a proactive stance on issues such as risk, procurement, WHS, education and migration, economics, infrastructure and sustainability ensures that your association is seen as a serious and credible player in the Australian legislative and regulatory environment. For members our brand means having a voice in a policy environment that is always competing for government attention.

Of course, for many members our brand represents support and a kind of “insurance policy” that is there to help you mitigate your business risk and help out when you need it. To them we are the “go to” organisation if you need help with your business issues, be they IR, WHS or Risk. All of this needs to be not only maintained but enhanced by our new brand - and this is a tall order by any measure! In the coming months we will be running a public profile campaign to ensure all stakeholders are aware of and engaged with our new name and brand. We will be running events and communicating with members, other associations, the construction and property industries and all levels of governments. Through both our national office and state offices we will be making brand awareness a priority in 2010 (as evidenced in our new strategic plan, which can be viewed on the Consult Australia website However, to achieve true success we will be needing your help too. We ask that all members and stakeholders also make a point of communicating our new name and brand to your staff and clients, and we will be contacting members over the coming months to help to facilitate this.

Megan Motto Chief Executive



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CONSULT AUSTRALIA WELCOMES NEW STAFF MEMBERS Consult Australia is pleased to advise members of two new staff at the National Office. Jonathan Cartledge has joined the Association as a Policy Officer and will look after the portfolios of Economics/ Taxation and Infrastructure, Jonathan can be contacted via email at Also joining us is Aman Chandra, who has taken the role of Finance and Membership Coordinator, replacing Sylvia Suen, Aman can be contacted via email at Both Jonathan and Aman can be contacted at the National Office on 02 9922 4711.

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SKM’S NEW YEAR GIFT MAY SAVE LIVES CUTTING THE AMOUNT OF TIME EMERGENCY SERVICE TEAMS TAKE TO RESPOND TO AN ACCIDENT VICTIM CAN OFTEN MEAN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DEATH OR PERMANENT DISABILITY. Leading engineering, sciences and project delivery firm, Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) has provided NRMA Careflight with a new year’s gift that may do just that. The firm has supplied Careflight’s helicopter with a full copy of its new 2009 Sydney AUSIMAGE data set, along with a full copy of the 2007 Central Coast imagery. “The imagery, which will be loaded onto a laptop aboard Careflight’s helicopter, will help flight crews find suitable landing areas close to their patients”, SKM New South Wales Manager, Graeme Booth said. “With some head trauma patients a saving of five to 10 minutes could mean the difference between death or permanent disability”, he said.

“We’re hopeful that by providing this imagery to Careflight, the amount of time it takes to get a medical team to patients by getting as close as possible will be further minimised”. “We are delighted to have been able to make this contribution to the Careflight operation”, Mr Booth added. AUSIMAGE, which ranges in resolution from 10cm to 20cm, is used in information systems and projects involved in surveying, mapping, asset management, planning, engineering, land-use monitoring and development professions.

SKM is a leading engineering, sciences and project delivery firm. With offices across Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the Middle East, South America and Asia, SKM’s purpose is to deliver a positive and enduring impact on the world. For further information on AUSIMAGE, please visit or

CareFlight is dedicated to providing the highest standard of rapid response critical care to the ill and injured. Its specially trained doctors, nurses and paramedics use helicopters, fixed wing aircraft and road ambulances to bring a hospital level of care to patients.

AUTUMN 10 National Outlook





ALLIANCES COLLABORATE TO UPGRADE VICTORIA’S BUSIEST CORRIDOR THE $1.39B MONASH-CITYLINK-WEST GATE (M1) UPGRADE IS A COMPLEX AND VERY LARGE PROJECT RELYING ON CLOSE COLLABORATION BETWEEN TWO PROPONENTS, FOUR ALLIANCES AND SEVEN TRADITIONAL D&C CONTRACTS TO UPGRADE VICTORIA’S BUSIEST ROAD CORRIDOR. VicRoads and Transurban have partnered to tackle road safety and traffic on the M1, Melbourne’s east-west corridor linking the city’s ports, CBD, airport and major urban centres. Transurban owns and operates CityLink, a 22-kilometre automated tollway connecting VicRoads’ Tullamarine, West Gate and Monash Freeways. The M1 Project is the largest Victorian State Government funded road upgrade to date and VicRoads M1 Project Director John Cunningham said alliancing was chosen for those sections requiring greater flexibility. “Our collaborative focus is managing multiple, sensitive interfaces and construction challenges, while reducing timeframes and traffic impacts”, Mr Cunningham said. “Interaction with a very high level of traffic (160,000 vpd) is the most profound challenge for all the alliances, as they are constructing in a confined environment without interrupting peak hour traffic”, he said.


National Outlook AUTUMN 10

“A further layer of interface impacting alliances is the significant contracts to deliver the new freeway management system”. “We have tackled these challenges by viewing each alliance activity on a ‘best for M1 outcome’, not just best for that alliance. Coordination groups meet monthly for traffic, schedule and communication management”. Transurban’s M1 Project Director Tony Murphy was instrumental in putting together the original concept for the 75km project and is now heading up the Southern Link section of the upgrade. “Alliancing provides a very different philosophy to traditional hard money contracts. Whilst both Vicroads and Transurban maintain a clear focus on traditional time, cost and quality project outcomes, we are also absolutely focused on keeping Melbourne moving during delivery. Traffic, stakeholder and environmental management are forefront rather than being treated as project outcomes or consequences”, Mr Murphy said.

“Our very proactive communication strategy includes coordination with VicRoads. Together we look at the impacts of freeway closures on adjoining sections and try to couple major disruptions to minimise the pain”, he said. “Transurban pre-selected alliance partners to ensure early constructor input in the development phase so design met constructability criteria and the cost estimate was robust. This gave us relative cost certainty, despite the unknown risks associated with aged infrastructure, a highly urbanised, constrained corridor and significant environmental and community issues”. “Transurban has extended the original alliance contract to facilitate a significant upgrade of the existing Southern Link bridge structures; future-proofing City Link to meet increasing freight demands and traffic volumes. The alliance framework is enabling this variation to be delivered seamlessly within the original scope”. John Cunningham said meticulous planning and co-operation between alliance teams has ensured good progress on the overall M1 Project, which will open to traffic ahead of schedule as sections are completed.



BEN FINK, A FORMER CHAIRMAN OF GHD HAS BEEN AWARDED A MEDAL OF THE ORDER OF AUSTRALIA (OAM) FOR SERVICE TO ENGINEERING AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF PROFESSIONAL SERVICES. Ben joined GHD in 1948, soon after graduating in Civil Engineering from the University of Melbourne and remained with the firm until his retirement in 1990.

WEST GATE FREEWAY ALLIANCE VicRoads, Baulderstone, Hyder Consulting, Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) and Thiess are upgrading a 5.6km section intersected in two places by the toll road and embedded with significant risks such as adjacent construction of Melbourne’s new $1.4b convention centre, which required collaboration to negotiate significant access interfaces.

During his 42-year career with GHD, Ben was responsible for numerous innovations in water and wastewater engineering throughout Victoria (and overseas) and as a consequence the delivery of healthy water supplies and sewerage systems to hundreds of thousands of people in local and international communities. Ben was an active member of numerous professional societies and was a dedicated mentor to many young engineers at GHD. Having passed away in June 2009, Ben will be fondly remembered as a brilliant and perceptive problem-solver, a caring manager of his staff and a highly ethical professional practitioner.

MONASH ALLIANCE VicRoads, AbiGroup and Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) are delivering a 7.5km section of the Monash Freeway upgrade - one of three sections. Involves traffic management risks in a very narrow corridor on the outside of the carriageway; is very close to noise walls and adjacent properties; and collaboration is ongoing with TransUrban’s adjacent Southern Link Alliance.

GHD Chairman Des Whybird offered, “The fabric of our everyday lives is woven through the work of this country’s engineers; the roads we drive on, the water we drink and the communities in which we live are the direct outcomes of the engineer's work that continues to evolve. Ben Fink is a fine example of the contribution one person can make to the wider community”. The Medal of the Order of Australia, established by Her Majesty the Queen and first awarded in 1975, recognises Australian citizens and other persons for achievement or for meritorious service.

WEST GATE BRIDGE STRENGTHENING ALLIANCE VicRoads, Flint and Neill Partnership, Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) and John Holland Group are strengthening Melbourne’s largest bridge spanning the Yarra River. This alliance was formed based on design complexities, the Bridge’s history and the need for collaboration to manage traffic appropriately.

SOUTHERN LINK UPGRADE ALLIANCE Transurban, AbiGroup and AECOM are upgrading from the eastern end of the Burnley and Domain tunnels to where CityLink joins the Monash freeway. It is a highly urbanised environment completely built out from shoulder to shoulder with major schools either side, requiring road widening while minimising land acquisition and achieving design standards.

The Alliancing Association of Australasia (AAA), a not-for-profit, independent, cross-sector initiative connecting the infrastructure industry to create better projects. For more information about alliancing, visit the AAA website: AUTUMN 10 National Outlook





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National Outlook AUTUMN 10











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A NEW CEO APPOINTMENT FOR ENGINEERS WITHOUT BORDERS AUSTRALIA AFTER SEVEN YEARS AT THE HELM, ONE OF EWB’S FOUNDERS DANIEL ALMAGOR WILL BE STEPPING DOWN AS CEO. Daniel and the entire EWB Community are proud to announce the promotion of our Operations Director Lizzie Brown who will be taking up the position of CEO from May 2010. Daniel initially conceived of EWB as a response to the limited opportunities for engineers to get involved in international development. His vision was that of a community of like minded people involved in practical grassroots activities to fight poverty and disadvantage, from community projects to education initiatives. This dream has become a reality with more than 5,000 members, 20 chapters, and in last year alone, well over 100 volunteers working directly in sustainable community development projects both in Australia and overseas. “Being part of EWB has been one of the greatest privileges of my life. I have met the most amazing people and had the chance to really shape an industry. I have woken up every day with a spring in my step knowing what I was heading to the office to do”. says Danny. His passion for EWB remains as deep as ever and although Daniel will continue to be actively involved with EWB, he is taking a step back from the organisation to dedicate more time to his growing family and to pursue his other passions, leaving EWB in the safe and familiar hands of Lizzie Brown. Lizzie Brown founded the first EWB Queensland chapter in 2004, eventually leaving full time engineering consultancy work to become the part time Education Officer for EWB in 2006. Since that time she has launched the incredibly successful EWB Challenge design program for first year engineering students across Australia and has been instrumental in the management of all EWB operations. Although based in our Queensland office, she and her husband Rick look forward to moving to Melbourne to take up the new role. “I am very excited about my new role with EWB and I feel very privileged to have this opportunity. As EWB’s new CEO, I will do everything I can to support and lead our amazing community of staff, members and partner organisations to facilitate meaningful and lasting change both overseas and in Australia”. says Lizzie.

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The EWB community welcome a new chapter for EWB, its staff, members and projects. Engineers Without Borders Australia is one of the leading development organisations, working with disadvantaged communities to improve their quality of life through education and the implementation of sustainable engineering projects. For more information on Engineers Without Borders and to make a donation to our programs please visit

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Daniel Almagor

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ENGINEERING A CAREER TOWARDS AID WORK CORPORATE SUPPORT FOR STAFF INTERESTED IN PURSUING HUMANITARIAN AID WORK CAN BE A BENEFICIAL OUTCOME FOR THOSE WHO NEED ASSISTANCE, THE COMPANY AND THE EMPLOYEE. Geoff Herman is a civil engineer currently employed with Kellogg Brown & Root Pty Ltd (KBR), with more than thirty years experience in the corporate sector. In 1999 he joined RedR Australia’s Register of personnel available to deploy at short notice through humanitarian relief programmes, after completing the required training courses. The field based scenarios prepared Geoff for the realities of life on assignment including assisting vulnerable people in complex, at times insecure, environments. Kosovo, 1999 - A typical distribution of building material near Vushtri with help from a few locals

The opportunity to complete short term emergency disaster relief assignments while retaining his regular employment appealled to Geoff, “it seemed like a wonderful way to contribute my time and skills to help others in times of disaster without the need to quit my job”. “I think many engineers become a little cynical towards the priorities of consulting engineering businesses as they get older, and look to find avenues to contribute to a better world in other ways”.

Kosovo, 1999 - The type of destruction typical around Mitrovica

Over the past decade, Geoff has completed humanitarian assignments in Kosovo, Mozambique, Solomon Islands and more recently Samoa.

Geoff recalls his first deployment with RedR Australia through World Vision. “When I ‘took the plunge’ and put my name forward for a shelter coordinator deployment to Kosovo it was a little daunting and something of a concern for my wife and daughter. The day I arrived in Kosovo I was alone in our shared house, the phrase “what the bloody hell am I doing here” came to mind, punctuated by a few gunshots in the distance”. “After a difficult but very successful three months I found a level of job satisfaction I doubt many people have ever experienced. I remember looking out to the snow covered mountains and saw the roofs of the many houses we’d managed to get reconstructed. Even now it brings a lump to my throat”. “I get satisfaction from doing something worthwhile but I don’t derive pleasure from the hardships nor from the circumstances. One should always put things in perspective – the reason RedR Australia deploys people is that a number of people are suffering and need help. If my skills as an engineer can help, that must be a good thing”. Geoff has found his employers and co-workers to be very supportive of his humanitarian work. While in the office he has also sought assistance from colleagues back home to provide technical information on pump curves, standards and geotechnical advice. Several of Geoff’s co-workers have since joined RedR and completed assignments themselves. “Support by consulting companies for engineers to participate in emergency disaster response projects can lead to many benefits to all parties with very few drawbacks. At the very least it is one of the most effective and least costly demonstration of a company’s commitment to corporate social responsibility”. Employers can support Register members through allowing leave without pay for a deployment, paid leave and financial support for RedR training, or can make corporate financial contributions to RedR Australia.


National Outlook AUTUMN 10

Kosovo, 1999 - Geoff (far right) with a World Vision staff member and children in the shell of a house

Mozambique 2004 - Geoff was deployed for three months as a civil/water engineer to a refugee camp in Mozambique. This is the camp water supply for 5,000 people.

Mozambique 2004 - Geoff identified and corrected the long standing quantity and quality deficiencies in the water supply to refugees and saw a marked reduction in illness as a result. Mozambique 2004 - Geoff with some of the refugee volunteers assisting with food distribution

Geoff found his former employer Arup was particularly supportive of his desire to apply his engineering skills to aid work. Geoff and Arup developed a policy which has since been introduced at KBR. “I strongly recommend that companies supporting their employees in aid work develop a simple policy and make it known to all staff. This sets out some basic HR expectations and guidelines and describes the processes and responsibilities involved in a deployment with RedR Australia”. “Given that insurances and payments become a RedR Australia responsibility during a deployment, the impact on the employer is minimal and usually limited to approving leave without pay and agreeing the employee can work through RedR Australia for an aid agency. As with any leave without pay, an agreement that the person’s job will be there for them to return to is fundamental”. “My current employer, KBR, has generously supported my activities with RedR Australia through giving me time off. For me, I think much more of an organisation if it supports aid work without seeking some sort of pay back

or publicity gain. This may be subliminal, but respect for a corporate culture is a significant influence in how employees behave and how loyal they can be to a company”.

disappear very suddenly and for three months or more won’t cause a few difficulties. However the benefits for both parties far outweigh the pain and problems”.

There are numerous advantages to employers through skills gained at RedR Australia training, especially if employees deal with overseas projects or are expected to deliver projects under stressful or emergency situations. Some of the skills of self reliance and lateral thinking are not as obvious, but are clearly improved at RedR Australia training courses.

“The employee benefits from the requisite training and from the life experience and in most cases will be better equipped to deal with their regular work. What is clear to me though, is that the respect for an employer that supports an employee in aid work has the greatest impact on the long term attitude and enthusiasm of that employee”.

For younger engineers in particular the benefits of aid work in deepening their understanding of capacity building and community involvement in projects can be profound. The experiences are clearly outside the range that normally applies in the ‘normal’ workplace. Geoff believes there is no such thing as an indispensible person who can’t be spared from a workplace. “It can only benefit a business to realise this fact and to learn to manage around the individual. That’s not to say having a key employee

Geoff finds balancing humanitarian work and consulting easy, “both have their rewards and some of those rewards are complimentary. My career satisfaction has benefitted immensely”. By far the most important outcome of humanitarian work will always be the benefits to those directly affected by the disaster. What better way can an engineering company contribute to the relief of world suffering than by making available its greatest asset – its people and their engineering skills and experience. Further information about RedR Australia is available at RedR Australia AUTUMN 10 National Outlook



VIC DIVISION In November the division welcomed a newly formed committee chaired by Jeff Mayo of Halcrow and under whose guidance will be restructured and energised.

This year will mark a time of growing the profile of the Tasmania Division and strengthening ties and networks in the industry.

Significant lobbying took place in the latter part of 2009 with the office of the Victorian OH&S minister, Mr Tim Holding, regarding the Model OH&S laws. This was conducted as a joint exercise with the Building Designers Association of Victoria and the Australian Institute of Architects. Follow up lobbying regarding onerous contractual terms and conditions has also taken place.

With the election in March 2010, the Tasmania Division has been lobbying both Government and the Opposition as to onerous contractual terms and conditions. In January, the State Manager, Cathryn Ellis and a group of senior managers from some of Tasmania’s member firms met with the Opposition infrastructure spokesperson, Jeremy Rockliff. Mr Rockliff expressed an intention to raise the issue of terms and conditions during the election campaign although at the time of writing, it has not been adopted as party policy.

There has been considerable activity in raising the profile of Consult Australia and promoting the interests of its members. In December, the newly appointed leader of the Opposition, Mr Tony Abbott, attended an industry consultation meeting hosted by VECCI in Melbourne. Mr Abbott canvassed opinion on tax, industrial relations and climate change as well as other matters raised by those present. The State Manager, Cathryn Ellis raised the issue of government procurement which is being followed up by Mr Abbott’s office and the Consult Australia National Office. Throughout 2010, it is planned to consolidate current industry contacts as well as establish new ties and networks. This will also be reflected in some of the division’s CPD events both for the Victoria Division and FutureNet. The Drill Rig OH&S guidelines are currently being drafted and it is intended by Victoria Division committee members that they accord with the requirements of occupational health and safety legislation and relevant Australian Standards. The end of year Victoria Division cocktail party at the University of Melbourne was well attended with Dr Robert Care, chair of RedR Australia and CEO of Arup Australasia who spoke about the crucial humanitarian work of RedR volunteers. The FutureNet function was also very successful with Professor Rob Adams AM, the director of Design and Urban Environment, City of Melbourne who talked about transforming Australian cities for a more financially viable and sustainable future. We wish to thank BST Global and MTU Detroit Diesel for their continued support as sponsors.

We also wish to thank URS for its continued hospitality and generosity in providing an office for the Victoria Division. Victoria Division is very appreciative of URS and AECOM for holding seminars over the past year as well as the support of member firms including Golder, URS, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Coffey, GHD, Arup and KBR for hosting various committee meetings.



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Following discussion as to the need for a state infrastructure plan which would involve, amongst other things, consulting with relevant industry bodies, Mr Rockliff advised that if elected, the new Government would establish an independent body called “Infrastructure Tasmania”. He confirmed that the organisation would consult with industry bodies and encompass physical infrastructure as well as deal with statutory authorities. Tasmania Division advised Mr Rockliff that it would be keen to actively participate in the establishment and implementation of Infrastructure Tasmania. We wish to thank the following member firms who have kindly sponsored individual events:


NSW DIVISION NSW Division has a very active events calendar planned for 2010 with at least twelve seminars planned as well as site visits, university BBQ’s, the Bridge Building Challenge, All Day Seminars, FutureNet events and the FutureNet Business Leaders Course. Please see the NSW Division Events page for all information on upcoming events. Registrations are currently being taken for the 2010 FutureNet Business Leaders Course. For further information, please see the NSW Division Events page on the website or contact the office on (02) 9966 4966. Roughly 100 people attended the FutureNet Business Leaders Awards Dinner which was held at Circular Quay on 26 November 2009. Those in attendance included participants, their nominated sponsor (representatives within their firm), the judging panel, mentors and some speakers, the committee and future target firm representatives. 2010 promises to be an active year for FutureNet Sydney and a new Chairman, Adrian McKeown, has recently been elected. The committee has a forward calendar planned for the year which consists of breakfasts, site visits and cocktail events. Their first event will be held over breakfast and will be a debate on ‘Share Market vs. Property’. A University Meeting has been organised for March. The purpose of these meetings is to ask representatives from each of the Sydney Universities to meet with Consult Australia and member representatives to discuss the quality of graduates and ways we can better work together. NSW Division has been focusing on developing stronger ties with other associations. Organisations we have met with include RICS, NECA and Engineers Australia. Regular meetings between Engineers Australia and Consult Australia continue to occur. Representatives from the NSW Division as well as Nicola Grayson are meeting with NSW Procurement in February. A meeting is also taking place with the Local Government Shires Association to discuss certain contract terms in regards to their contact ‘Conditions for the engagement of consultants’. NSW is currently seeking committee members for their Civil & Environmental Branch and Education & Training Committee. These committees meet on a monthly basis and discuss topical issues and develop seminars and events (as well as much more!). For further information, please contact Paige Defries on (02) 9966 4966. NSW Division currently has four gold sponsors confirmed for 2010. We would like to welcome BST Global back for another year and welcome KSB, WHK Horwath and Crawford Recruitment who have come on board. We look forward a successful working relationship with you all.

ACT DIVISION FutureNet ACT has prepared a forward calendar for 2010 and their first event will focus on networking. FutureNet currently has the following sponsors on board for 2010: Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Should your firm wish to sponsor FutureNet or learn more about the program, please contact Paige Defries on (02) 9966 4966. An ACT Division Committee has been formed and consists of eleven local members. Their first meeting was held on Thursday 4 February 2010 in Canberra and Max Bomben was elected as Chairman of the committee.

The Project Management Branch recently ran a site visit (above) to the Port Botany Expansion Site which was a great success. The visit lasted about 2.5 hours and a BBQ was held at the site following the event.

AUTUMN 10 National Outlook



WA DIVISION The WA Division continues to participate in a number of local working groups and lobby for our members, including: WA Road Construction and Maintenance Industry Advisory Group Urban Development Advisory Committee (UDAC) The Regional Education and Careers in Highways (REACH) Foundation Australian Council of Built Environment Design Professions (BEDP) Building Management & Works formerly Department of Housing & Works consultative committees CEIID.

CONTRACTS 2010 CONFERENCE Consult Australia was invited to participate in the recent Contracts 2010 Conference in Perth. Matt Davis from Wood & Grieve Engineers gave a 20 minute presentation on contracts in the construction industry. The presentation focussed on the following 3 key areas where Consult Australia sees significant opportunities for improvement: improve project scoping fair and balanced approach to risk management (as opposed to risk transfer) simplify contract conditions through standardisation (use the Australian Standard forms of contract wherever appropriate). A big thanks to Nicola Grayson for assisting with research and the presentation material.

EVENTS Professional Engineering Seminar 2010 In its Fourth year titled “Development of Future Engineering Leader” Consult Australia will again sponsor this full-day seminar at the Perth Convention Centre to be attended by over 400 Curtin University third and fourth year engineering students. Speakers present on a range of topics to assist students in their future careers and provide an overview of what it is like to work for an engineering company in the city. The lunch is designed as a corporate style function with a celebrity guest speaker. Each of the 40 tables is hosted by representatives from the Consult Australia company membership, providing students with the opportunity to discuss aspects of employment and the industry. This year Consult Australia CEO Megan Motto will close the event and comedian “Mick the Demotivational Speaker” will provide a humorous and entertaining speech during lunch. The Seminar covers: Presenting with impact Building strategic networking Business success and failures International employment opportunities Challenges facing graduates Innovation in engineering Understand employer’s needs Its not what you know, but who you know Gain an understanding of the opportunities within their chosen career.


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Consult Australia Engineers & Architects Roundtable Following the success of the Architects Roundtable in previous years, another luncheon was held in November 2009. The aim of the Engineers & Architects Roundtable is to bring a group of leading West Australian Architects and Consulting Engineers together to discuss issues of common interest with a view to increasing the understanding and cooperation between the two professions. High on the agenda this year was the Global Financial Crisis, Changes of Government-State and Federal, D&C contracting and government contracts. Attendees were: Richard Young, JCY Architects Dick Donaldson, Donaldson + Warn Architects Greg Howlett, Cox Howlett & Bailey Woodland Architects & Planners Paul Reed, PB Peter Lee, Hassell Bill Hames, Hames Sharley Steve Woodland, WA State Government Architect Dean Wood, Oldfield Knott Architects Andrew Macgregor, Norman Disney & Young Rob Johnson, BG&E Pty Limited Charles Milazzo, Aurecon Wayne Grey, ETC Engineering Matt Davis, Wood & Grieve Engineers Warren Kerr, Hames Sharley Ross Donaldson, Woods Bagot Peter Tilley, GHD Guest Andrew Fist, BST Global.


SA DIVISION BEDP The WA Division continues to be represented by Matt Davis, BEDP WA Chairman and Andrew McGregor on the Built Environment Design Professionals (BEDP) committee. Current issues being addressed by the BEDP include: Safety in Design – BEDP is currently working with BMW and WorkSafe to set up a pilot project to assist design professionals to understand the requirements of project Safety in Design plans as there appears to be a high degree of uncertainty in the requirements of the code. Direct appointment of consultants by BMW – The current system of the Architect engaging “subconsultants” adds additional risk and affects the levels of PI insurance premiums. BMW are currently resisting changes however the BEDP is continuing to push this issue. BMW Works Reform - Business Solution Plan – Whilst the BEDP is generally supportive of the reform agenda there are some concerns about the ability to bring project management inhouse and reservations about the use of nontraditional procurement methods. Support is given to the central role of the BMW, the continuation of a Government Architect and the requirement to build strong and accurate business cases for projects prior to engagement of the main project team. A copy of the Plan can be found at www.dhw. BMW Engineering Panels – An Engineering and Hydraulic Services Panel was established by DTF in 2007. Under this arrangement, Lead Consultants who are members of the Architectural Services Panel 2005 may engage subconsultant engineers and hydraulic services practitioners directly from this panel. This panel was developed in liaison with Consult Australia (WA) and the Built Environment Design Professions (WA), and has resulted in significantly reducing the time, cost and effort required to establish a team of consultants for a project. The panel allows for advisory services and project commissions with fees of up to $20,000, based on hourly rates. For commissions between $20,001 and $100,000 a simple fee and personnel submission is required. A single firm will generally be invited to submit for a commission. Use of the panel arrangement for sub-consultant engagement purposes is entirely optional and at the discretion of the Lead Consultant.

The SA Division now has a new State Manager, Jan Irvine. Coming on board with Consult Australia in early December, the 2010 calendar of events is quickly taking shape and a full list of functions for the year will be included in a future issue of National Outlook. The SA Division will be focusing on greater communication with members and growing our membership as we move into the second quarter of 2010. Jan would love to hear what you want from your association – what matters to you and your business most. Please contact Jan with any comments on (08) 8216 1177 or email

UPCOMING EVENTS Procurement and Contracts Course – 19 – 21 May 2010 Careers Expo at the University of Adelaide – Consult Australia will have a presence with a promotion booth for Engineering, Maths & Sciences students. RECENT EVENTS A Boardroom Lunch was held in February with The Hon Michael O’Brien MP, Minister for Employment, Training and Further Education. Attendees including SA members and Consult Australia’s, Jan Irvine discussed with the Minister at length, the issues facing the built environment industry in South Australia regarding the forecasted need for engineering professionals and related disciplines into the future. The discussion included both emerging graduates and immigration – what the likely answers were and the path forward to ensure South Australia’s needs are met. FUTURENET RECENT EVENTS FutureNet SA continues to grow with a program with something for everyone. From our informative, interesting breakfast speakers to the inspirational guests at our cocktail functions we provide the perfect opportunities for our young members to learn and network with other likeminded professionals. The December Christmas Cocktail & Networking function was a great success with Colin Best, a graduate of Civil Engineering at the Adelaide University who started his career in the Highways Department and progressed through a number of career changes to become Construction Director of one of South Australia’s pre eminent civil construction companies. He did a sea change in 2000 and started his own winery, Leabrook Estate in the Adelaide Hills, doing his own viticulture, winemaking and marketing. Once Leabrook was established and exporting to Europe and Asia, he returned to Engineering, this time to consulting and is now a Senior Project Manager with Parsons Brinkerhoff. Colin now leads a busy life with his passions of winemaking and civil engineering, both requiring common management skills. Much information was imparted to attendees who were also lucky enough to be able to taste a great range of the Leabrook Estate wines whilst enjoying a Christmas drink with friends and colleagues. We thank Colin for his generous gift of both his time and support. The February breakfast was held at the National Wine Centre of Australia and we were entertained by The Hon Patrick Conlan MP, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Energy along with The Hon David Ridgway MLC, Shadow Minister for Transport and Infrastructure in an interesting presentation from both sides followed by a lively debate on the proposed plans of the two major political parties in South Australia in regards to Infrastructure and Development within the city and surrounds. AUTUMN 10 National Outlook



QLD DIVISION The Queensland Division have been busy planning their 2010 year over the last few months. The first event has already taken place with Mal Hellmuth (General Manager, LNG Industry Unit, DEED, Qld Government), providing attendees with information on the key issues of Coal Seam Methane produced water. In response to our regional members request we trialled filming and video-streaming this event. If you were unable to attend and would like to view the event, please go to the Consult Australia website (Qld division) to download the session. Future planned events include, but are not limited to: PPP’s/Financing Carbon Capture and Geothermal generation Outlook for Consultants Asset Management Sustainability. The first Queensland FutureNet event will be held in April. Get behind your young professionals and support their attendance at these fabulous networking events.

MEETINGS WITH STAKEHOLDERS Queensland Division met with Kathy Schaefer, Deputy DirectorGeneral, Strategy & Governance, Geoff Dickie, Deputy Coordinator General of Infrastructure and Economic Development; Shane McDowall, Deputy Co-ordinator General, Department of Infrastructure and Planning on 28 January 2010. Issues discussed included: Facts around what work is actually converted in regional vs urban centres, whether government see any changes in the proposed spend in infrastructure by end of financial year, whether the state is crystallising any different views in regard to PPP’s and the delivery methods of major projects in the future (in view of state budget pressures), engineering graduate uptake and what is the Director-General’s key focus for 2010. Other planned meetings for the first quarter include: Queensland Rail, Department of Public Works, Department of Environment & Resource Management, the Minister for Local Government and LocalBuy. If members have any issues or concerns they would like addressed with these departments or any other relevant stakeholders please contact Stacey Rawlings on (07) 3020 3403 or email


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FUTURENET New Committee appointments At their final meeting of 2009, the FutureNet committee appointed new office bearers for 2010. Consult Australia would like to thank out-going chair, Claire Hickey – McVeigh Consultants, for her untiring commitment to the role in 2009. Claire will stay on the committee as a mentor for 2010. FutureNet Queensland are pleased to announce Josephine MacLeod – AECOM as the 2010 chair. Details of all current committee members can be found at Interested in becoming more involved in FutureNet? Have you considered joining the committee? From time to time positions will become available on the FutureNet committee. If you would like to be kept informed as and when positions become available, please go to the website and complete the expression of interest form and fax it to (07) 3020 3523 or email it to FIDIC Competition In the last edition of National Outlook we announced the winners of the 2009 & 2010 FIDIC prize. We are now calling for entries for the 2011 competition. Entries will close in June, with the winner being announced in late July/early August. The winner will then have 12 months to work with Consult Australia to make arrangements to travel to the 2011 FIDIC conference in TUNISIA! This is a fantastic opportunity for young professionals in the built environment to represent the Association of Consulting Engineers Australia – Queensland Division at the FIDIC International Conference in Tunisia 18 - 21 September 2011. The Queensland Division will provide return flights to Tunis; six nights accommodation at one of the conference hotels; young professionals registration for the full conference; contribution towards other miscellaneous expenses associated with attending the conference**. Attendees will meet and hear from an impressive array of speakers discussing key issues impacting professionals in the built environment throughout the world. ** Check the FutureNet website for further eligibility and full prize details.


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PRACTICE & PROCUREMENT Nicola Grayson heads the policy team at Consult Australia’s National office in Sydney. Her portfolios include Procurement, Contracts & Liabilities and Workplace Health & Safety. Nicola can be contacted at

REGISTRATION – THE WAY FORWARD ON 4 DECEMBER 2009, CONSULT AUSTRALIA FACILITATED A FORUM OF SENIOR REPRESENTATIVES FROM MEMBER FIRMS TO FORMALISE OUR POLICY POSITION ON THE REGISTRATION OF ENGINEERS, AND ALSO TO DETERMINE OUR STRATEGY GOING FORWARD AND ITS PRIORITISATION FOR CONSULT AUSTRALIA TO PURSUE AS AN ISSUE IN 2010. REASONS FOR REGISTRATION The group determined that whist the full registration of engineers in Australia had a number of drawbacks (including fees, personal liability implications and complications with international market regulation), the potential outcomes of registration would be more positive than negative and would include; Credible evidence of competence to practice Increased consumer confidence Strong driver of practices in safety and design Accessible listing of practitioners in their area of practice Increased capability of engineers to work on projects across state borders Increased potential for mutual recognition internationally Reduced costs and overheads of state based registration Removes unqualified practitioners from market Potential benefit through professional standards legislation for insurances & liability caps Potential for raising the status of engineers. The conclusion of all participants was that Consult Australia should pursue the goal of registration of engineers in Australia, with the condition that a number of provisions were in place.

NATIONAL SYSTEM The group indicated that if Consult Australia were to pursue registration then the system must be a national, or at least cocomplimentary system whereby an engineer need only register (and pay) once to be able to practice in any state in Australia. Preferably this would mean that the Federal government would implement model legislation (Federal Engineers Act) that would then be adopted (consistently) by each of the states and territories. There would be a single national body (preferably the National Engineering Registration Board (NERB)), responsible for maintaining and publishing the registers.


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GOVERNANCE The group felt that the NERB, operating independently of any one organisation, was the appropriate body to maintain and publish the registers nationally. In addition to the NERB, it may be appropriate to have state based entities for the purpose of handling complaints and administering disciplinary procedures. These could be state branches of the NERB or statutory authorities set up by each state government (similar to the Queensland Registration Board). The group felt that it would be both appropriate and administratively sensible for the NERB to outsource much of the functionality of assessing against competencies and auditing to Engineers Australia or another appropriate organisation (such as AusIMM), or a combination of such, as these organisations already have the appropriate systems in place for the purposes of establishing and maintaining Chartered status. This would also help to keep costs down and also assist to maintain consistency between registration and chartered status requirements.

APPLICATION After much consideration, the group decided that all professionals who had completed university (including those still under supervision) should be registered. Graduate engineers (ie, those still below current competency level 2 and who are operating under the supervision of a senior engineer) should have this delineated in their registered status; for example restricted status (as is the case for the legal profession). This was for a number of reasons. Firstly, it was felt that the only way that registration would achieve many of its goals was to require by law that ALL practicing engineers be registered in order to practice (once again, similar to the legal profession). This would remove inconsistencies and also create a level (albeit elevated) playing field for all participants in the industry. This would also help to alleviate some of the concerns regarding personal liability (although this issue will be explored more fully further in this paper). Secondly, it was felt that there would be better understanding of the requirements

for registration if it was a requirement immediately post university. This would provide a smoother and more structured process from university to practice.

LIABILITY AND CERTIFICATION It was noted that registration was a concern because of the requirements of many clients to require that certificates (or drawings) be “signed off” by a registered professional. The concern is that this creates a personal liability exposure over and above the corporate exposure of the firm (which is usually insured to cover that exposure). Following much discussion, it was determined that this was a major and valid concern, but the issue was not that the individual is registered, but that the client is inappropriately requiring an individual to take on what is a corporate responsibility (liability) when work is being delivered by a team within an organisation. This being the case, it was determined that a separate lobbying campaign be conducted by Consult Australia to educate clients so that where work is delivered by an organisation that individuals may sign off on drawings/ certificates, but only on behalf of the corporate entity. As such, the liability should rightfully remain with the firm rather than the individual.

THE WAY FORWARD The call for national registration requires the support of the engineering community and NERB and its founding bodies, Engineers Australia and APESMA. Consult Australia will seek to facilitate further discussion and engagement in order to further develop the proposal. The proposal will also need the support of the Federal, state and territory governments to elevate the registration of engineers as a priority item, to be best dealt with through the Council of Australian Government’s (COAG) regulatory reform agenda. Consult Australia will also seek to engage and campaign governments to progress the proposal in concert with NERB and the other founding members. Consult Australia will also need to continue to educate clients about unnecessarily requiring personal rather than corporate liability through the signing of certificates/drawings. Nicola Grayson


GOVERNANCE, QUALITY MANAGEMENT AND VERIFICATION: DELIVERING A PROJECT WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF AN ALLIANCE GOVERNANCE, QUALITY MANAGEMENT AND VERIFICATION ARE IMPORTANT OPERATIVE PROVISIONS OF AN ALLIANCE AGREEMENT. THEY APPLY TO EVERY MEMBER OF THE PROJECT TEAM AND IT IS UNREASONABLE NOT TO PROVIDE INSTRUCTION IN THESE MATTERS. The Alliance’s Management Plan is essential to good governance because it provides the means of demonstrating to the project financiers how the Alliance proposes to manage all of the risks associated with taking a project from concept through to commissioning and handover – the point when the financiers can expect to see the beginning of a return on their investment. The policies, plans and procedures of each alliance participant cannot just be patched together and presented as a plan for the Alliance. The Alliance is a separate entity and must capture its governance and management processes in a tangible and communicable form so that nothing is left open to interpretation later when vested interests have changed. Regular audits demonstrate not only compliance with the plan but allow the team to implement corrective actions before performance drifts too far off course. The Verifier relies upon this evidence to verify the Alliance Works. Key documents produced during the project’s Definition Phase are the: Alliance Agreement, Works Definition Brief, Works Definition Documents, and Detailed Design Documents (Drawings and Specifications). The Works Definition Documents form the basis for the Project Proposal and the Target Cost Estimate and establish the level of predictability around risk management and the cost of the project. Quality can be controlled throughout the life of the project by applying the construction quality record system to the project’s Definition Phase activities. By creating a ‘Lot’ for each Management Plan, the Alliance Manager is able to assign ownership of each plan to a member of the Alliance Management Team and require accountability for implementation. At Practical Completion, the Alliance Manager

can then credibly certify that the whole project has been constructed in accordance with the plan and the Alliance Agreement.

project cannot be verified unless ‘change’ has been subjected to the same quality control processes as the balance of the Works.

The verification process spans the entire life of the project and is not just something that is applied once construction work has commenced. This must be explained.

It is a misconception that ‘value for money’ can be added by interrogating the design at every stage of the project’s life; to do so is counter-productive and ignores the value of intangibles.

Verification is simplified if project activities are divided according to the natural phases of the project and by structuring each management plan to target the risks specific to each phase. Further divide the natural project phases of Works Definition and Works Execution into: Phase 1: Requirements capture Phase 2: Works definition Phase 3: Detailed design documentation Phase 4: As-constructed records Phase 5: Practical Completion. Note that 60% of the verification occurs before construction commences. Works Definition is complete when the Owner’s Functional Requirements and general description of the scope have been developed into a tangible design upon which a Target Cost Estimate can be prepared and a Project Proposal submitted. Finance will be approved on this basis. A requirement for the Verifier to certify that the Alliance Works Definition Documents comply with the Owner’s Functional Requirements is an effective quality ‘Hold Point. It allows the Owner to receive independent assurance that the Alliance has not misinterpreted the Owner’s Functional Requirements and proceeded to produce a design which is inconsistent with those requirements. The Alliance must have in place a changecontrol procedure that will allow the project to approve or reject changes, based on a deliberate determination as the completed

There is a breakeven point in the life of a project when the focus of the Alliance team must move from adding value through planning and engineering to saving money by controlling change and performing in a way that delivers the intangibles. Value for money in engineering can best be achieved by ceasing to look for design opportunities when the Definition Phase is complete and then focusing on the rigorous management of Change. In practice, there will be some overlap but this must be kept to a minimum. This management approach will cause the alliance team to focus on minimising the total project risk. In essence, it does not really matter how the Owner chooses to verify the physical works, since quality control systems for construction have been in general use for some time and physical works are inherently visible. In an Alliance, the real challenge is to provide integrity and transparency to activities which occur during the Definition Phase of the project when Functional Requirements are captured, Value for Money is considered, and Change Control processes are established. Good governance depends on controlling the definition phase of the project. The full version of the paper is available on Consult Australia’s website under policy issues/procurement and practice. Robert Stumm, RPEQ Director, Catalyst Project Management Services Pty Ltd.


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Image courtesy of BDS Vircon

WHAT DOES $12,500,000,000.00 BUY YOU THESE DAYS? Well, about 73 acres of Las Vegas Strip, complete with a 61-storey, 4,000-room gaming resort; three luxury non-gaming hotels; two large multi-residential towers; approximately 2,400 condominiums; and ‘Crystals’, a massive retail and entertainment district. A joint venture between MGM Mirage and Dubai World, City Center is the most expensive, privately-funded development in the history of the western hemisphere. It raises an interesting question of how you facilitate and manage the design and construction of such a mammoth project. The complexities of projects with far fewer zeroes attached to their stats and price tags can offer appalling headaches from logistical and organisational perspectives, so how do you handle a project that’s, proportionally, so much larger? Well it would seem a large part of the answer is Building Information Modelling (BIM); an object-oriented style of 3D architectural design. BIM software enables the data for your various building components to be imported directly into your project’s design files, presenting 3D models of those components in-place within the design. It also allows you to attach detailed imagery and information to designs – which then become immediately accessible and available to everyone involved in the building process. Logistically this can offer projects massive savings in time, and as a result costs, as it updates and informs the entire building team on the latest design changes.

On City Center, BIM was particularly essential to the highly-complex roof structure of the Crystals mall. Featuring no less than 16 interlocking roofs (9 planner and 7 curved), its construction required extensive collaboration between architect, engineer and detailer, as the geometry of the roofs could not by defined by traditional 2D documentation. The modelling and detailing for the roof structure was undertaken in Australia by BDS Vircon using Tekla Structures. The BIM software was then used for: advanced material quantities, sequence break-ups, fabrication scheduling, the locations for truss splices, erection planning (including temporary prop-ups). All of which allowed the project to be planned based on the actual steelwork to be constructed, which in turn allowed the builders to be far more confident when it came to visualising how each component would fit, than they would be with just nominal schematic information for reference. The architects provided 3D reference files for the roof skin, and these were used to ensure that not only the primary steelwork, but also the connection plates and bolts, would not penetrate the roof skin; preventing any on site clashes and the need for costly rectification. These files were also used to set-out the necessary curved bent-plate roof edge plates on the perimeter steelwork of the roof. Three engineers also moved to Brisbane to work more closely with the BDS Vircon modellers to solve design and connection issues directly in the model. The complex, interlocking planner and curved roofs meant that the connection design could not be done by traditional methods. So the BIM software model became a collaboration

tool for the project team via phone calls and WebEx meetings, and enabled the engineer to understand the actual geometry of the steelwork members so that he could evolve the unique connection designs required for the five hundred-odd individual connections. In consultation with the detailers’ geometry constraints, the connections were then able to be engineered via simple hand sketches without the need for traditional (and very formal) connection design documentation. This collaboration on the connections saved the project huge amounts of time in achieving complex connections that worked the first time, avoided long-winded formal RFI processes, and removed the need to formalise the connection designs on drawings. From the final connected steelwork model, BDS Vircon then exported 3D files to the cladding contractor as the basis for his cladding set-out and manufacture. And the same files were also provided to the fire sprinkler and decking supply contractors for their set-outs and manufacturing. This ability to constantly import and export data from the 3D models saved the project a huge amount of time and effort in avoiding the need to provide formal documentation to all parties. The collaborative process to evolve the highly complex nature of the final steelwork’s geometry would not have been possible without the use of the BIM models. This project required a willingness from all of the parties to work together to find the most cost-effective and efficient solutions; in doing so, helped make this project a great success story for model collaboration. Paul McLeod, Pacific Computing AUTUMN 10 National Outlook


CONTRACTS AND LIABILITY Nicola Grayson heads the policy team at Consult Australia’s National office in Sydney. Her portfolios include Procurement, Contracts & Liabilities and Workplace Health & Safety. Nicola can be contacted at

CARTEL BEHAVIOUR: ARE YOUR JOINT VENTURES AND OTHER ARRANGEMENTS CAPTURED? IF YOU MAKE AN ARRANGEMENT OR ENTER INTO A CONTRACT OR REACH AN UNDERSTANDING WITH A COMPETITOR, YOU SHOULD CONSIDER WHETHER YOU HAVE (ALBEIT UNWITTINGLY) CREATED A CARTEL. UNDER THE TRADE PRACTICES ACT 1974 (“THE ACT”) YOU MIGHT BE COMMITTING AN OFFENCE IF YOUR ARRANGEMENT, UNDERSTANDING OR CONTRACT CONTAINS A CARTEL PROVISION. A ‘cartel provision’ is a provision of a contract, or arrangement, or understanding, between competitors that relates to: price-fixing; restricting outputs in the production and supply chain; allocating customers, suppliers or territories; or bid-rigging; by parties that are (or would otherwise be) in competition with each other. The Act makes an exception for cartel provisions relating to joint ventures between competitors, but this exemption has been narrowly drafted. In order for a cartel provision relating to a joint venture to be exempt it must be established that: the relevant cartel arrangement is for the purposes of a joint venture for the production and/or supply of goods or services; and the provision is either: contained in a contract; or not contained in a contract, but contained in an arrangement or understanding which all the parties intended and reasonably believed to be a contract.

Accordingly, where the parties have formed a cartel by an informal arrangement or understanding for a joint venture which would not (and was not intended to) constitute a legally binding contract, the parties will risk falling foul of the civil and criminal penalty provisions of the Act. Agreements solely between related corporate bodies will not fall within the cartel offences or civil prohibitions. Consult Australia’s Liability and Contracts has reviewed and updated the Practice Note on Consult Australia members’ obligations under the Trade Practices Act 1974 to include reference to these new rules. The Practice Note is available to members from the Consult Australia website under ‘Services/Practice Notes’. Nicola Grayson



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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE AGREES TO ADDITIONAL AMENDMENTS TO DESIGN SERVICES CONTRACT CONSULT AUSTRALIA HAS BEEN CONTINUING ITS DIALOGUE WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE SEEKING FURTHER AMENDMENTS TO THEIR DESIGN SERVICES CONTRACT. Consult Australia asked the Department to consider amendments to three clauses, in order to provide greater certainty concerning the risk allocation: Time Bar; Environmental; and Standard of Care. As a result the Department has agreed to make two amendments in light of our submission to the Time Bar and Environmental clause. Consult Australia is preparing to provide more information to the Department about the impact of the current Standard of Care clause. Nicola Grayson


THE LATEST PATHWAY TESTIMONIAL Heggies’ range of environmental engineering and scientific services has broadened considerably over the past several years. As we continue to grow, new services are being introduced, new offices open and other consulting practices are being acquired. Our overseas work on significant international projects has also increase markedly. As a consequence, greater focus on managing the technical and commercial risks of our multi-disciplinary service delivery was required. Significant changes to our Professional Indemnity (PI) Insurance cover became necessary. We realised that professional risk management advice well beyond that

provided by a normal PI broker was required – we needed an insurance advisory service with considerable consulting industry experience. Heggies selected a broker associated with Consult Australia PI Pathway, as the services provided seemed an ideal match. The broker was able to ensure continuity of cover, broadening the scope of cover and negotiating a reduced premium. Their contract review service and ongoing staff risk management training have proven invaluable to our business, enhancing the professional standard of our client contractual relations and improving the quality of our service delivery.



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Consult Australia’s PI Insurance Pathway gives Consult Australia members access to the PI market through a Panel of Brokers selected by Consult Australia. Consult Australia is providing a referral service only and is not providing any form of financial advice or offering a financial product. Consult Australia does not guarantee the value, price and terms of cover that may be received from any member of the Panel of Brokers. Any agreement entered into through use of the PI Insurance Pathway will be expressly between the Panel Broker and the Consult Australia member firm.


COMMONWEALTH GOVERNMENT REVIEW INTO THE PROCUREMENT OF LEGAL SERVICES ATTORNEY-GENERAL, ROBERT MCCLELLAND, HAS RELEASED A BROAD REVIEW INTO THE PROCUREMENT OF COMMONWEALTH LEGAL SERVICES. The review examines existing arrangements for the procurement of legal services and provides advice on how the Commonwealth can most efficiently purchase legal services to deliver value for money for taxpayers. The report finds that the current system of agencies individually tendering for legal services is very costly both to the Commonwealth and to external service providers. The review recommends that further savings can be made through the more effective management of in-house legal practices, including: introducing a coordinated procurement process for legal services across all Commonwealth agencies; ‘professionalising’ in-house legal practices to improve service delivery and their ability to procure external legal services; centralising the support of in-house legal practices, including the development of standards, training and support; establishing a web-based legal services interface to provide coordinated support in both the procurement of legal services and the collection and management of data; and adopting, where appropriate, the practices of large corporations in managing the procurement and provision of legal services.


As part of this commitment, the Government has already moved to: improve transparency through a mandatory reporting format for legal expenditure; implement common tender arrangements for agencies seeking to purchase legal services; increase competition by enabling a broader range of firms to work on behalf of the Commonwealth; and encourage the use of alternative dispute resolution in place of courts. The Attorney General’s media release states that, “These reforms, in place for the first time during the previous financial year, saw the growth in Commonwealth legal expenditure decline from 25 per cent in 2007-08 ($510 million) to nine per cent in 2008-09 ($555 million)”. One assumes that the “decline” refers to total budget expenditure.


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This is review is interesting for two reasons. Firstly, because it is an acknowledgement that the Commonwealth Government has become heavily reliant on legal services (it could be argued that this would equally apply to all levels of government in Australia). So it is good to see a commitment to provide more training and support for Government’s in-house legal teams. Secondly, the commitment to implement common tender arrangements, which includes a standard form terms of engagement (contract), shows some recognition that nonstandard form agreements waste considerable resources because of the need to review and negotiate every contract. Consult Australia has been advocating a similar approach for consulting engineering services, as have other professional service industries, including accountancy. As yet the Government has been slow to respond, chiefly because they have not been able to quantify the cost to government of the procurement and contracting process for the engagement of other professional services. This is something that Consult Australia can look at addressing this year. In addition the review of AS4122-2000, General Conditions of Contract for Engagement of Consultants, which Consult Australia is project managing, gives an opportunity for the industry as a whole to standardise. Nicola Grayson


BRINGING MOTORCYCLE SAFETY TO ROAD BARRIERS AS 2009 DREW TO A CLOSE, A CROWD OF ABOUT THIRTY ENGINEERS, INSTALLATION CREWS, AND MEDIA GATHERED ON A WINDING SECTION OF THE GORGE ROAD NEAR THE KANGAROO CREEK RESERVOIR IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA, TO WITNESS THE INSTALLATION OF THE FIRST BASYC MOTORCYCLIST PROTECTION SYSTEM IN AUSTRALIA. The system is a new Spanish solution that uses a soft impact barrier to reduce motorcycle death and injury rates, and is currently used in ten countries across three continents. The barrier is a soft-impact solution designed to protect motorcyclists from sliding into guardrail posts. It is a fabric barrier that attaches to guardrail beams and is then attached to the base of the posts. It has been developed over 7 years of studies and makes use of available highway infrastructure to implement a system of continuous protection, using a flexible containment mesh that absorbs the energy of the impacts. The mesh is comprised of: polyethylene terephthalate (PET) of high tenacity and non-existent elasticity; polyester of high tenacity with 50% elasticity; polyester of high tenacity and elasticity; Teflon; and paraffin. And features shoe support, with a metal part screwed on each post at ground level, to ensure that the mesh has sufficient tension to prevent any contact of the victim with the post itself. The longitudinal tension applied on the mesh is 1%, which renders the risk of the mesh losing tension, practically nonexistent. It is also not sensitive to UV damage; and the paraffin and Teflon coverings reduce the impact of friction at the point of the contact, helping to ensure the progressive slip of the crash victim along the mesh.

The motorcyclist protection system has been tested to Spanish standards with motorcycle rider dummies, and to European standards EN1317 for sedan vehicles. Results obtained in the official Spanish testing laboratory showed an HIC (Head Injury Criteria) value that suggests a 100% walk-away rate for motorcycle crashes of up to 63km/h with a 30-degree angle hit against the barrier system.

for motorcyclists. Some of these authorities are currently using post attenuators to protect each individual post, but these post attenuators have not been tested for both motorcycle and car impacts. Some of the road authorities are using steel beam protection bolted to the posts, but in crash tests there is evidence that use of these beams scrubs out the vehicle tyres, creating a different hazard. LB International

Australian road authorities are already showing considerable interest in Basyc, with several states seeking ways to make their roads safer

The first Australian installation of the Basyc Motorcycle Protection System, on a winding section of The Gorge Road near the Kangaroo Creek Reservoir in South Australia - Image courtesy of LB International


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PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY INSURANCE – WHAT LIMIT SHOULD I PURCHASE? DETERMINING THE APPROPRIATE PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY INSURANCE (PI) LIMIT TO PURCHASE IS NOT A STRAIGHT FORWARD CALCULATION. THERE ARE SEVERAL KEY FACTORS THAT SHOULD BE CONSIDERED WHEN DECIDING THE LIMIT THAT IS RIGHT FOR YOUR BUSINESS. IDENTIFYING THESE FACTORS MAY ALSO ASSIST IN NEGOTIATING MORE REASONABLE (INSURANCE RELATED) CONTRACT TERMS AND CONDITIONS WITH YOUR CLIENTS. The selection of the most appropriate limit should be driven by your desire to protect your business and personal assets. Many firms simply purchase the minimum (PI) limit possible in order to satisfy their statutory or contractual obligations. Utilising this approach may leave you dangerously underinsured and, if this is the case you may not find out about until it is too late! With the recent unsettled economic environment we are seeing an increase in both the frequency and magnitude of professional indemnity claims, particularly against those in the building industry. Some of the key issues to be considered when reviewing or deciding your policy limit are:

STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS Usually prescribed by Regulation or Ministerial Order, compulsory insurance is often required to support a statutory registration or accreditation. For example Building Practitioners in Victoria under the Building Act 1993 require a minimum limit of $1,000,000 or $1,500,000 depending upon how legal costs are provided under the policy. Interestingly this minimum $1,000,000 limit has not increased since it was first introduced in Victoria almost 15 years ago. New South Wales prescribes a minimum limit of $1,000,000 for private certifiers, this was introduced with private certification in 1998. Considering inflation, the increase in costs of building over this period and the potential for personal injury claims raises the question of whether these sums insured are adequate? Northern Territory requires a minimum limit of $1,000,000 for certifying structural engineers but only requires $100,000 for certifying mechanical and hydraulic engineers!

CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS These are obligations assumed by you under professional service agreements with your principal. In recent years with reductions in the cost and increased availability of higher PI limits there has been an increase in the limits that principals have been requesting of their consultants. Often these requirements are considered unreasonably high by the consultant because of the significant cost implications. We have outlined in the following comments some negotiating points to assist you in negotiating reduced demands of principals where you are of the view that the insurance levels requested are unreasonably high. Project values and types One of the most commonly used measures assumes there is a strong correlation between both the value and nature of project you are involved with and your professional negligence exposure. Whilst we support this view, this one measure should not overshadow the following important factors to be considered. A relatively low value project can still give rise to a significant professional indemnity claim. Perceived Exposures This involves an assessment of the possible causes of loss, injury or damage that may give rise to a professional negligence claim against you. This can be considered from three perspectives: 1. Property damage The resultant damage to property as a consequence of an actual or alleged breach of professional duty, example: Structural failure in a building as a result of a design engineer under specifying a supporting beam.


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2. Personal Injury (including death) Injury (or death) as a result of an actual or alleged breach of professional duty of care. A common misconception is that such risk is insured under a public liability policy. Public liability policies usually contain a specific exclusion in relation to claims arising from the provision of professional services therefore personal injury claims are a core professional indemnity exposure for many engineers. For example, an engineer providing certification services in relation to amusement rides would have an appreciably greater personal injury (professional) risk exposure than an engineer providing strategic management advice. 3. Financial Loss Monetary loss suffered by a third party as a result of an actual or alleged breach of professional duty. For example: Costs incurred or income lost due to delayed delivery of a project arising from the actual or alleged breach of professional duty by the project manager responsible for timely delivery.

It is important to also remember that a cause of action and resultant claim may contain elements of one, two or all the above.

Nature of services provided The risks associated with engineering varies across the spectrum of services provided by engineering consultancies, in our experience the generality of a role also has a strong correlation to claims exposure. Examples: Structural engineers are generally in a higher risk category than draftspersons. Also design or certifying engineers are generally in a higher risk category than a strategic management consultant.

INSURANCE Your willingness and ability to carry financial risk This requires an assessment of the extent to which you are prepared to expose your assets by either carrying a higher excess or lower policy limit and your ability to control the risk or transfer liability to other parties involved. Affordability With PI being a significant overhead for many consultancies you will need to weigh up the above factors against what is economically viable for you. In this regard increasing the limit for a particular client or project may not be feasible however if carrying a higher limit opens up the possibility for additional clients or projects the business case may be justified. However it is important to appreciate that

due to the claims made nature of PI, once you have selected a higher limit you will need to continuously purchase at least that limit in the future to maintain that level of cover for your past work. A common misconception is that there is a strong correlation between fee income of the professional for a particular project and professional negligence exposure of that engagement. This is not the case with significant PI claims arising from projects that generated minimal fee income. A useful tool is the Professional Indemnity Insurance Guidelines issued by the Australian Procurement and Construction Council (APCC) which involves a detailed risk assessment from the client’s perspective considering a range of issues including the consultant’s skills, experience, resources and method of project delivery. Whilst these guidelines were drafted for the public sector in 2005 when the insurance market was a lot “harder” they remain a useful public document likely to carry some weight and assist in negotiating down what are considered unreasonable client impositions. These guidelines are available from the APCC website:

If the limit of indemnity provided by your policy is insufficient to settle a claim the insurer is likely to pay up to the policy limit with your own assets being exposed above this amount. For policies that operate on the “costs exclusive” limit basis (subject to the particular policy wording), if you are underinsured the insurer may also reduce their liability for legal costs in proportion to your underinsurance. Increasing the limit of indemnity from the general industry minimum of $1,000,000 up to $2,000,000 for example may only add 20-30% to the total cost of your policy; this relatively small cost increase effectively doubles the level of protection. Ultimately the limit you purchase is an extremely important decision to make because your professional Indemnity Insurance is likely to be your last line of defence in the event of a claim. This is a decision that demands serious consideration by senior management. To the extent that any of the above content constitutes advice, it is general advice without reference to your needs or objectives and therefore cannot be relied upon. Before acting on the above information you should obtain advice specific to your needs. Darren Pavic, Consult Australia PI Pathway member and Broking Manager of Bovill Risk & Insurance Consultants Pty Ltd.

SLA Half A4 Suburban Eco Ad Mar-May10.pdf 24/02/2010 10:52:33 AM









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SUSTAINABILITY Caroline Ostrowski is a Policy Officer for Consult Australia. Caroline represents the needs and interests of Consult Australia member firms across the Skills and Sustainability business portfolios. Caroline can be reached at

AUSTRALIANS - CONSUMING LESS WATER BUT USING MORE ENERGY AUSTRALIANS ARE USING LESS WATER BUT MORE ENERGY, ACCORDING TO A NEW REPORT RELEASED IN JANUARY 2010 FROM THE AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS (ABS).1 The report, Australia's Environment: Issues and Trends highlights that water use by agriculture has fallen by almost half in two years, with the biggest reductions occurring in New South Wales and Victoria, while the proportion of households using water saving devices has doubled between 1994 and 2007. Water storage levels in Australia’s 'food bowl', the Murray Darling Basin, were down to less than one third of capacity at the end of October 2009. The report revealed that while water consumption fell, energy use rose. Australia's heavy reliance on fossil fuels, especially for power generation, has seen

greenhouse gas emissions in the energy sector rise by almost one-half since 1990, however emissions per head of population fell by 12% over the same period. The Northern Territory and Western Australia have been highlighted in the report as leading other states in solar hot water use (54% and 21%, respectively), but overall, less than 10% of Australian homes were using solar hot water in 2008. In 2008, only half (53%) of homes in New South Wales had insulation, compared to the national average of just over 60% - but most people were insulating for comfort rather than to save energy.

Australians are also living in larger homes with fewer people; this is increasing greenhouse emissions from the electricity and gas used to build and run them. Over three quarters of people use a private vehicle to travel to work, but the proportion using public transport is slowly increasing. Public transport also features in the report, the ABS found that the biggest increases in public transport use have been recorded in Victoria and South Australia, while New South Wales has fallen slightly. Some good news for Australia’s transport and construction industries, they experienced the largest drop in energy intensity (energy used per unit of economic output) down 49% and 74%, respectively over the 30 years to 2006-07, leading to a decrease of over a third for all Australian industries combined.2 Caroline Ostrowski 1 the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) News Release 28 January, 2010

the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) News Release 28 January, 2010


AN UPDATE ON MANDATORY ENERGY EFFICIENCY DISCLOSURE FOR COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS SCHEME THE OBJECTIVE OF THE PROPOSED MANDATORY DISCLOSURE OF COMMERCIAL OFFICE BUILDING ENERGY EFFICIENCY SCHEME IS TO ENSURE THAT MEANINGFUL INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE TO BUYERS AND LESSEES OF OFFICE SPACE ON THE RELATIVE ENERGY EFFICIENCY OF BUILDINGS. Provision of this information is intended to help overcome market barriers that currently inhibit cost effective energy efficiency investment. While the intent still remains the same, the details of the scheme have changed significantly since it was first proposed in 2007. Consult Australia has been instrumental in turning the Scheme into what can now be described as a useful tool. The first thing Consult Australia’s members will notice is that scheme has been simplified, there will no longer be a separate energy efficiency assessment report coupled with a certificate. Instead tenancy lighting details (a new tenancy lighting rating tool is currently being developed), a NABERS rating and energy efficiency guidance information will be consolidated within a single Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC).


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The Core requirements for a valid BEEC will include: a certificate reference number, certification date and validity date (12 months from certification); the building name and address; key building data, including building size, year of construction, etc.; an appropriate base building star rating based on the metrics described above; appropriate tenancy lighting details; detailed energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions data; building assessor details, including name, trading address, assessor number; where relevant, the presence of any co-generation or tri-generation facilities within the building; and energy efficiency guidance for the base building and fixed lighting of the tenancy space being offered for sale or lease.

The Building Energy Efficiency Certificate and related energy efficiency guidance material which will be provided to a building owner will not seek to replace a detailed energy audit. The guidance will outline some of the simpler and more effective measures that can be undertaken by building owners and staff. In order to go beyond this rating level, there is a vast range of additional technical initiatives for both owners and tenants to consider. However, these will require significant capital investments with several years of payback. For these more complex cases, professional site-assessment, design and installation support by specialists such as Consult Australia’s members will be recommended. NABERS assessors will require retraining to understand the new legislation, alongside training to understand the new tenancy lighting rating scheme. This online training is currently under development. Caroline Ostrowski


CPRS VS. DIRECT ACTION – WHO WILL EMERGE VICTORIOUS? THE COALITION GOVERNMENT HAVE RELEASED THEIR PLAN TO REDUCE AUSTRALIA’S GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS BY FIVE PERCENT BY 2020, HAILING THEIR PROPOSAL AS “DIRECT ACTION ON THE ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE”. How does the proposal stack up against the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) and what scheme will Australia end up with to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions? The Coalition claim the policy will not be funded through any new or increased taxes and it will protect Australian jobs, asserting that over a comparable time period their policy will cost $3.2 billion whilst the Government’s CPRS will cost $40 billion. The centrepiece of the Coalitions’ policy is an Emissions Reduction Fund which would provide incentives to industry and farmers to reduce CO2 emissions. Businesses that reduce emissions below their baseline or ‘business as usual’ activity will be able to sell their CO2 abatement to the government. The hope is that this will provide a direct financial incentive for firms to take action to reduce emissions below baseline levels. Businesses that emit above their ‘business as usual’ levels will incur a financial penalty. Small businesses and other entities not covered by NGERS will be able to participate on an opt-in basis. The Emissions Reduction Fund would also consider tenders for CO2 reduction projects such as forestry abatement, utilising waste coal mine gas for electricity generation, energy efficient building projects, innovative landfill management, composting and recycling. Bio-sequestration, solar rebates, geothermal and tide energy as well as the planting of 20 million trees by 2020 are also part of the Coalition’s proposal. The Coalition has proclaimed that the single largest opportunity for CO2 emissions reduction in Australia is through bio-sequestration and the replenishment of soil carbon in particular. The Coalition proposes to use the Emissions Reduction Fund to deliver about 85 million tonnes per annum of CO2 abatement through soil carbons by 2020 with an initial purchase of 10 million tonnes of abatement through soil carbons by 2012-13.


The proposals relating to solar energy include a $1,000 rebate for either solar panels or solar hot water systems, capped at 100,000 rebates per year, with the goal of achieving one million additional solar energy roofs on homes by 2020. The Coalition also proposes to allocate $100 million to a Solar Towns and Solar Schools Initiative which will provide grants for towns, non-capital cities and schools to access direct solar energy for onsite use and return to the power grid. Geothermal and Tidal Towns Initiatives would be allocated $50 million under the coalitions plan and a further $2 million would be devoted to a major study into the use of underground electricity transmission and the potential land recovery from the conversion of overhead powerline corridors to urban parklands and inner suburban housing. The Coalition has committed to the planting of an additional 20 million trees by 2020 to re-establish urban forests and green corridors and up to $5 million for research into algal synthesis and retain the Greenhouse Friendly programme. In response to this suite of proposals and policies the Government has slammed the entire approach calling it “nothing more than a con job that won’t do anything about climate change”. 1 The Department of Climate Change claim they have analysis proving that the Opposition policy will actually see emissions increase by 13% from 2000 levels. The analysis is based on the experience of the Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme, which Tony Abbott confirmed the Coalitions proposal was modelled quite closely on.

GGAS achieved around 4.7 million tonnes of additional abatement at a cost of around $200 million - meaning that each tonne of abatement cost around $40. The analysis finds likely abatement of around 40 million tonnes of abatement in 2020 which is short of the 138 million tonnes required to meet a 5% target. Furthermore the Government claim that rather than achieve the minimum 5% emission reduction target, the Coalition’s climate policy will actually see emissions increase by 13% from 2000 levels. It appears that Australia has found itself between a rock and a hard place. Luckily for the nation a number of simple and effective solutions exist, one of the best is Energy Efficiency. Energy efficiency is precisely the sort of change required to achieve sustained reductions in emissions that Australia needs. Whilst energy efficiency would be further encouraged by a price on carbon, broad ranging energy efficiency policies can be implemented as effective GHG reduction measures in their own right. In a battle against climate change and trying to agree on legislation, it appears that significantly improving the efficiency of buildings, national electricity grids, cars, public transport, households and other power generation sources is still the easiest, fastest and cheapest measure to reduce emissions and industry consensus on the effectiveness of energy efficiency has been achieved. Caroline Ostrowski 1

Minister for Climate Change and Water Penny Wong - Transcript of interview – 774 ABC mornings with Jon Faine. 4 February 2010

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SUSTAINABILITY WRAP UP - OPPORTUNITY FOR CHANGES TO THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT THERE ARE A RANGE OF POLICIES AND PROGRAMS CURRENTLY KICKING-OFF OR IN PROGRESS THAT CONSULT AUSTRALIA’S MEMBERS SHOULD BE AWARE OF. CONSULT AUSTRALIA IS ENGAGED IN ALL OF THE FOLLOWING PROGRAMS AND ENCOURAGES MEMBERS TO CONTRIBUTE AND/OR OBTAIN INFORMATION THROUGH OUR NATIONAL OFFICE. The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) Auditor Registration Instrument 2010 was made on 28 January 2010. The Instrument is the final piece of audit-related legislation in a suite which includes the NGER Act 2007, the NGER Regulations 2008 and the NGER (Audit) Determination 2009. With the Instrument in place, final preparations for the registration of greenhouse and energy auditors and the subsequent conduct of greenhouse and energy audits are occurring. Applications for becoming a registered NGER External Auditor should commence early March 2010. Commencement of the auditor registration process will occur once the online application form is finalised and user-tested. The National Climate Change Research Adaptation Facility (NCCARF) will soon release a National Adaptation Research Plan for Settlements & Infrastructure. Consultations are currently occurring and submissions to the Facility regarding the plan are being considered.

Mandatory Disclosure for Commercial Buildings Scheme – the parameters for the energy efficiency disclosure scheme for commercial office buildings have been approved. The Scheme will commence in 2010, with (online) training for NABERS Assessors to be introduced first to ensure compliance with the legislation. The National Strategy for Energy Efficiency NFEE – The strategies encompasses the development of policies and programs which provide assistance to households and businesses to reduce energy, nationally consistent energy efficiency standards for appliances and equipment, demand side initiatives such as smart grip technologies as well as Governments improving their own energy efficiency across a range of areas. Seven Implementation Committees are responsible for the delivery of NFEE to drive the implementation of the policies and programs. Current initiatives being supported by the committees that will be of interest to

Consult Australia’s members: Commercial and Industrial committee - the energy Efficiency Opportunities Program alongside the development of a long term strategy for energy efficiency assessment skills. Data Gather and Analysis Committee The Energy Efficiency Data Gathering and Analysis Project (EEDP). The project is aimed at improving the evidence base for development and evaluation of energy efficiency policies. The HVAC HESS Implementation Committee - aims to drive long term improvements in the energy efficiency of HVAC systems through whole of life improvements in HVAC efficiency, encompassing design, manufacture, installation, operation and maintenance. A large part of the gains targeted are in the maintenance and operation of existing systems in existing buildings, and through the establishment of national standard systems of documentation of the design, installation, operation and maintenance of the equipment. Key elements include a code of best practice for maintenance and operation scope, development of a ‘Calculating Cool’ online tool and measurement, monitoring and metering projects. Caroline Ostrowski

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

Built Environment Legal focuses exclusively on providing legal advice to engineering, architects statutory authorities, subcontractors, project managers, builders and other construction consultants including employers of these services. We recognise that our clients industry is more heavily regulated today than ever before. We are well-versed in the daily challenges faced by members of this industry and also serve the industry by working closely with Consult Australia. We know our way around and understand how best to guide you past the pitfalls. Our lawyers understand the points that really matter to you.

Consultancy and Building Contracts Contract Administration and Performance Government Contracts and Sub-contracts Insurance Dispute Resolution and Negotiation Occupational Health and Safety Outsourcing Tender and Procurement Risk Management

Our lawyers appreciate the unique aspects of each transaction. We carefully balance legal requirements with a pragmatic approach, devising creative solutions and adding real value to transactions.

Level 6, 50 Clarence Street, Sydney NSW 2000 Phone: 02 8252 6718 Fax: 02 8252 6719 Email: Website:

MEMBER SERVICES BUSINESS REPORTING Economic Reports Performance Benchmarking Salary Survey Benchmarking


In recent times especially, Consult Australia has increased its services for members and is constantly battling on members’ behalf against regulation and legislation that has the potential to stifle business for consulting firms operating in the built and natural environment. In business, there has to be a friendly face to turn when help is needed; Consult Australia is always there for us, ready and able to help. We need Consult Australia: If there were no Consult Australia tomorrow, we would all band together to create one! Melvyn Maylin, General Manager – Australia, Opus International Consultants

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For further information or to apply for membership, please contact Consult Australia at















CONSULT AUSTRALIA RECENTLY HELD OUR SECOND ANNUAL CONFERENCE “PUTTING OUR BEST FOOT FORWARD” WHICH FEATURED AN EXCITING LINE UP OF WELL KNOWN INDUSTRY AND INTERNATIONAL SPEAKERS. From the moment the attendees took their seats on day 1, there was a high level of energy in the room with an opening address from Minister for Planning, Infrastructure and Lands, Tony Kelly MLC, followed by an inspiring key note address from Harvard Business School’s, Paul Gilding who challenged participants to perceive an alternative future. Attendees then were given the opportunity to learn first-hand what a client wants, how to win bids, interpret market data and manage disputes. Highlighting the end of day one was a truly memorable tale from John Anderson, founder of Contiki Tours, who entertained dinner guests with his against all odds story from finding himself broke in London with a dream to see Europe, to creating the world’s largest tour company for 18 – 35 year olds. Day 2 guided attendees through working together to achieve common goals, whether they be pressing global issues such as sustainability and improving professional practice or how to manage your immediate team. Attendees were left encouraged by Robert Care and Stuart Glenn’s candid interview with Consult Australia’s CEO, Megan Motto on how to lead in these challenging times. Before the close of what was described by some as “the best conference they have ever attended,” attendees were treated to an hour with legend, John Eales, former Australian Wallaby Captain. To all our sponsors, speakers, members, attendees and staff who helped make the conference a huge success... THANK YOU, we couldn’t have done it without you!


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The ACEA is formed

The ACEA joined FIDIC (the International Federation of Consulting Engineers)

The ACEA produces its first ‘Consulting Engineers Newsletter’

The ACEA has 270 members employing 6000 people

The ACEA practice management is launch in association with the University of Melbourne Graduate School of Management, a programme that still runs today

Mr Richard Kell, former ACEA President, elected to the FIDIC presidency


The ACEA establishes Built Environment Legal, a wholly owned subsidiary of the ACEA, to provide legal services to members

The ACEA adopted the Consulting Engineers Code of the Institute of Engineers Australia

The Tasmanian division was formed

The Northern Territory division of the ACEA was formed

Mrs Eva Tihanyi becomes the first female member of the ACEA

The ACEA publishes an Outlook for Engineer Report, to profile the industry and provide a forecast of market trends - it is now produced annually


The ACEA has 270 members employing 50,000 people

Awdry Julius, Julius Poole & Gibson, elected first President

The Victorian division of the ACEA was formed

The first ACEA Engineers Awards competition was launched

The Young Professionals Exchange Programme (YPEP) between ACEA and the Japanese Association was formed, a programme that still runs today

The ACEA has 447 members (this includes corporate and individual members)

The ACEA secures an Immigration Officer from the Department of Immigration to assist members navigate the visa process – a service that continues today

First Annual General Meeting held

The formation of the ACEA divisions in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia The ACEA has 100 members

The ACEA hosted the FIDIC Annual Conference, held only for the second time outside Europe

Dr Peter Miller, ACEA President, elected to the FIDIC presidency

The ACEA Board amends the membership criteria to cover corporations only to reflect its role as a business association The Australian Capital Territory division of the ACEA was formed

The ACEA launches education and training courses, focusing on the key issues of safety in design, and contract terms and conditions for consultants


The ACEA changes its name to Consult Australia

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BRAND CHANGE INTERVIEW What was the rationale behind the name change to AECOM? Since its establishment 20 years ago, AECOM has merged with and acquired many companies which resulted in 20 different brands in the market place globally. In Australia, AECOM had four brands – Maunsell, EDAW, ENSR and Bassett. Moving to a single AECOM brand responded to client feedback and was a logical step in the evolution of AECOM locally and globally, bringing together our collective teams and their talents under a unifying brand that is distinctly AECOM. What do your new logo and colours represent? The AECOM logo represents the strength and depth of AECOM’s experience and expertise, with the italicised letters demonstrating movement and our forward thinking. The transitional colour in the ‘E’ represents the changing environment we work in, which demands new responses from us all. What are the positive experiences of the name change so far? Having a unifying brand is making it easier for our team members to harness the full capabilities of AECOM in Australia and globally and to make this expertise available to our clients. I am seeing more and more examples of our people working effectively in Australia and globally to deliver to our clients. How did your clients respond? Our clients have responded very favourably, particularly where they have been more easily able to tap into local and global experiences and expertise under a single AECOM brand. Increasingly, clients want an integrated service delivery, a ‘one stop shop’, particularly for complex projects.


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Has anything stayed the same? An important element of the transition to the AECOM brand was making sure clients still had access to the same people they’d been working with in the past. It was important these relationships continued, while ensuring increased access to specialists from anywhere in the world when needed. Why then and not later? Changing the names of our many legacy operating companies to the unifying AECOM brand was a logical strategy that was planned some time ago to support our global growth ambitions. When it happened, it seemed a natural thing to do. Did you experience some challenges along the way? Our team members were proud and committed to their legacy operating company’s brand. One of our greatest challenges was ensuring that we transitioned that pride and commitment to the new AECOM brand. I think we have done this successfully as team members realise the professional benefits that come from being part of a global organisation. The other was reassuring clients that the move to one AECOM would be seamless for them - we would continue our strong commitment to local presence and decision making, and dealing with the same people they had in the past. Richard Jackson Chief Executive Australia New Zealand



BRAND CHANGE INTERVIEW What was the rationale behind the name change to Aurecon? In merging three world class companies – Australasia’s Connell Wagner with Africa’s Africon and Ninham Shand in March 2009 – we intentionally chose a new name and indeed brand to represent the new future we sought to create for our business. Our name represents our corporate aim and culture, best captured in our brand proposition – fostering human achievement. We have made a shift to consciously acknowledge that our people and client relationships are at the heart of our brand. Our vision is to be leading, vibrant and global and our new brand captures this. Our name does not reflect just a simple name change; it captures the ethos and direction of a new global company that provides engineering, management and specialist technical services on projects in more than 70 countries. The name “Aurecon” itself relates to the “golden proportion”, which is used in mathematics, the arts and architecture. It is derived from aureus, Latin-English for golden, gilded, shining like gold and beautiful. What do your new logo and colours represent? Green – fresh, sustainable, vibrant Grey – contemporary The new logo begins with the thinking person – a seated person deep in thought, seeking inspiration and thinking about the problem to be solved. The upwards looking head represents looking to the future. It captures our ethos of fostering human achievement and our emphasis on innovation and problem solving for clients.

What are the positive experiences? Our stakeholders are recognising that the name change represents a reinvigorated culture, expanded service offering, a considered focus on our clients and how we deliver value. They also recognise its power in allowing us to have a shared purpose and values across our global company. How did your clients respond? Our clients have been extremely positive about the new Aurecon and what it represents – an opportunity to deploy the best of our skills and expertise to client projects, regardless of location. We were finalists in this year’s BRW Client Choice Awards for “Best consulting engineering firm, revenue over $200m” award. In South Africa, we were ranked the number 1 consulting engineering company in the Top 500 managed companies award. This indicates that our clients are certainly responding well to our name change, service offering and reinvigorated culture. Since 16 March 2009, we have been able to bid for more than 200 projects throughout the world by applying the leverage of the new Aurecon. We’ve also had positive feedback on the freshness and vibrancy of our new name and branding. We hope to continue to demonstrate to our clients that our emphasis on fostering human achievement will have real and measurable impact on the way our services can support their business objectives and have a positive impact on the communities in which we live and work. Why then and not later? With the coming together of three businesses, it was the ideal time for a new name and branding. The combined business enables our clients to receive the benefits, expertise and added value of a global group. We now offer the expertise and knowledge of experts from more than 40 different professions who offer in-depth local knowledge throughout our global network combined with world class expertise.

Did you experience some challenges along the way? We had a two-fold task – the merger of three companies and the launch of a new brand. This meant that the change of brand was somewhat easier as it was a logical move. That said, introducing a new brand is challenging. Our people are proud of our heritage companies and our clients are loyal supporters. But change is also hugely exciting and our approach has been to demonstrate the opportunities Aurecon offers our key stakeholders – our owners, our staff, our clients. We are excited by the journey ahead of us. We don’t underestimate the task of building a new global brand in a very competitive market for technical professional services. But the opportunity to build our brand from the inside out... to create a company that stands for something unique and that our clients experience in the way we serve, is a once in a lifetime opportunity and one that we relish. Our people are highly motivated to deliver client solutions and to make a difference in the world. There is a great synergy between their aspirations and ours as a company. Paul Hardy Global Chief Executive Aurecon


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CHANGING THE WAY WE PRACTICE: DISPUTE AVOIDANCE, PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE, INNOVATION AND RISK TWO IMPORTANT REPORTS WERE RELEASED LAST YEAR CALLING FOR SIGNIFICANT CULTURAL CHANGE IN THE BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY. Professional Performance, Innovation and Risk in Australian Engineering Practice, published by the Warren Centre (PPIR Project); and Guide to Leading Practice for Dispute Avoidance and Resolution, published by the CRC for Construction Innovation (DAR Project).

iii. The early involvement of head contractors, designers and specialist subcontractors with the client and other project sponsors (including end users, financiers, and operators). iv. Sensible risk allocation. v. Appropriate delegation of authority, including financial authority, to problem solve rapidly. vi. Selecting a project delivery mechanism and contractual framework that reflects the matters above.

These reports challenge our industry to consider: How can engineers do better – for their clients and themselves? How can we all get more from our engineering profession when, increasingly, so much of our quality of life depends upon a wide diversity of complex engineering projects? How can we work together to avoid disputes?

The DAR Guide sets out the strategies that need to be deployed by the project participants to avoid and manage potential disputation.

DISPUTE AVOIDANCE AND RESOLUTION Research undertaken for the CRC for Construction Innovation’s Dispute Avoidance and Resolution (DAR) project showed that to avoid and resolve disputes a cultural change is required within the construction industry. The message of the DAR project is that without the cultural change inherent in adopting the concepts above, the Australian economy will continue to suffer wastage from disputes in the construction industry estimated at approximately $7 billion per annum. Achieving cultural change will not be easy, but it is achievable and obviously worthwhile. It will require leadership and direction from the most senior executives of all industry participants. The DAR project has pin pointed the six factors critical to minimisation and avoidance of disputes: i. Recognition that each construction project involves the creation of a new group of people with diverse interests. There is thus the need to create a culture within the group which is project oriented but which recognises the financial and social requirements of each participant, and facilitates the building of trust between them. ii. In selecting project participants, significant weight should be given to the attitude of a participant, as well as its capacity and pricing. 38

National Outlook AUTUMN 10


PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE, INNOVATION AND RISK (PPIR) The PPIR Project recognises that engineers readily accept ethical values and competency standards as two 'given' dimensions that distinguish the engineering professional. However, the PPIR Project concluded that there is another key element (third dimension) of professionalism, which is performance. Currently there is no standard of professional performance and so the PPIR Project team looked at a way of defining and recognising performance to address the following issues: The community and clients expectations of the engineering professional; The contemporary commercial and professional realities that impact on the work of the engineering professional; The effects of complex legal and liability issues that govern everyday engineering; Engineering risk and responsible risk-taking; and The relationships between professional performance, innovation and risk. This led to the development of the “PPIR Protocol”. The PPIR Protocol contains eight elements (nine in total including the preamble), which together are intended to define professional performance, against which the duty and standard of care of the engineering professional can be assessed. Those eight areas are: Relevant parties and other stakeholders; The engineering task; Competence to act; Statutory requirement and public interest; Risk assessment and management; Engineering innovation;

Engineering task management; and Contractual framework. Clause 6 of the Protocol, “risk assessment and management” creased the new concept of the Hazard and Risk Framework (HARF). This requires a formal, fully integrated, transparent approach to recognising and delineating all the hazard and risk issues and accountabilities in each engineering task. The PPIR also proposes an Australian Standard (AS.PPIR) that would become the equivalent of the PPIR Protocol as a ‘best practice template’ and guidance to improve the standard of expert testimony from which to assess the Professional Engineer’s duty and standard of care. See:

EFFECTING CHANGE Familiarisation It is important that the industry familiarise itself with the PPIR and DAR protocols and takes steps to embrace benefits of change. Take time to read and understand the protocols contained in each, ask for help if you need it. Promotion You can help to promote the reports by bring them to the attention of colleagues, clients and other industry contacts. Education and training Facilitate the process of change by incorporating the protocols into your company’s training programmes. Act Adopt the protocols into your everyday business practices. Monitor and review Introduce measures by which to monitor your progress and review the success of both your adoption of the protocols and the outcomes arising from their adoption, e.g. less disputes, better relationships etc. Persist Grow and maintain your commitment to the protocols, change is rarely easy and there are always challenges along the way, but staying the course if often the key to success. Nicola Grayson

HEAT TRANSFER – STOP FLUSHING ENERGY DOWN THE DRAIN IN THE FACE OF EVER-INCREASING ENERGY COSTS AND INCREASING DEMANDS FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN BUSINESS OPERATIONS; MANY MANUFACTURERS AND SERVICE PROVIDERS ARE BEGINNING TO INCORPORATE ENERGY-RECYCLING TECHNOLOGY INTO THEIR OPERATIONS. One method that is gaining considerable momentum at the moment is Heat Transfer, which allows industries, laundries, wool scourers, abattoirs, dye houses and other businesses that generate hot wastewater, to recover energy from their waste by using the hot, outgoing fluids to heat up clean, incoming water. This is done through heat exchangers. There are two basic types of heat exchanger, plate and tubular. Though with larger

commercial applications, the need for plate exchangers to be disassembled and cleaned periodically renders tubular heat exchangers the more efficient option. Tubular heat exchangers consist of a series of tubes. An inner tube that contains outgoing fluid to be cooled, and an outer tube that runs the incoming water over the inner tubes to heat it. The robustness of tubular heat exchangers makes them ideal for larger applications. One advantage over plate systems in this regard is that tubular heat exchangers are can be cleaned through acid cleaning or high-pressure water jets, greatly reducing maintenance requirements. An excellent example of this energy recycling in action is Parramatta Linen, one of the largest industrial laundries in Australia. They take in the majority of Sydney’s hospital linen. And output around 30,000 litres of wastewater a day, with all of the dirt, lint and everything else hospital sheets have to offer.

The laundry’s outgoing wastewater is 50 degrees, but has to be under 32 degrees in order to be put into Sydney’s sewer system. So, to facilitate this the laundry implemented a tubular heat exchange system, which draws 20 degrees from the outgoing wastewater and uses it to heat the clean water coming back in. This has given the laundry a massive energy saving of 700Kw/h - which is enough to pay back the outlay for the heat exchanger in just 18 months. The advantages of recycling the energy we use are obvious; and through Heat Transfer, significant energy recovery can be implemented wherever a hot product or waste is cooled. And if this heat has previously been allowed to dissipate to atmosphere, incoming water used for wash down showers etc, can be basically heated for free. No energy, no green house gases, and minimal cost. Teralba


Recent technologies such as Compact Fluorescent, LED and High-Intensity Discharge (HID) light sources, as well as the intelligent lighting systems to control them, are essential if we want to allow people, companies and governments to make the environmentally conscious choices that can minimise energy consumption and maximise returns on green investments. One of the most exciting new lighting solutions on this front is the Active Reactor, a lighting control unit developed by engineers Dr. Richard Dluzniak, and Brian Howell. The Active Reactor offers an impressive combination of reduced energy consumption, extended lamp life, maintained design illuminance and uniformity for luminaires featuring HID lamps between 150W – 2000W. These features make the Active Reactor ideal for applications such as street lighting, sports facilities, industrial lighting and public lighting; and allows the user to prolong the lamp life of HID lamps by up to 50%, and achieve energy savings of up to 25%.

The major difference between the Active Reactor and conventional HID control gear is that with conventional control gear, a lighting design must allow for the reduction in lamp and luminaire output over time. This allowance results in the expectation and understanding that installations will initially output excessive lighting levels; before eventually fading over the life of the lamp, until they reach the minimum levels set in the original design parameters. Dluzniak noted this willful wastage of light and the excessive power consumption that came with it, and developed the Active Reactor, distributed by Sylvania Lighting Australasia, to combat it. The Active Reactor constantly monitors and controls lamp characteristics to ensure operation meets a designated level. The system will operate the lamp at lower power levels during the initial stage of life and gradually increase power throughout life so as to offset lumen depreciation. This allows the luminaire to operate under constant light output and therefore constant design

A high-performance symmetric floodlight illuminates an athletics track


levels, equating to a 15–25% power saving and a 50% or greater increase in lamp life offering significant maintenance savings. The system utilises reliable and proven magnetic ballast technology combined with electronic intelligence, with no additional wiring required, changing the way lamps can be operated and offering huge benefits across all facets of lighting. Erin Kilpatrick, Sylvannia Lighting AUTUMN 10 National Outlook



AUSTRALIA: A CHANGING NATION AS THE PRIME MINISTER TOURED THE NATION IN JANUARY THIS YEAR DELIVERING HIS AUSTRALIA DAY SPEECHES IN VARIOUS CITIES, HE SPOKE OF THE MANY CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES CURRENTLY FACING AUSTRALIA. In Tasmania the theme was a sustainable budget for an ageing population, a building decade for a stronger Australia in Melbourne and in Adelaide - Building 21st Century infrastructure for a more productive economy. In Darwin, the Prime Minister quoted from the (not yet released at the time) Intergenerational Report, entitled Australia to 2050: Future Challenges which revealed some startling long-term challenges facing Australia over the next 40 years. The Australia to 2050 report has since been released and the report reveals some immense challenges for the nation. The most pressing is the major demographic change resulting from the ageing of our population. The current Australian population stands at 22 million, 14 per cent or one in seven of which are over the age of 65. By 2050, Australia’s population will grow to 36 million, and 23 per cent or one in four will be over 65. Clearly these demographic changes will have a major impact on the Australian economy, infrastructure and resources. It will cost more to look after the needs of older Australians and at the same time a smaller proportion of Australians will be working, so tax revenues won’t keep pace with rising costs. In 1970, there were 7.5 people of working age to pay tax and support every person over 65. Today, there are five. By 2050, that number is projected to drop to 2.7. So we will face higher costs yet slower economic growth – and that is the heart of the economic challenge of an ageing population.1

Another challenge revealed in the Intergenerational Report is productivity. Average annual labour productivity has fallen from 2.1 per cent in the 1990s, to around 1.4 per cent in the 2000s. This is particularly concerning as improving our productivity is the key to higher living standards in the face of an ageing population. The Government has stated that it is determined to act now on the long-term challenge of an ageing population. The clear message of Treasury’s intergenerational modelling is that our response to the ageing of the population must centre on enhancing productivity growth. Workforce Participation is now the key to achieving this and Consult Australia has released a range of proposals to encourage workforce participation through various changes to Australia’s policy landscape. Chief among Consult Australia’s recommendations is that continued largescale investment in infrastructure around the country is the stimulus necessary for a slowly recovering economy and needed to increase employment participation. To quote directly from the Intergenerational Report “Infrastructure investment increases the country's capital stock and the efficiency with which private sector resources can be used. Sound investment in education and training results in a workforce with a better mix of skills leading to potentially higher productivity, higher participation, lower unemployment and increased incomes and living standards”. 2 The crucial role that engineering skills play in developing major nation building projects means investment in engineering skills is subsequently an investment in job creation. In the transport sector for example, some 84 jobs are created and supported by one professional engineer’s design and project management role.3 Hence an increase in the number of engineers and related professional in Australia is necessary.

Consult Australia has based its recommendations on the premise that the Government’s taxation should raise the targeted amount of revenue for Government expenditure with minimal distortion on an individual’s behaviour. Taxpayers must be treated equally, whilst ensuring the Government’s revenue stability. There is also a fundamental need to simplify the taxation system. Changes to current tax policies, such as a more competitive capital gains tax (CGT) system can stimulate employment participation, and in broad terms, reducing the tax and regulatory burden on business can contribute to increased employment participation. A profitable and growing business will have the ability to employ increased staff. Moreover boosting economic growth through publically funded infrastructure investment will increase employment participation across a broad range of sectors and encourage private sector investment. Training also has the potential to achieve an increase in employment participation across a plethora of sectors; the link between additional training and employment participation is well documented. By expanding programs such as the Enterprise Based Productivity Program (EBPPP) for existing workers to allow more employers and employees to access training places via the funding instrument will encourage employment participation. Consult Australia contends that extending and expanding the EBPPP coupled with the introduction of Consult Australia’s proposal for an Education and Training Tax Incentive can lead to real employment participation gains. Consult Australia has submitted a comprehensive submission expressing these views as a suite of specific recommendations to the Government, through the Employment Participation Senate Estimates Committee. Caroline Ostrowski 1

Third Intergenerational Report – Australia to 2050: Future Challenges


Third Intergenerational Report – Australia to 2050: Future Challenges


Australian National Engineering Taskforce


National Outlook AUTUMN 10


CONSULT AUSTRALIA FEDERAL BUDGET 2010-11 WISH LIST CONSULT AUSTRALIA’S MESSAGE TO THE TREASURER IS TO CONTINUE LARGE SCALE INVESTMENT IN NATION BUILDING INFRASTRUCTURE TO SUPPORT THE RECOVERING ECONOMY. As economic conditions recover the most pertinent issue in the 2010-11 Budget is expenditure on infrastructure. Careful consideration needs to be given to the timing of the expenditure ensuring a steady and consistent flow of projects. In broad macroeconomic terms the Budget needs to boost economic growth, increase Australia’s international competitiveness, improve workforce participation, retain and develop skills, and improve capital formation. Consult Australia has proposed a series of recommendations from the perspective of the consulting industry around each of these themes. Increasing economic growth and global competitiveness Spend on, and incentivise, infrastructure The Government should be ready to increase its planned expenditure on infrastructure, however all the while carefully considering the targeting, level and spread of spending. In addition, the Budget ought to incorporate a reintroduction of tax incentives for large infrastructure projects to make returns more attractive for large institutional investment funds. Fund an engineering resources supply and demand modelling exercise The purpose of the supply and demand modelling exercise is to determine the engineering resource capability within Australia, revealing the nations capacity to deliver on current and future infrastructure projects. The scoping study would be overseen by the Australian National Engineering Taskforce. Further to this the taskforce would have an ongoing role in advising key Government bodies and Departments such as Skills Australia, Infrastructure Australia, Department of Immigration, Department of Education etc.

Tax reform A series of tax reforms are required to reduce red-tape and increase productivity and competition. These include standardisation of payroll tax; elimination of bracket creep via the annual indexation of taxation thresholds to inflation; reduction of the corporate tax rate; removal of fringe benefit tax from items which are incurred as part of everyday business; the introduction of carry back of losses to offset earlier gains in order to improve loss utilisation and incentives for taking on risk; increased access to capital gains tax rollover provisions as they are currently restrictive and onerous; and reduction of the capital gains tax rate to the company tax rate at 30 per cent. Superannuation Compulsory superannuation contributions should firstly be sought from employees. Superannuation should then be taxed at two points in the cycle only. This would provide a greater incentive to invest more in superannuation and lessen the burden on future governments and generations of Australians. It will also bring the system in line with international practice. Voluntary superannuation contributions should be increased through changes to the Government’s Co-contribution Scheme.

Increasing workforce participation Introduce a national parental leave scheme This should be fully funded by the Federal Government. A Federal Government paid maternity leave scheme should be funded for 14 weeks at the Federal minimum wage which is currently $543.78 per week ($14.31 per hour). Government payments should be made directly to the employee by the Government, not through the employer, and should be paid to the mother except in circumstances where she is not the primary care giver. Furthermore, a national paid parental leave scheme should not impose financial or administrative obligations on employers. For employers who wish to do so, they may supplement the Federal Governments contribution to maintain an employee’s wages.

Education and innovation Introduce an Education and Training Tax Concession An Education and Training Tax Concession, at the rate of 125 per cent, should be introduced for employers who spend more than 2 per cent of payroll on education and training activities per year. This should be introduced to complement other Government programmes such as the Research and Development Tax Incentive. Sustainability Green Depreciation To increase the adoption of energy efficient measures in the building industry Green Depreciation should be adopted for existing non-residential buildings that meet a specified environmental standard. White Certificates Introduce a national White Certificates scheme to promote energy efficient measures amongst business and households. Funding for Retro Fitting Financial assistance mechanisms such as grants, subsidies and rebates should be available for improvements in energy efficient measures undertaken by households and business. Household Assistance Measures Funds could be made available for small scale upgrades including insulation, or large scale energy enhancements like solar panels, with no means testing, providing improved transition rather than simply subsidising households. National Sustainable Rating Scheme for Infrastructure $1.25 million of funding to be made available for the authorship of the Australian Green Infrastructure Council’s (AGIC) national sustainability rating scheme (the Scheme) for Australian infrastructure. Regulatory reform National Registration of Engineering Professionals Funding should be set aside in this Budget to fund the establishment of a national registration system for engineering professionals, through the Council of Australian Governments regulatory reform process. Nicola Grayson


National Outlook AUTUMN 10



When the new proposes were announced, the Treasurer and Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research made the following statement (12 May 2009), “The Rudd Government will simplify and enhance the Research and Development (R&D) Tax Concession so that it provides better incentives and more support for Australian jobs in the face of the global recession”. “The new R&D Tax Credit is the biggest reform to business innovation support for more than a decade. It will boost investment, support jobs and strengthen Australian companies so they can take full advantage of new opportunities as the economy recovers”. “From 2010-11, the Government will replace the complex and outdated R&D Tax Concession with a simplified R&D Tax Credit which cuts red tape and provides a better incentive for business to invest in research and innovation”.

Rather than cutting red tape and providing a better incentive for business to invest in research and innovation the impact of the new legislation is that companies will not be eligible if, when the expenditure is incurred, the company received, or could reasonably have expected to receive, consideration as a direct or indirect result of the R&D expenditure where that consideration is equal to or greater than the expenditure, i.e. where the money received is greater than what is spent on R&D activities. Put simply, firms will only be able to claim the loss that is made on projects where they are paid a fixed price. If a loss is not made, no claim will be allowed. So it would seem that this is less an “incentive scheme”, more a “compensation scheme”. Consult Australia together with a broad range of industry groups have raised concerns and put forward amendments to the proposed Legislation to bring the scheme back to the original policy intention set out by the Treasurer and Minister. We wait to see if this will have any impact. Nicola Grayson

NEW ONLINE CONSULTANTS PLATFORM TO STREAMLINE INFORMATION GATHERING WE ALL KNOW THE JOYS OF TRYING TO FIND THE RIGHT PUMPS FOR A PARTICULAR JOB. IT’S CERTAINLY SOMETHING THE CONSTANT PRESS OF NEW PRODUCTS, STANDARDS AND REQUIREMENTS DOESN’T HELP MAKE ANY EASIER. TIME IS MONEY, AND THE SPEED AND EFFICIENCY WITH WHICH WE CAN ACQUIRE THE INFORMATION WE NEED, AFFECTS THE COMPETITIVENESS WITH WHICH WE CAN CONSULT. There is however, some relief in sight information-wise; with a range of companies moving to catalogue their entire product ranges online, with detailed tools, overviews and online support to help speed up the consultancy process. These new ‘Consultants’ Platforms’ offer anyone seeking information and tools an easier way to browse for the products that they need by offering fast and up-to-date access to comprehensive product overviews and electronic tools that simplify the planning process. Users can access type-

series booklets and operating instructions containing all the relevant information on a particular product; as well as typical tenders in PDF and RTF formats, to help with daily processes. The more advanced platforms can even offer two and three-dimensional CAD data in DXF and DWG formats. These platforms are primarily aimed at providing consultants with better access to product information in order to promote greater efficiency in consultancy practice. One of the more advanced Consultants’ Platforms we have seen of late has been pump, valve and systems supplier KSB Australia’s new online platform. The platform covers the company’s entire product range – with pumps and valves that transports almost every sort of fluid, including clean water, aggressive and explosive media, and mixtures of liquids and solids; and are used in industry and building services, water and waste water sectors, and energy generation and mining.

applications such as drainage, water supply, heating and ventilation. Product overviews for products suitable for building projects ranging from office buildings to airports can also be browsed for with efficiency and ease. The product-specific data is accompanied by a series of useful additional information. The new platform also offers specialist literature on avoiding surge pressures, for example; papers on pump control as well as other plant and object-specific specialist knowledge. The possibilities and efficiencies that these new Consultants’ Platforms can offer are certainly exciting, and we’re looking forward to seeing where these new information streams can take us. Buddhika Arlyagama, KSB

The KSB platform allows consultants to browse via information on a selected pump or valve, or according to specific AUTUMN 10 National Outlook


SKILLS & RESOURCES Caroline Ostrowski is a Policy Officer for Consult Australia. Caroline represents the needs and interests of Consult Australia member firms across the Skills and Sustainability business portfolios. Caroline can be reached at

SKILLS WRAP UP CONSULT AUSTRALIA HAS BEEN LOBBYING A VARIETY OF STAKEHOLDERS FOR GREATER UNDERSTANDING OF ENGINEERING SKILLS SHORTAGES FOR MANY YEARS AND IT NOW APPEARS THAT OUR EFFORTS HAVE PAID OFF. WHILE THE ISSUES ARE COMPLEX AND INFORMATION INCOMPLETE, IT IS WIDELY ACCEPTED THAT NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL LABOUR MARKETS FOR ENGINEERING SERVICES ARE NOT OPERATING TO MEET CURRENT AND EMERGING DOMESTIC DEMAND. Skills Australia has designated the major engineering occupations as ’specialised occupations’ requiring market interventions within a workforce development model,1 while employers report long delays and cost blowouts on projects as a direct consequence of undersupply.2 Further, less than 6% of all commencing domestic students in higher education take a program in engineering, and only 17% of graduates are women.3 Overseas students made up 40% of all engineering graduates from Australian universities in 2005. The following list are just some of the initiatives that Consult Australia is progressing to secure our member firm’s skills needs.

The Australian National Engineering Taskforce (ANET) – As a founding member of the Australian National Engineering Taskforce, Consult Australia is collaborating will our industry and education counterparts to address engineering skills shortages which continue to constrain Australia's growth and limit innovation. ANET is piloting a new form of education-industry collaboration to strengthen Australia's current and future engineering workforce. Two key ANET projects are: modelling engineering demand and skills development across a range of industries (for the purposes of this proposal, likely limited to Road and Rail), and; analysis of engineering education pathways, including VET to HE articulation. These projects will allow the education sector and industry to anticipate and respond to engineering demand through a programme of sustainable intervention. The research projects will create ongoing value by providing the evidence base for policy and implementation including development of innovative structures for industry collaboration. By building capacity to respond to skills demand, the Taskforce will build Australia's capacity for job-creation, nation building innovation, resource sector recovery and creative responses to climate change.


Skilled Migration Practice Note Consult Australia through the national Skills Roundtable, are developing a skilled migration practice note for members. The practice note will include all the information required to access skilled migration as well as practical examples and procedures to make accessing skilled labour easier. The Practice Note will also contain information pertaining to compliance with Immigration legislation. Education and Training (E&T) Tax Incentive – Consult Australia has stepped up its lobbying for an E&T Tax Incentive to strengthen incentives for employers to invest in the skills and productivity of their employees. Based on the premise that a highly skilled and adaptable workforce is essential to Australia’s economic future the E&T incentive would provide a tax incentive for business when expenditure on education and training activities exceeds 2 per cent of payroll, per year. The Incentive would compensate business at a rate of 125 per cent of every dollar that exceeded the 2 per cent threshold. Consult Australia has provided a detailed recommendation to introduce the E&T tax incentive among a suite of measures to increase workforce participation for consideration at this year’s first round of Senate Estimates hearings. National Curriculum – Consult Australia has been assured that the National Curriculum development is progressing as planned. Consult Australia continues to engage with the Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority (ACARA) on the progress of the national science and mathematics curriculum drafting. Consult Australia will also continue to lobby to ensure an engineering elective in included in the national curriculum for secondary students. Caroline Ostrowski 1

Workforce Futures, Skills Australia, 2009


Consult Australia survey 2008; “Scope for Improvement”, Australian Constructors Association and Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, 2008


King, R, Engineers for the Future: addressing the supply and quality of Australian engineering graduates for the 21st Century, ACED 2008


National Outlook AUTUMN 10

WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY Nicola Grayson heads the policy team at Consult Australia’s National office in Sydney. Her portfolios include Procurement, Contracts & Liabilities and Workplace Health & Safety. Nicola can be contacted at

HIGH COURT OVERTURNS NSW ‘REVERSE ONUS OF PROOF’ IN THE NSW OHS SYSTEM EMPLOYERS ARE ASSUMED TO BE GUILTY WHEN A WORKPLACE ACCIDENT OCCURS, AND HAVE TO PROVE THEIR INNOCENCE. In a highly anticipated High Court ruling the court quashed a fine imposed on an employer by the NSW Industry Court in which an employee chose to drive a loaded vehicle down the side of a hill rather than use a road. The vehicle overturned and the driver was killed. The High Court believed the proceedings against the employer, Mr Kirk, should never have been instituted and ordered that there should be no new trial. The High Court said, “It is absurd to have prosecuted the owner of a farm and its principal on the ground that the principal had failed properly to ensure the health, safety and welfare of his manager, who was a man of optimum skill

and experience — skill and experience much greater than his own — and a man whose conduct in driving straight down the side of a hill instead of on a formed and safe road was inexplicably reckless”. “It is time for the WorkCover Authority of New South Wales to finish its sport with Mr Kirk”, Justice Heydon said. “The suggestion that the owners of farms are obliged to conduct daily supervision of employees and contractors, even the owners of relatively small farms like Mr Kirk's is, with respect, an astonishing one”. “The suggestion reflects a view of the legislation which, if it were correct, would justify many of the criticisms to which counsel for [the Kirk Company] subjected it as being offensive to a fundamental aspect of the rule of law

on the ground that it imposed obligations which were impossible to comply with and burdens which were impossible to bear”. The time taken by WorkCover to commence proceedings against Mr Kirk and the Kirk Company were believed to have been so oppressive that it was desirable for the court to ‘bring complete finality’ by ordering WorkCover to pay all the costs. The High Court said that if the employer had to pay his costs this would ‘dwarf’ the benefit of having the fine quashed. The Industrial Court will now have to reconsider its interpretation of the duty to ensure the health and safety in circumstances involving recklessness by an employee. Kirk v Industrial Relations Commission; Kirk Group Holdings Pty Ltd v WorkCover Authority of New South Wales (Inspector Childs) [2010] HCA 1 (3 February 2010). Nicola Grayson

Pumps Valves Systems ■

Reliable, long-term supply of drinking water. As one of the world’s largest artificial islands, “Palm Jumeirah” in Dubai must rely on high performance pumps to meet its enormous demand for drinking water. The developers of this highly ambitious project put their trust in KSB to provide solutions which are extremely energy-efficient and easy to maintain. HGM – RO high pressure and Omega water transport pumps from KSB help to reliably produce 32,000 m3 of pure water every day and keep life cycle costs as low as possible. KSB is one of the world’s leading manufactures of pumps, valves and systems. KSB Australia Pty Ltd · VIC 03 9314 0611 · SA 08 8234 0066 · NSW 02 9584 2099 WA 08 9412 0100 Kalgoorlie 08 9021 2447 QLD 07 3725 8200 · Townsville 07 4774 9200 · NZ +64 9 476 4047 ·




PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION FINDS THAT DESIGNERS’ DUTIES ARE UNCLEAR WITHOUT THE QUALIFICATION OF ‘CONTROL’ THE PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION (PC) HAS RELEASED A REPORT ON THE REGULATORY BURDENS CREATED BY DIFFERENCES IN AUSTRALIAN OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY (OHS) SYSTEMS. THE PC HAS COMPARED JURISDICTIONAL DIFFERENCES IN OHS LEGISLATION, ITS ADMINISTRATION, ENFORCEMENT AND THE COSTS THEY IMPOSE ON BUSINESS. The PC does not make recommendations in its report but it does draw attention to where there are differences in the compliance burdens between the jurisdictions and where there may be benefits from further reform. The good news is that overall OHS performance is generally improving. National injury incidence rates are said to have fallen almost 20 per cent between 2002-01 and 2007-08. The bad news is that firms operating Australiawide have to be aware of 3392 pages of regulation and 282 codes of practice at state and territory level. The requirements can vary substantially imposing significant burdens on business, for example, the report cites that the Commonwealth requires businesses to keep records relating to OHS incidents for at least 30 years, whilst Queensland only requires records to be kept for one year, and Western Australia and Tasmania have no formal record keeping requirements. The Productivity Commission report is based on their study of the different jurisdictional regimes and feedback received from industry and unions. Consult Australia submitted information to the Productivity Commission, which focused in particular on the burdens imposed on designers and the report quotes from it: “The ACEA [now Consult Australia] believes consulting engineering firms, especially those that operate in multiple jurisdictions, are unnecessarily burdened by inconsistent designer specific duties of care that are in effect in each jurisdiction”. “This is because the role and responsibility of a designer of buildings or structures has started to increase beyond the design process in the last decade”.

The Productivity Commission in response to this, state that it is, “difficult to assess whether duties imposed on designers have gone ‘too far’” (at page 175 of the report). They do note the argument put forward, by Consult Australia and other such groups, that the duties imposed generate greater costs than benefits and extend beyond what they could reasonably control. However the Productivity Commission go on to cite from a NOHSC report which says that in the period 1989-1992 it was estimated that in 52 per cent of the accidents relating to plant and equipment that led to fatalities, design problems were a contributing factor. Consult Australia agrees that safe design principles do have the potential to improve safety outcomes, however statistics like this need to be read carefully as this figure only relates to plant and equipment, not to for example, public works or buildings. The Productivity Commission comments on the lack of available data, which has hampered the effectiveness of reviews into whether duties should be imposed on designers of buildings intended to be used as workplaces. The Productivity Commission reports clearly identifies however, that a critical issue is the extent to which a designer might be reasonably be expected to have control over the outcome. Different approaches to a designer’s duty of care are taken across jurisdictions so given these differences the Productivity Commission states that, “there is likely to be some confusion over the extent of the duty of care imposed on designers. For example, it could be assumed that the reasonably practicable qualification would take into account the issues of control, but it

would remain open to court interpretation” (at page 177 of the report). This is directly relevant to the drafting of the designer duties in the Model National Work Health and Safety Act, which includes a duty on designers to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the plant, substance or structure is designed to be without risks to the health or safety of persons. The Act includes a definition of ‘reasonably practicable’ but it contains no reference to the level of control that the designer has over the outcome of the project. It will be left to the courts to decide whether or not to take matters of control into consideration. The Productivity Commission surmises that given the level of uncertainty, the compliance burden placed on businesses could be greater in those jurisdictions with duties that are not qualified by “control”, i.e. all jurisdictions except Queensland. Disappointingly, however the Productivity Commission was unable to clearly identify a ranking of the least to the most burdensome requirements placed on designers across jurisdictions. The report does, however recognise the value of including reference to the level of control held by a designer in order to provide more certainty about a designers’ duty of care. This is something that is currently missing from the draft Model Act (Model Work Health and Safety Bill), which Consult Australia and others in the building and construction industry have requested by addressed. The Model Work Health and Safety Bill will be before the Federal Parliament in the autumn 2010 sitting. Nicola Grayson


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Strategic Leadership and Service Excellence: Driving Engineering Business Success

A three-day residential management course focused on business excellence for engineers and other technical professionals

COURSE DIRECTOR: Professor Danny Samson

WHEN: 17 - 19 May 2010 and 13 - 15 September 2010 WHERE: Melbourne Business School PROGRAM COST: $3,850 +GST, includes full residence (private) fees*, meals, materials and full program ENQUIRIES & ENROLMENTS: Enquiries or enrolments can be made to Danny Samson P: 03 8344 5344 E:

OBJECTIVE: This program addresses the core issue for engineers: how to create additional value for internal and external clients, and therefore drive the service effectiveness, outcomes, volume and price of professional services up for your firm/ department. In summary, the program objective is to clearly and concisely identify for participants, the leading edge, practical business management principles and practices that work to provide a competitive edge in the engineering market place. “The program brings ‘business maturity’ to those who attend. Leadership, service excellence and taking advantage of new technologies through innovation are important for all Engineering firms. Above all else, it is critical for such service firms to keep investing in their ‘up and coming’ people, through continually developing their managerial as well as their technical knowledge.” Participants leave with an ability to analyse, understand and put into action just how to take their businesses forward. This is based on our latest research of ‘What works’ in leadership and management. Over 1200 engineers have attended this program, many of whom are now senior business leaders! Professor Danny Samson

WHO SHOULD ATTEND, PARTICIPATE AND LEARN: Senior managers and Directors Engineers of about ten to twenty years experience Next generation of ‘up and comers’ Those who buy engineering services. KEY TOPICS: Leadership of the service focused organisation Best Business Practices in Engineering The Principles of Service Excellence Advanced Service Company Practices Marketing and Differentiated Pricing Attracting and retaining the right clients Teamwork and Service Operations Strategic Business Improvement Measuring and Reporting Performance Practical Case Studies of service excellence Financial management of an engineering business Business strategy and development.

OUR THEME IS: To be as effective in our leadership and management as we are in the technical aspects of our work.

* A fee reduction is available for those staying elsewhere.


INFRASTRUCTURE Jonathan Cartledge is a Policy Officer for Consult Australia. Jonathan represents the needs and interests of Consult Australia member firms across the Economics/Taxation and Infrastructure business portfolios. Jonathan can be reached at

SYDNEY TOWARDS TOMORROW - CENTRAL COAST COMMUNITY CONSULTATION FORUM ON MONDAY 15 MARCH 2010 CONSULT AUSTRALIA HOSTED THE FIRST SYDNEY TOWARDS TOMORROW COMMUNITY CONSULTATION FORUM TO EXPLORE HOW THE CENTRAL COAST IS GOING TO PREPARE FOR SYDNEY’S POPULATION GROWTH. THE HOST OF SBS DATELINE, MR GEORGE NEGUS, PRESIDED OVER THE EVENT. Consult Australia’s Infrastructure Roundtable report, Sydney Towards Tomorrow, published at the end of last year included the proposal that the councils of Gosford and Wyong should form a single Central Coast Regional Council, which would be better able to cope with the growing demand for services. This proposal reignited the debate surrounding the future of the region prompting a range of media commentary. To continue the debate, Consult Australia’s Infrastructure Roundtable suggested a Central Coast Community Forum to explore the issues raised in Sydney Towards Tomorrow in a local context. To ensure a fair debate, Consult Australia made sure the Forum provided for a broad cross-section of the local community. Attendees included local school students, councillors, state MP’s as well as leading business and community representatives. Participants engaged in a passionate discussion covering a range of issues. The Mayor of Gosford, Councillor Chris Holstein, provided a vigorous defence of the current local government boundaries noting the geographic obstacles to effective regional governance, and the substantial collaboration already occurring with Wyong Shire Council. Councillor Bob Graham, the Mayor of Wyong outlined the challenges faced by his community, particularly the large percentage of unemployed youth. He emphasised the need for investment in social infrastructure and the difficulties created by a lack of coordination between state agencies. John Asquith, Chair of the Central Coast Community Environment Network put forward a community perspective. He called for: planning and infrastructure investment to support local job creation and economic development; a comprehensive strategy for community consultation informing governance and decision making; and a sustainable approach to planning at all levels of government. The relatively recent experience of local government amalgamations in Queensland was relayed to the audience by Greg Hoffman, Director of Policy and Representation from the 48

National Outlook AUTUMN 10

Local Government Association of Queensland. Greg summarised the challenges in moving from 157 local councils to just 73. Greg observed that reform was necessary to help ensure the continued relevance of local government. Responding to the presentations, there was a strong feeling among the audience that the Central Coast should be treated as a single region for planning. This reflected a proud regional identity reflected in the audience discussion. Representatives indicated their support for a regional governance model to build the capacity of the Central Coast to meet increasing population pressures, and realise opportunities for economic growth. Many participants considered amalgamation of local government to be a useful first step, but one that needed to be combined with additional funding by state and federal governments for infrastructure projects critical to the region. David Stuart-Watt from Parsons Brinkerhoff and a member of the Consult Australia Infrastructure Roundtable presented the Consult Australia position. He summarised the six key areas outlined for reform in Sydney Towards Tomorrow, and called on participants to lead the debate going forward and consider regional governance as part of a broader change required for the future of the region. In the lead-up to the Forum, Consult Australia launched a school essay competition inviting High School students to debate the amalgamation of Gosford and Wyong Shire Councils. The winning entry was written by Lillian Davis, Natalie Hodgson, and Oscar Wilkie of Gosford High School, who were rewarded with a $1000 shopping spree sponsored by MYER. The students presented their views to the Forum, participated in the final Panel discussion and fielded questions from the audience. Concisely summarising the views of many of the Forum’s participants, Oscar Wilkie challenged the continued defence of the status quo noting: “inaction is worse than action.’’ Forum presentations including the student essays are all available on the Consult Australia website: (Jonathan Cartledge)

NATION BUILDING STIMULUS – ONE YEAR ON Almost three quarters of the infrastructure projects in the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan are completed or underway according to a Progress Report from the Commonwealth Coordinator-General, released one year after the Plan was announced. The Report highlights significant progress in implementing the largest Commonwealth infrastructure plan in the nation’s history and outlines its role in supporting jobs, economic growth and driving productivity during the most hostile global economic conditions in 75 years. According to the Coordinator General’s Report, of the major building and construction projects being rolled out: 49,179 projects have been approved; 34,853 projects have commenced; and 8,339 have been completed. Over half of the $42 billion Stimulus has now been injected into the economy, through businesses, households, State and local government allocations and construction projects. The report can be viewed at: The Government is promising that the spending will continue with a number of Nation Building projects due to commence this year including: Regional Rail Link (VIC) - $4.2 billion; Hunter Expressway (NSW) - $1.65 billion; Kempsey Bypass on the Pacific Highway (NSW) - $618 million; Duplication of the Pacific Highway between Sapphire to Woolgoolga (NSW) - $698 million; Gawler Line Modernisation and the Noarlunga to Seaford Rail Extension (SA) - $584 million; South Road Superway (SA) - $500 million; Realignment of Western Highway at Anthony’s Cutting (VIC) - $200 million; Northbridge Rail Link (WA) - $236 million; Duplication of the Douglas Arterial Road in Townsville (QLD) - $110 million; and Kingston Bypass (Tasmania) - $41.5 million. Nicola Grayson

NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE CONFERENCE 2010 Tuesday, April 27 & Wednesday, April 28, 2010 • Hilton Sydney Day 1: Transport Infrastructure Day one will focus exclusively on the transport infrastructure sector. With major investments already underway, speakers will examine whether Australia is getting the right mix.

Day 2: Investing in Infrastructure As governments roll out unprecedented infrastructure programs, including a $26 billion investment by the Federal Government, this day will address the vital involvement of the private sector in Australia’s infrastructure plan for the future.

Confirmed Speakers: • Mark Birrell,

Chairman, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia and board member of Infrastructure Australia

• Bill Wild, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Leighton Holdings Ltd

• Mark Rowsthorn, Chief Executive Officer, Asciano

• Jim Hallion, Chief Executive, Department of Transport, Energy and Infrastructure, South Australia

Day 1: Opening Address by: The Hon Anthony Albanese MP Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, and the Leader of the House of Representatives

Day 2: Opening Address by The Hon Lindsay Tanner MP Minister for Finance and Deregulation, Federal Member for Melbourne

• Dr Raymond H. Wilson, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, BrisConnections

• Dr John Gattorna Supply Chain ‘Thought Leader’

• Lance Hockridge Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, QR National

• Bill Evans Managing Director, and Global Head of Economics and Research, Westpac Banking Corporation

To register for further information, call 1800 032 577 or visit

Early Early booking bookingrate ratecloses closesTuesday, Tuesday, March March 30, 30,2010 2010atat5pm 5pm Note: Specialrate rate applies for ACEA Note: Special applies for Consult Australia members after thisthis date. members after date.

To enquire about sponsorship contact John La Rosa on 02 9282 2245 or email

Principal sponsor:

Supporting sponsors:

Endorsed by:


CAPITAL CITIES STRATEGIC PLANNING SYSTEMS ENSURING THE NATION IS READY FOR 35 MILLION PEOPLE BY 2049 The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has announced that State and Territories will have capital city strategic plans by 2012 that meet national criteria for transport, housing, urban development and sustainability. State and Territory planning systems will be independently assessed by the COAG Reform Council in this major microeconomic reform. The objective is to ensure that Australian cities are globally competitive, productive, sustainable, liveable and socially inclusive and are well placed to meet future challenges and growth. COAG believes that capital city strategic plans are needed to lift economic productivity, respond to climate change and ensure the nation is geared up for 35 million people by 2049. The national criteria will deliver better integrated and longer term (30 year) infrastructure and land use plans. The criteria require planned, evidence based land release to improve housing affordability, better transport planning to tackle urban congestion, and new urban development to be better linked to transport, jobs and services. Work will begin this year, with an initial report on each jurisdiction's plan to be completed during 2011. A formal intergovernmental agreement will provide details of these arrangements. From 1 January 2012, the Commonwealth will link future infrastructure funding to States and Territories meeting these criteria. The Commonwealth must have confidence in the integrity of a capital city's strategic planning system if it is to invest in that city. The Commonwealth also has agreed to contribute to the reforms through its own property, assets, service delivery and approval processes. The reforms are intended to secure better outcomes from investments of all governments in Australia's cities and they strengthen public confidence in planning systems.

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Section 3(b) Fair Work Act 2009 Section 134 Fair Work Act 2009


National Outlook AUTUMN 10

THE CRITERIA Capital city strategic planning systems should: 1. Be integrated: a. across functions, including land-use and transport planning, economic and, infrastructure development, environmental assessment and urban development; and b. across government agencies. 2. Provide for a consistent hierarchy of future oriented and publicly available plans, including: a. long term (for example, 15-30 year) integrated strategic plans; b. medium term (for example, 5-15 year) prioritised infrastructure and land-use plans; and c. near term prioritised infrastructure project pipeline backed by appropriately detailed project plans. 3. Provide for nationally significant economic infrastructure (both new and upgrade of existing) including: a. transport corridors; b. international gateways; c. intermodal connections; d. major communications and utilities infrastructure; and e. reservation of appropriate lands to support future expansion. 4. Address nationally significant policy issues including: a. population growth and demographic change; b. productivity and global competitiveness; c. climate change mitigation and adaptation; d. efficient development and use of existing and new infrastructure and other public assets; e. connectivity of people to jobs and businesses to markets; f. development of major urban corridors; g. social inclusion; h. health, liveability, and community wellbeing; i. housing affordability; and j. matters of national environmental significance.

5. Consider and strengthen the networks between capital cities and major regional centres, and other important domestic and international connections. 6. Provide for planned, sequenced and evidence-based land release and an appropriate balance of infill and greenfields development. 7. Clearly identify priorities for investment and policy effort by governments, and provide an effective framework for private sector investment and innovation. 8. Encourage world-class urban design and architecture. 9. Provide effective implementation arrangements and supporting mechanisms, including: a. clear accountabilities, timelines and appropriate performance measures; b. coordination between all three levels of government, with opportunities for Commonwealth and Local Government input, and linked, streamlined and efficient approval processes, including under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999; c. evaluation and review cycles that support the need for balance between flexibility and certainty, including trigger points that identify the need for change in policy settings; and d. appropriate consultation and engagement with external stakeholders, experts and the wider community. Nicola Grayson


NEW YEAR SAFETY NET NEW YEARS DAY 2010 MARKED THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE MODERN AWARDS AND NATIONAL EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS (NES) SYSTEMS. ALL EMPLOYERS COVERED BY THE FAIR WORK ACT MUST ENSURE THAT THEY COMPLY WITH THE MODERN AWARDS AND THE NES FROM 1 JANUARY 2010. The Fair Work Act states that “The object of this Act is to provide a balanced framework for cooperative and productive workplace relations that promotes national economic prosperity and social inclusion for all Australians...” and specifies as one of the mechanisms to be utilised to achieve this objective is by “ensuring a guaranteed safety net of fair, relevant and enforceable minimum terms and conditions through the National Employment Standards, modern awards and national minimum wage orders”. 1 The Fair Work Act 2009 provides “...that Modern Awards, together the National Employment Standards [must] provide a fair and relevant minimum safety net of terms and conditions...” 2 The NES set out the minimum terms of employment relating to: Maximum weekly hours; Requests for flexible working arrangements; Parental leave and related entitlements; Annual leave; Personal/carer’s leave and compassionate leave; Long service leave; Public holidays; Notice of termination and redundancy; and Fair Work Information Statement. The NES apply to all employees regardless of how much they are paid or if they are covered by an Award or Agreement. From 1 January 2010 existing Awards in most industries were replaced by about 120 Modern Awards, which are occupation or industry based. The Modern Awards together with the National Employment Standards set out the minimum conditions of employment. A Modern Award may include provisions which are ancillary or incidental to an employees entitlements under the NES and can also include terms that supplement NES. Modern Awards may include terms relating to: Minimum wages; Types of employment; Arrangements for when work is to be performed; Penalty rates and allowances Frequency and manner of payment; Annualised salary arrangements; Leave, leave loadings and arrangements for taking leave; and Superannuation.

The Use of Individual Flexibility Arrangements (IFA) permits an employer and employee from varying one or more terms of a Modern Award in respect of that employee. The Act prescribes the requirements for flexible arrangements. An IFA must comply with all of the following: a. identify the terms of the modern award which are varied by the IFA; b. the employee and the employer must have genuinely agreed to the IFA; c. result in the employee being better off overall than if the employee had not agreed to the IFA; d. set out how the IFA can be terminated by the employer or the employee; e. be in writing and signed by the employee and the employer. If the employee is under 18 then the employees parent or guardian must sign the IFA; and f. a copy of the IFA must be given to the employee. The Modern Awards permit flexibility in relation to five Award terms and also make provision for the notice required to terminate an IFA. High income employees are identified as those who earn in excess of the high income threshold, currently $108,300.00. These employees can agree that the modern award normally applicable to them will not apply if the employer gives a guarantee of annual earnings, thereby effectively “contracting out” of the award. The income includes wages, amounts applied at the employees request and direction and the value of agreed non-monetary amounts but does not include Superannuation Guarantee Contributions or payments which cannot be determined in advance.

Strict requirements apply in respect of what will constitute a Guarantee of Annual Earnings. The Act requires that: 1. the employee is covered by a modern award which is in operation; 2. the undertaking by the employer to pay the annual earnings must be in writing and must not be for less than 12 months unless the employee is employed for a period of less than 12 months or for a specific service for a specific period of less than 12 months; 3. the employee accepts the employers undertaking and agrees with the amount of earnings; 4. the undertaking and the employees agreement are given 14 days before the start of employment or the day on which the employer and employee agree to vary the terms of the employees employment; and 5. that no enterprise agreement applies to the employees employment at the start of the period of the employers undertaking. The law also recognises that certain employees, such as those in management type roles, have not traditionally been covered by awards. The terms and conditions of employment for these Award free employees are the minimum standards of the NES. The Act also provides for the employer and employee to come to agreements on certain employment conditions, which are those set out in the Act and the Regulations. The Fair Work Act marks a significant change in employment law in Australia. From 1 January 2010 all employers are required to comply with the National Employment Standards and with the Modern Award applicable to the employer’s industry or the occupations of the employer’s employees. Susan Isho Susan Isho is the Solicitor – Director of Built Environment Legal, Sydney. This article is provided to Consult Australia members for general information purposes only. It represents a summary of the subject matter and should not be relied on as a substitute for legal or other professional advice.

AUTUMN 10 National Outlook


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