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WINTER 2019

Education

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Australia’s STEM education challenge

14 A Critical Constraint:

Workforce Capability and Availability

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Designing Gender Training for Pacific Communities


SAVE THE DATE! Thursday, 24 October 2019 Shangri La Hotel, Sydney, NSW

2019 Awards for Excellence


Consulting Matters

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CONTENTS

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14 14 A Critical Constraint: Workforce Capability and Availability

18 Australia’s STEM education challenge Industry updates

Building skills doesn’t happen overnight 18

Industry updates

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New members

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The Importance of Cash Flow Forecasting 20

From the President

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From the CEO

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Policy Wins & Advocacy Highlights

Micromobility: Safety problem or transport solution?

Business essentials

What’s happening in Consult Australia Division updates

Building skills doesn’t happen overnight

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Reimagining cities for the urban billions

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Corporate Social Responsibility Designing Gender Training for Pacific Communities 26

Features Effective Consulting Engagements – Help your clients to help themselves

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A Critical Constraint: Workforce Capability and Availability

Project case study

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Modular schools design

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Australia’s STEM education challenge

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Monash University Chancellery

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Not a member of Consult Australia? To find out more about how your firm can benefit from membership contact Consult Australia on (02) 8252 6700 or email membership@consultaustralia.com.au www.consultaustralia.com.au


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Consulting Matters

Industry updates

Industry updates APPOINTMENTS Stuart Ballingall has been appointed as the new Executive General Manager of Transport Certification Australia (TCA). Stuart has over 20 years’ experience in the automotive and transport sectors, including executive leadership roles at VicRoads, Austroads and, most recently, Transport for Victoria as director of future vehicles and transport innovation. The ACT Government has appointed Adrian Piani as its Chief Engineer, providing strategic advice on projects including Stage Two of the city-wide light rail network, upgrades at the Canberra Hospital precinct and the capital works program in ACT schools. The appointment of a Chief Engineer was an ACT Labor election commitment. Paul Younis has been appointed Secretary of Victoria’s new Department of Transport. Paul, who has been acting in the role since the Department came into being on January 1, was previously Deputy Head - Assets and Networks, at Transport for Victoria, and before that CEO of Brimbank City Council. KBR has promoted Ray Mahony to Consulting Services Director looking after the firm's transport, water and defence businesses. Beca has appointed Rachel Fowler as General Manager for its Australian transport and infrastructure business. Rachel has 25 years' experience in global engineering consultancies. Since joining Beca's Australian team 18 months ago as Operations Manager, she has been guiding the company’s involvement in key projects such as the Southern Program Alliance (delivering the removal of nine level crossings in Melbourne), the expansion of Sunshine Coast Airport in Queensland, and the upgrade of Memorial Avenue in Sydney.

AECOM has appointed three new senior business leaders to drive the future growth of its NSW and ACT (NAC) region. Lauren Allen and Jason Morris have been appointed to group director roles, leading civil infrastructure and construction services respectively, while Justine Kinch returns to the firm to lead the NAC Buildings + Places team. The leaders will all be responsible for teams, client service and market engagement across the NAC region, which encompasses offices in Hunter, Western Sydney, Canberra and Sydney. Aurecon has appointed rail infrastructure delivery specialist Becky Wood as its new Global Service Leader, Rail & Mass Transit. Becky will set the direction for this growth market and drive its capabilities forward as the team pursues major projects, particularly in Asia, and completes its current pipeline, including Auckland City Rail Link, Gold Coast Light Rail, Mauritius Metro Express light rail, Melbourne Metro, and several Sydney Metro projects such as Sydenham Station Junction. Beca has appointed Jimmy Walsh as Group Director – Industrial, responsible for leading the firm’s global industrial business of nearly 400 professionals. Beca’s Industrial Business Group partners with clients across a range of markets, as well as leading thinking around new technologies which enable clients to optimise new and existing asset performance. Jimmy was previously General Manager for International Markets, leading business coordination for Beca’s numerous consulting assignments outside of its main geographical centres. He also held the role of General Manager for Group Strategy and previously led delivery of major projects. Aurecon has appointed Chris Deakin as Rail Leader – Asia to lead the company’s rail and mass transit practice in the region. In his role, Chris will be responsible for leading, developing and managing the rail and mass transit service line and teams within

Aurecon’s Asia business. Based in Singapore, Chris will lead key relationships with clients and industry partners to enhance Aurecon’s market growth and positioning. In addition, Chris will lead the digital delivery programme for the Singapore infrastructure business. KBR's Sam Cowell (left) has moved onto a new role as Transport Director and Carey Gent (bottom) will be joining the KBR Infrastructure Services Senior Leadership Team as Director of Resources and PMC Services. Carey has been at KBR for 18 months and previously spent 20 years at Orica in a number of General Manager and Project Director roles.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION The Chith Export Facility at Weipa in Far North Queensland, constructed by McConnell Dowell Constructors (Aust) Pty Ltd, was announced as the 2019 winner of the Australian Construction Achievement Award. Commenting on the announcement of the winner, ACA President Craig Laslett said that the winning project showcases the highly innovative solutions, teamwork and skills that constructors develop to overcome the technically challenging issues associated with today’s mega projects.

NEW MEMBERS SINCE APRIL 2019 CMC Asia Pacific Procivil Consulting Mark Kiryakos – Geotechnical engineer Site and Civil Consulting TYPSA Pty Ltd


Industry updates

Consulting Matters

OTHER

Editor/Marketing Manager Mark Rock

President Kiri Parr

Aurecon and the University of Queensland (UQ) have joined forces to lead change in how industry and education collaborations impact on students and business. The partnership, which was signed by UQ ViceChancellor and President Professor Peter Høj AC (left) and Aurecon Global CEO Bill Cox (right) on 28 March, will challenge the status quo of how industry and education engage, and will support project-based collaboration.

Chief Executive Officer Nicola Grayson

Chief Operating Officer Kisanne Dulin

Accounts Guillaume Marchand

Director State Operations Manager SA & NT Jan Irvine

State Manager – NSW Linda Gaunt

State Manager – VIC & TAS Zeina Iesa

State Manager – QLD Jillian Carney

State Manager – WA Steve Coghlan

State Manager – ACT Caitlin Buttress

Policy Advisor James Robertson

Corporate Designer Voltaire Corpuz

An economic forecast for consulting in the built and natural environment Buy now

Finance Manager Andy Mak

Administration Assistant Samuel Baker

Editorial submissions mark@consultaustralia.com.au

Advertising enquiries info@consultaustralia.com.au Consulting Matters is produced by Consult Australia. Phone: (02) 8252 6700. Website: www.consultaustralia.com.au

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Consulting Matters

What’s happening at Consult Australia

From the President Whatever your education journey, I hope that Consult Australia’s professional development options can provide some of the opportunities you are looking for to build the skills you are interested in building.

• I’ve always been willing to spend my own time and money on my development. I’m worth it. Aren’t you?

Merry Winter everyone! On the topic of this edition’s theme of education, I want to reflect on the attitude we as adults bring to learning. Whilst we merit sending our kids to school to actively learn skills and encourage them to try new things, I worry that it is so much rarer for us to do this as adults or value investing in ourselves in the same way – whether by way of time or money or simply prioritising our growth. To that end I wanted to share a few things that I’ve observed along the way: • I’ve learnt a lot when I’ve invested my time with a specialist who has a skill I want to learn—including an opera singer on one occasion to help me work on my public speaking skills (who knew breathing was that complex?) • Learning on the job is great—but it is not right for everything or at all times. • Learning with others is fun and enriching and new people bring new perspectives. You can’t learn as much with the same people at the same table.

• Achieving the minimum number of CPD hours isn’t a good measure of whether you have done the learning you need to do and it always seems like such a low number. I’ve always appreciated the staff for whom training is pursued just as a matter of course and is not a drama (or a last-minute rush to achieve the required CPD points). • It can be fun (although in my case the qualification on that is that there aren’t any exams!) Whatever your education journey, I hope that Consult Australia’s professional development options can provide some of the opportunities you are looking for to build the skills you are interested in building. It should also be remembered that participating with your industry, whether it be through FutureNet, a state/territory committee, or a roundtable, can be another great way to build skills around collaboration, running events, chairing meetings and influencing industry. On more day-to-day activity at Consult Australia, I’d just like to promote the work the teams is doing on mental health in the workplace, and thank the 18 senior leaders from the membership that have come together to form Consult Australia’s Mental

Health Ambassador Network. This work is so important and will benefit us all. I am also pleased to see Consult Australia holding discussions around the country on the New Engineering Contracts, which may offer an interesting alternative to the traditional contracting environment in Australia. Take a look at our Policy Wins and Advocacy Highlights for the first six months of the Year which is included in this edition of Consulting Matters, noting in particular the establishment of the Commonwealth’s Centre of Procurement Excellence, a great win for us! Finally, I look forward to seeing everyone at the Annual Awards for Excellence event on 24 October in Sydney. I hope you have all got your Awards entries in!

Kiri Parr President


What’s happening at Consult Australia

Consulting Matters

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From the CEO Unless declines in education performance are reversed, the future workforce will be unprepared for the jobs of tomorrow.

A life-long love for learning is a precious thing and instilling that love is one of the most important gifts we can give to a young mind. Our educators come in many forms and change throughout our lives, starting with the ones who raise us as children. Formal education plays a key role of course, but our education influencers as we move to adulthood become much broader. The workplace, where we then spend much of our time, can make a significant contribution to our education not just through funding for training, but through the opportunities and networks that a business can provide. We are all aware that growing productive, inclusive, and resilient businesses will involve increased adoption of technology to boost productivity and investment in skills to ensure a globally competitive workforce that is prepared for technology-enabled jobs. As Consult Australia’s James Robertson points out in his article for this edition of Consulting Matters re Australia’s STEM education challenge, we have been in a ’20-year slide’ in STEM education outcomes compared to other countries around the world, i.e. the very skills on which technological advancement relies. Our formal educational institutions have a significant role to play in developing curriculums that are fit for purpose in preparing students for technology-enabled jobs. The recent CSIRO report ‘Australian National Outlook 2019’ highlights that the world is changing rapidly and transforming existing industries and changing the skills required for high-quality jobs is critical. Unless declines in education performance are reversed, the future workforce will be unprepared for the jobs of tomorrow.

Inspiring young people to study and take up STEM related studies and careers means feeding that love of learning. Geoff Crittenden, CEO, Weld Australia says in his article for this edition of Consulting Matters, “TAFEs and training organisation must look to cutting-edge technology—such as augmented reality—to transform welder training from boring theory and text books into high-quality interactive experiences that capture the imagination.” We can’t of course lay all responsibility at the feet of the formal education system. As an industry we also have a significant role in preparing our businesses and our people for this changing environment. Consult Australia is a partner in supporting your businesses through this transition, whether through educational events such as our webinar with UK expert Paul Wilkinson, blogger and author of “Construction Collaboration Technologies: An Extranet Evolution”, to help your business plan for digital adoption, or through our work on striving for mentally healthy workplaces to support our people during these times of volatility, uncertainly, complexity and ambiguity (or ‘VUCA’ as it’s known). Opportunities abound to take advantage of digitalisation and educating ourselves as an industry, businesses and people will allow us to invest in our love of learning. Afterall, the ideal student has a curious mind – the ideal educator sparks the curious mind.

Nicola Grayson CEO


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Consulting Matters

What’s happening at Consult Australia

Division Updates With varying market conditions around the country Consult Australia’s state and territory managers share their insights on key challenges and opportunities for our member firms.

QLD

Jillian Carney As this financial year ends Queensland can boast a number of successes. Our engagement across key government agencies has continued to grow with Consult Australia sought out as the ‘go to’ voice of the consulting industry. This has included a ‘seat at the table’ with the review board for the Building Industry Fairness Act and the introduction of Project Bank Accounts, also participation in an industry forum looking at the restructure of the Standing Offer Arrangement for the supply of Contingent Workers across Queensland. Consult Australia is a representative on six Industry Reference Groups across a number of State Government agencies, and is the only built environment industry representative on the General Good and Services Industry Reference Group (operated by the Department of Housing and Public Works). A significant achievement for our members, as the result of our Mental Health campaign on early January tendering dates, the Department of Transport and Main Roads have released a new Engineering Policy formalising their best practice on tender ‘black-out periods’. We could not have asked for a better formal acknowledgement on the impact of tendering on our industry.

Striving for Metally Healthy Workplaces launch in Brisbane.

We have strengthened our engagement with the legal fraternity and educated the sector on NEC Contracts as just one option for greater use of collaborative contracts. Through our national thought leadership reports in 2018/2019 – Model Client Policy, Striving for Mentally Healthy Workplaces and Rebuilding the social licence for Asset Recycling – we have increased our profile, and that of our members, amongst the State Government, the Opposition, Industry Associations, and financial institutions. In turn we’re attracting new members and look forward to maintaining this momentum over the year ahead. Whilst advocacy is still a major focus of the Consult Australia strategy in Queensland, with some small changes to our governance and the make-up of our committee, we have redirected some of our energies into building a network for our small to medium organisations and supporting them through the supply of our business services such as contract templates, targeted networking forums and events. Our FutureNet teams in both Brisbane and Townsville continue to go from strength to strength. Both teams are now chaired by female leaders, a great reflection of the female talent in our industry. The Queensland FutureNet committees offer a variety of networking, fun and educational events. The annual Trivia and Bowling nights are still massively popular and the knowledge-based sessions provide great networking and professional development opportunities for young professionals. Check out our webpage for all upcoming networking, events and training opportunities.

FutureNet Brisbane Breakfast, April 2019

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VIC

WA

The Victorian Government has given the green light to progress the detailed business case for Melbourne Airport Rail. Rail Projects Victoria has commenced stakeholder consultation and detailed technical planning, with the project expected to begin in 2022. Our members had the opportunity first hand, to hear of the opportunities and challenges for the consulting sector in delivering the current and upcoming projects, on 19 June at an industry briefing. Ensuring a sufficient workforce is available to address the future of projects, highlights Consult Australia’s STEM policy, to create a strong built environment workforce through effective STEM education outcomes.

The establishment of Infrastructure WA is one step closer with the Bill having passed the Legislative Assembly (Lower House) and it is now sitting in the Legislative Council (Upper House) awaiting debate. Pending support from the State Opposition and cross bench, this Bill will see Infrastructure WA (IWA) established as an independent statutory authority focused on the long-term infrastructure planning for the State. From a member perspective, the establishment of such a body will be a massive win in terms of pipeline certainty for our members, as this new authority will be tasked to create an independent rolling 20-year infrastructure strategy and shorter 5 to 10-year prioritised infrastructure plans for the State. And whilst technically the Bill still needs to pass the Upper House of the WA Parliament, it is expected that its passage will be relatively trouble free given the benefits that such an authority’s establishment will bring for the community, industry and government alike.

Zeina Iesa

Steve Coghlan

Governments across Australia are facing increasing pressure to deliver fit for purpose infrastructure on time and on budget. Yet the lack of standard form contracts and the increase in claims suggest that current contracting models are worsening the health of the consulting and contracting community just at the time when we need it to be vibrant and proactive in support of our country’s objectives. Foreign governments have been through this process already and adopted the NEC contracts. NEC is a suite of collaborative contracts that facilitates project management principles and collaborative practices as well as defining legal relationships. Together, with key expert presenters, Consult Australia is leading the conversation in these spaces, to how we can improve our contracting models and improve business operation for our consultants. The Division Committee has continued to closely monitor the Engineers Registration Bill in the Victorian Parliament, which was seeking to introduce a mandatory registration system for engineers in Victoria. We have met with several independent members, to discuss our concerns with the Bill in its current form, and seek an amendment of mutual registration, which has received great support. We will continue to lobby for a pragmatic system that is workable for businesses large and small and achieves the right public benefit outcomes. After the success of our 2018 program, our FutureNet Professional Development Series will kick off on July 25, 2019. This series develops core business, management and teamwork skills through a variety of interactive training sessions, ranging from Leadership, Project Finance and Engaging with Government. It also expands the network of the participants by linking them with the best of the best from within the built and natural environment. To register, or find out more, please contact Zeina. For any division queries, please contact Zeina on Zeina@consultaustralia.com.au Upcoming Events: Please see the website for more upcoming events here. Platinum Sponsor:

On the push for fairer contracts front, Steve Coghlan, WA State Manager was to appear before the WA Parliamentary Inquiry into Contract Management Practices and gave evidence at the Public Administration Committee’s request on June 26. More to come on this in due course. Meanwhile further positive engagement and collaboration with other peak body organisations, namely the WA’s Construction Contractors Association (CCA), Civil Construction Federation (CCF), Society of Construction Law (SoCLA), Engineers Australia (EA) and the Master Builders of Western Australia (MBAWA) continues. On the events front we have had a number of recent successful FutureNet events being held in WA, one with John Nicolaou from ACIL Allen entitled ‘Looking Forward into 2019’, where our young professionals were fortunate enough to listen to a very detailed and informative presentation on the state of WA’s economy and some of the positivity about where we may be heading in the near to medium term. Then followed a very informative event on Arbitration in Construction given by James Healy, Barrister from Francis Burt Chambers and Vice President of the Australian branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb). A very insightful look at the arbitration process and what things to look out for if ever having to go through it in their current and future roles as project leaders. To find out more on what events are happening in WA you can visit our website here. As always feel free to email us at wa@consultaustralia.com.au for any further information.

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What’s happening at Consult Australia

SA

of goods and services (not including capital projects) and identify reform options to improve procurement practices and the impact of procurement on local industry output and employment.

Jan Irvine It’s been a busy few months in South Australia and highlights of our activities are below. We met with Jeremy Conway, Executive Director of Infrastructure SA via a member only Boardroom Lunch in March. Jeremy briefed the table on recently agreed ISA Board strategic aims, the approach ISA will take – how it will work, who will be involved, input and engagement – and where it will connect the pipeline of works of the various Departments and Agencies into an integrated priority list. There is much work to be done over the coming months and we will keep our members updated as things progress. We also met with Tony Braxton-Smith, CEO of the Department of Planning, at a member only Boardroom Lunch in April. The lunch provided participants the opportunity to raise and discuss critical issues currently affecting businesses and how our members can move toward an effective way for the Department and our industry to work together to deliver best outcomes for the State. One outcome of the lunch was a follow up meeting with Tony focussing on collaboration between DPTI and the SA Division, with opening discussions on the amended form of standard contract for the engagement of consultants by DPTI and current challenges arising from the Industry Participation Policy being experienced by our members when seeking to efficiently and effectively secure the right expertise on government projects.

A submission was made by the Division querying the exemption of capital projects from the current Government Procurement Inquiry. Consult Australia State Manager Jan Irvine appeared before the Commissioner to discuss the possibility of the scope of the South Australian Productivity Commission – Government Procurement Inquiry being expanded to include capital projects as the issues raised in the paper are as relevant in capital works projects as they are general goods and services. Our view was clearly taken into consideration, and the initial terms of reference for the Government Procurement Inquiry (now referred to as Stage 1) have been expanded to include prescribed agencies and capital projects. You can find the new terms of reference for the Government Procurement Inquiry Stage 2 on the SA Productivity Commission website. As always, visit our SA webpage to keep up to date on upcoming events, and please feel free to contact sa@consultaustralia.com.au for any further information. Gold Sponsors:

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The South Australia Productivity Commission Inquiry into Government Procurement included in the Terms of Reference that the Commission was to examine the effectiveness and efficiency of State Government policies and practices for the procurement

NT

Jan Irvine The NT Division’s Consult Australia | Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics (DIPL) Working Group, now in its ninth year continues to deliver value for both our member firms and the Department, as well as assisting the wider consulting industry through our collaborative approach to engaging with the Northern Territory government. A Consult Australia / DIPL Better Tendering Workshop was held in May. Hosted by the Department, open to the wider consultancy community, and with Consult Australia driving the marketing, awareness and attendance of workshop, the session was fully subscribed. The agenda covered the Response Schedule, Value For Territory assessment, and the Debrief Process. Each topic was presented by the Department and an open group discussion followed with the many questions from industry receiving considered responses. Notes from the workshop can be obtained by Consult Australia members by simply contacting Jan Irvine at jan@consultaustralia.com.au. Consult Australia was very pleased to hear the Department advise workshop attendees that, as the peak association acting as the voice for the consulting industry working in the built and natural

environment, their suggested avenue for consultants to raise issues and provide feedback is through Consult Australia, who will then raise these issues with the Northern Territory Government. Our next scheduled DIPL / CA Working Group meeting is currently scheduled for June, and as always, we encourage members to contact us with any feedback, comment or challenges they are facing when working with the NTG. The NT Committee are now working through our business plan for the next 12 months with one of the strategic priorities being the exploration of opportunities to duplicate the success of the DIPL / CA Working Group across other NTG Departments and agencies. The next Boardroom Breakfast is with the Hon Dale Wakefield MLA, Minister for Renewables, Energy and Essential Services. We are looking forward to an open discussion to better understand the development and delivery of essential services, renewables and energy infrastructure projects across the Northern Territory and industry’s role into the future. Boardroom Breakfasts have limited seats around the table, with online registration, so we advise that members continue to check out the website for the latest events.


What’s happening at Consult Australia

Consulting Matters

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NSW

Linda Gaunt The Consult Australia NSW Committee has spent time re-evaluating how they operate and how they can best add value to the industry. In doing so they have formed three sub-committees covering Consult Australia’s four strategic pillars being Procurement, Pipeline, Practice and People. This ensures that the Committee is in a good position to attend appropriate meetings, respond to papers and be proactive and responsive within their self-nominated sub-committees. Additionally, two new members have joining the committee, they are Scott Powell, Regional Director NSW, Aurecon and Alex Campbell, Regional Sector Leader – Infrastructure (Asia Pacific) SLR.

Washington, Principal Engagement and Policy, Government Architect NSW and Graham Davis King, Board Member, Deerubbin Local Aboriginal Land Council. The program will conclude with an awards celebration on Thursday 4 October 2019.

Representatives from the NSW Committee recently met with Transport for NSW (TfNSW) to gather more information on how the new operating model covering Infrastructure and Place, Greater Sydney, People and Culture, Customer Strategy and Technology and Regional will operate. Quarterly meetings with TfNSW have now been set enabling us to seek clarification, give feedback, provide ideas and collaborate into the future. The NSW 'A Seat at the Table Boardroom Luncheon' series enables our members to raise and discuss critical issues affecting business in open discussion with key decision-makers both in the public and private sectors. Our most recent sold-out luncheon in the series was with Jim Betts, Secretary of Planning, Industry and Environments. This luncheon was the first that Secretary Betts had attended in his new portfolio and he provided those in attendance with a wrap-up on his former role as CEO of Infrastructure NSW as well as insights into future planning in his new role. Secretary Betts has offered to speak again six months into his new role. Our June Seat at the Table Boardroom Luncheon was with Sam Sangster, Chief Executive Officer, Western City & Aerotropolis. Sam has now been in his role over six months and our June luncheon hosted by ARUP provided much valued information to our members in attendance. This event was also sold-out. Another upcoming luncheon is with Jon Lamonte, Chief Executive Officer, the Sydney Metro with registrations available from July. Early in June we hosted an industry briefing breakfast for those interested in the NEC4 Suite of Contracts. Facilitated by Rob Buchanan from Pinsent Masons with panellists Martin Carter from ConnellGriffin, Karen Wenham from Advisian and Philip Oxley from Mott MacDonald, the fifty professionals in attendance were well informed. The Consult Australia NSW Striving for Mentally Healthy Workplaces breakfast combined with the launch of the Consult Australia Mental Health Ambassador Network was held in mid-June in Sydney. With guest speakers from Tonkin Consulting, SafeWork NSW, Beyondblue and Jacobs this event highlighted the range of challenges relating to mental health in the workplace and across broader society and how we can assist to remove barriers and stigmas to assist people reaching out for support. The Consult Australia FutureNet Business Leaders Program has got off to a strong start with many well received presentations to date. This year the project for the program is the Old Paramatta Gaol. Owned by the Deerubbin Local Aboriginal Land Council, groups have been tasked with designing the future of the gaol and the surrounding land owned by Derubbin. Our project judges this year are Sharon Veale, Chief Executive Officer, GML Heritage, Michelle

Bottom photo from left: Erica Rubic (SafeWork NSW), Ross Jones (Jacobs), Gerry Doyle (Tonkin), Nicola Grayson (Consult Australia), Geri Sumpter (Beyondblue)

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Consulting Matters What’s happening at Consult Australia

ACT

Caitlin Buttress The last quarter has seen the ACT Division ramp up activity significantly with boardroom lunches, industry consultations, and a few significant announcements by the ACT Government. We were very pleased to see Adrian Piani, formerly AECOM’s ACT Regional Manager, appointed to the role of the Territory’s first Chief Engineer. Highly respected in the industry as an engineer and consultant, Mr Piani also held the Chair role for the Consult Australia ACT Executive Committee until 2017 and is an active member of the industry in Canberra, having extensive experience working on a range of infrastructure projects. This appointment is a win for Consult Australia, after advocating for the position in recent years, however we would like to see the role increase in scale as the need for an independent advisory body grows with the ACT’s increased investment in infrastructure. We are looking forward to working closely with the Chief Engineer on these issues over the coming months. ACT Chief Minister and Treasurer Andrew Barr released the ACT Budget 2019-20 on 4 June, delivering what he described as their “largest infrastructure investment program ever committed to by this Government”. The next four years to 2022-23 will see the ACT Government invest over $3 billion in infrastructure, including work on major projects such as Stage 2 of light rail, the Surgical Procedures, Interventional Radiology and Emergency (SPIRE) Centre, expansion of the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children, and two new schools. However beyond this, it is difficult to see a longer term pipeline of major projects for the Territory or a commitment to

implementing a City Plan from this year’s budget. We hope to see some further details in the announcement of the Government’s 10year Infrastructure Plan in the coming months. Consult Australia's ACT Division has been approached a number of times this year for private consultations or to give feedback on ACT Government documents, demonstrating a raise in the profile of the organisation and trust from some of the key stakeholders in the ACT. Over the last three months, we have met with Minister for Planning and Land Management, Mick Gentleman; Minister for Roads and Minister for City Services, Chris Steel’s Chief of Staff; and various representatives from the ACT Government to consult on building reform issues and discuss plans and visions for the ACT in the coming years. The ACT Division has also hosted two boardroom lunches in the last couple of months; the first with outgoing Director-General of Transport Canberra and City Services, Emma Thomas, and her Deputy Director-General, Duncan Edghill; and the second with Chief Executive of the National Capital Authority, Sally Barnes. Hosted in an intimate setting to enable an open discussion, these events have given members the opportunity to participate in the conversations that are shaping our industry. Forging strong relationships with stakeholders gives us an opportunity to work more collaboratively and have a better understanding of the issues and challenges that affect both government and the industry in the delivery of major infrastructure projects. To find out what lunches and events are coming up in the ACT, please visit our webpage or contact the ACT Manager.

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Features Consulting Matters

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2019 POLICY WINS & ADVOCACY HIGHLIGHTS Six month review: January to June

Consult Australia’s policy and advocacy is supported by long-standing, productive relationships with federal, state and territory parliaments. Our members’ substantial expertise and unique perspective on the built and natural environment informs everything we do. Our policy and advocacy focus is on four key industry issues; people, practice, pipeline, and procurement.

PEOPLE Strengthening the talent pipeline • Following the release of our Mentally Healthy Workplaces report on 12th June we launched our Mental Health Ambassador network. The Ambassador network is made up of 18 senior leaders and managers across the Consult Australia membership, collectively focused on tackling mental health stigmas and championing mentally healthy workplaces. • We received a commitment from the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) that they will continue collaborating with Consult Australia to reduce the impact of their tendering processes in support of a healthy industry. This follows publication of their new Engineering Policy – EP168 re shut down of tender requests during holiday periods. • Representatives from Consult Australia’s Male Champions of Change group, together with the Property, Architects, and National groups came together to discuss worksite culture and have committed to developing strategies to address. A working group has been established to develop an engagement strategy to take forward proposed recommendations. • We provided input into the Human Rights Commission inquiry into sexual harassment in the workplace through both a written submission and in person at their consultation forum. We have highlighted the link between creating a positive workplace culture and reducing incidents of sexual harassment in the workplace. • In response to the changes to the permanent migration program and the number of visa categories for the 2019-20 financial year, we have made written submissions focusing on the importance of ensuring the program is responsive to business needs. We have met with the Commonwealth Assistant Secretary for Migration to reinforce our submission. We have established a working group of members to pursue our policy position on a fit for purpose visa system.

explored the issues of design process, capacity and capability, and risk and insurance. This will be one in suite of guidance. •E  ngagement with members of the Victorian Legislative Council has continued regarding the Victorian Professional Engineers Registration Bill 2019, including the 10 independent MPs who hold the balance of votes in order to pass the Bill into law.

PIPELINE Strengthen the Built Environment Pipeline •O  n 21 March 2019 we launched our thought leadership report Rebuilding the Social Licence for Asset Recycling highlighting the importance of rebuilding social licence within the community, and to ensure that asset transfer conditions set by governments are considering the longer-term impacts on service outcomes. •S  ince the launch of our Asset Recycling Report we have met with the Victoria Treasury and Shadow Treasurer, the Chief of Staff to the Australian Capital Territory Roads and Services Minister, the Queensland Shadow Minister for Housing, Public Works and Energy, the Queensland Shadow Minister for Transport and Main Roads, the Western Australia Department of Premier and Cabinet. We have also arranged to meet with the ACCC’s infrastructure division. • Infrastructure Australia congratulated us on the release of our Asset Recycling Report and endorsements were received from Roads Australia and the Queensland Major Contractors Association. •M  inister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure, Alan Tudge MP, has formally invited Nicola Grayson, Consult Australia’s CEO, to participate in his Cities Reference Group, which engages cities experts and stakeholders to inform the Government’s cities agenda.

PRACTICE Improve the regulatory and business environment for firms • We were invited by the Building Ministers of Australia to attend their Forum in February 2019 where we shared that Consult Australia has been invited to lead the work to quantify the NCC Performance Requirements relating to structural safety on behalf of the structural engineering community in Australia. • We participated in the New South Wales/Victoria Construction Industry Leadership Forum (CILF) design workshop the outcomes of which will inform a Practice Note to be published as guidance for government agencies in Victoria and New South Wales. We

Re-building the social licence for

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Consulting Matters

2019 POLICY WINS & ADVOCACY HIGHLIGHTS Six month review: January to June

PROCUREMENT Improve procurement for better project outcomes • The Australian Government formally announced the establishment of a Centre of Procurement Excellence, which was a core recommendation in our pre-budget submission and a central part of our better procurement policy and advocacy work. The Centre’s aim will be to enhance procurement capability and productivity across the public sector, which will be critical to successful project delivery. • Consult Australia’s CEO Nicola Grayson has been appointed to the Centre of Procurement Excellence (CoPE) Steering Group to work with the Commonwealth to develop its initiatives. Consult Australia’s role in calling for the establishment of CoPE was acknowledged at its first meeting. Two discussion papers were considered, one on capability and one on risk. • The South Australian Productivity Commission’s review into Government Procurement was expanded to include capital projects, following representations by us, including a meeting with the Commissioner, that capital works should be included in the terms of reference for their inquiry. This has allowed us to put forward a submission setting out our recommendations for reform. • The Northern Territory’s Department of Infrastructure Planning and Logistics (DIPL) recognised Consult Australia as the preferred network for consulting with industry. We assisted DIPL in bringing together industry participants for the Workshop, facilitating feedback and discussion about their tender processes. Consultants attending were encouraged to engage with us as the main point of contact for industry consultation. • With funding support from the CRC for Low Carbon Living we have run focus group sessions across the country to explore the opportunities/barriers to innovation across the built environment sector. This attracted over 140 participants, bringing together client groups from the public and private sectors, contractors and consultants. The findings will be published in a report in the second half of the year.

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Effective Consulting Engagements – Help your clients to help themselves An often repeated saying amongst consultants is that your biggest risk is your client. While this may be true, it doesn’t need to be. By taking some simple steps at the beginning of an engagement, you can guide your clients along the way to a successful outcome. Many assumptions are often made at the commencement of a consulting engagement, both from the client and from the consultant. If these assumptions are not challenged early on they may cause problems during a project if they turn out to be incorrect.

Many assumptions are often made at the commencement of a consulting engagement, both from the client and from the consultant. If these assumptions are not challenged early on they may cause problems during a project if they turn out to be incorrect.

By explicitly addressing these at the outset of an engagement, the resulting clarity can save time, effort, cost and strain on the consultant – client relationship. Some of these questions to address include: 1. What problem are you solving? Too often projects fail because this simple question was never asked. Often it seems so obvious that no explanation is needed. If you feel that your client is not communicating or does not understand the root problem, keep digging until you get to it. Tools such as “5 whys” can help to clarify the problem. We can never be truly effective with our clients if we do not fully understand their problems. 2. Why has your client engaged you? Understanding why your client has engaged you will help guide how you will work with them. Once you understand this step, the best advice that you can give your client may even be to direct them elsewhere. If your client needs some encouraging to articulate this “why”, the following suggestions may help: •T  hey know at a strategic level what needs to be done, but lack the technical expertise in that area (e.g., technical specialists) •T  hey would do it in-house but cannot find a suitable candidate, or there is no longterm requirement for that role (e.g., temp agency work) •A  large network of people is required for complex problems (e.g., large consulting houses) • It is a compliance requirement (e.g., certified professionals) •A  n external perspective is desired (e.g., consultants with prior industry experience)

3. What does your client expect from you? Client expectations of consultants are as varied as the services that consultants offer; they may expect some strategic, high-level advice, or on-the-group support from a person with a specific skillset to complement their internal team, or a pseudo-employee to fill a role that would otherwise be done by a staff member. If this is not well understood, it is likely that you will not meet your client’s expectations. For example, if you believe incorrectly that your client only needs high-level advice they may not have the resources to implement that advice. Conversely if you believe incorrectly that your client expects you to do everything with no support from their staff you may go well over budget. 4. W  ho is responsible for the project from your client? How will you communicate? This is another question that is often overlooked. If your client does not have clear communication channels with you, you may find yourself bombarded with information from many stakeholders within the client organisation. Worse still, these stakeholders may be making conflicting requests to you. Ideally the client will appoint one project sponsor, and either this person or their delegate is responsible for vetting all information to be provided to you. Assigning a project sponsor should be requested by you at project outset.

5. What authority is your client delegating to you? Often a level of delegation of authority is required from a client to you. However, if this is not done in a thoughtful way this can be problematic. If too little authority is delegated, you may be paralysed by waiting for decisions to be made; if too much authority is delegated you may make poor decisions due to lack of contextual knowledge of the organisation. 6. H  ow will you deal with bad new / problems in the project? Things go wrong, but they can usually be resolved if they are communicated as early as possible. Your client may be the biggest obstacle to this communication if they do not take bad news well. Establishing a protocol to deal with problems before starting the project can help deal with these issues. If your client starts to get affected by emotions, these protocols can then be referred back to. By following these simple steps both you and your client can be better prepared from the start for a successful consulting engagement. When you help your clients, you will also be helping yourself. James Baker Sudgen & Gee


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Consulting Matters Features

A Critical Constraint: Workforce Capability and Availability There is widespread evidence that Australia’s infrastructure and manufacturing sectors are growing. According to the Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (Australian PMI®), the sector experienced a 26-month long run of uninterrupted expansion from 2016 to 2018, and rose by 3.8 points to 54.8 in April, indicating even faster growth. However, industry participants continue to cite a critical constraint: workforce capability and availability. According to Geoff Crittenden (CEO, Weld Australia), “Finding and retaining skilled workers is front of mind for infrastructure and manufacturing industry business owners and operators, as is maintaining currency of skills and knowledge.” “Australia requires a significant increase in skilled, qualified trades workers to meet future demand on major projects in industries as diverse as infrastructure, rolling stock, resources, defence, shipbuilding, and aerospace,” said Crittenden. According to a recent employment outlook survey in Australia, skilled trades workers (such as electricians and welders), engineers (electrical, civil and mechanical) and technicians are scarce. In fact, 34 per cent of Australian employers admit that filling job vacancies is increasingly difficult, mainly due to lack of applicants (25 per cent), lack of skills (21 per cent), and lack of experience (19 per cent).

Within the fabrication industry, this is compounded by the fact that approximately 30% of Australia’s existing welding workforce is aged over 45 years. This heavy proportion of older skilled trade workers, particularly welders, puts into focus the looming issues that industrial sectors are likely to face when baby boomers finally reach retirement age—welding positions will simply become impossible to fill, particularly given the projected increased demand. Our lack of skilled workers combined with an aging workforce demographic is exacerbated by strong employment growth. Recent labour

force data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicates that employment growth among manufacturers surged by 86,000 over the past 12 months—the highest growth rate of any Australian industry—closely followed by both the mining and construction industries. This employment growth rate is not surprising given some of the major projects on the horizon, including major infrastructure projects such as the $12 billion Sydney Metro project, and the $5 billion Melbourne Airport Rail Link. “Having an appropriately sized, skilled, readily-available workforce at the right time is key to delivering these major projects. Developing this workforce presents a complex and long term challenge—it requires a significant amount of individual training and company up-skilling to meet global standards,” said Crittenden. “Perhaps more importantly, it requires a shift in thinking and a focus on the skills that will be essential to the manufacturing industry of the future, such as automation, robotics, advanced manufacturing processes. Government, industry and education all play a role in solving this complex, long-term challenge, and in attracting, skilling and retaining workers.” “This shortage of qualified and certified welders is certainly not the fault of Australian tradesmen. It has been many years since the trades of welder and boilermaker were taught at Australian TAFEs. Instead, they have been


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replaced by courses such as light and heavy fabrication, in which the welding modules are of varying degrees of complexity, and are usually optional,” said Crittenden.

So then, what is the solution? “TAFEs and training organisation must look to cutting-edge technology—such as augmented reality—to transform welder training from boring theory and text books into high-quality interactive experiences that capture the imagination. Plus, the introduction of state-of-the-art training technology must be coupled with an in-depth review of the TAFE welding curriculum, which has not been updated or revised since 1995.”

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Why Augmented Reality?

Welder Training to a Global Standard

Augmented and virtual reality training and education systems are student-focused, allowing individual students to progress at their own pace. Welding apprentices learn and understand welding procedures and techniques through a more interactive training method, gaining hands-on experience in a controlled, safe environment.

The curriculum delivered at TAFEs around Australia needs to qualify welders to the only industry Standard in the world that is accepted in both Europe and America: ISO 9606-1 Qualification testing of welders Fusion welding. ISO 9606-1 is the minimum requirement for working on rolling stock, defence and infrastructure projects.

With zero risks involved, apprentices can respond to realistic scenarios without pressure or fear of injury. Augmented and virtual reality training is enabling future welders to acquire the skills and the selfconfidence they need before moving into real-world workshops.

“The combination of a welding curriculum based on global best practice delivered via advanced training technology will help ensure a strong supply of capable welders. Without a doubt, the successful implementation of these measures will revolutionise welder training in Australia. It will raise the standard of welder education in Australia exponentially, putting our welder training on par with the best in Europe and America,” said Crittenden.

National Manufacturing Summit This critical constraint of workforce capability and availability is the basis of the 2019 National Manufacturing Summit’s theme: Skills for the Future. Hosted by Weld Australia, the Summit will be held at The Australian Synchrotron in Melbourne on 21 and 22 August 2019. The Summit program will focus on how business, governments, industry bodies and the education system can work together to deliver actionable, practical solutions. For further information, visit: https://manufacturingsummit.com.au Sally Wood Weld Australia


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Consulting Matters Features

Australia’s STEM education challenge A strong and continuous supply of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills is needed to maintain Australia’s position in the world as an advanced, innovation and services-based economy – all of which are underpinned by Australia’s STEM education performance. These skills are not just required to deliver the infrastructure of tomorrow and for other STEM-focused fields but are becoming critical for all facets of how we live, learn, work and interact on a daily basis. Around the world, STEM skills are identified as the key tool for long-term economic growth. Nowhere is this clearer than in China and India, where both countries are seeing significant booms in STEM education outcomes over recent years and are now outperforming Western counterparts. The World Economic Forum’s report titled Measuring Human Capital highlights how producing more university graduates with STEM qualifications has been viewed as a ‘vital cog’ for the future prosperity of these countries, producing 7.3 million related graduates in 2016 alone. In comparison, Australia is falling behind by not putting the same emphasise on improving STEM education outcomes. A drop in participation rates is starting in foundational years. The average time spent in Australian science classrooms is less than an hour for over half of primary students, and with only seven per cent of Year 8 students undertaking mathematics at an advanced level. This is having a downstream impact on participation and completion rates in tertiary education for many STEM fields. For example, applications for places in engineering degrees through Tertiary Admission Centres have declined 16.2 per cent since 2013, and the attrition rate between enrolment and graduation is around 50 per cent. STEM education standards have also declined in many areas in Australia over recent decades. The Australian Council for Educational Research describes the decline as a ’20-year slide’ when Australia’s results are compared to similar countries. Our international rankings have dropped from five to 20 for mathematics between 2003 and 2015, and from fourth to tenth for science between 2006 and 2015. Australia is also losing female talent at every stage of the STEM education pipeline. It appears that gender bias and stereotyping in STEM education begins at an early age. For example, a study by the Australian Chief

Photo from STEM Share NSW

Scientist identified that two-thirds of children aged nine to eleven are drawing a male when asked to draw a scientist. This is perhaps why we are seeing three males to every female in Year 12 physics classrooms, 1.9 males to every female in Year 12 advanced mathematics classrooms, and only 16 per cent of STEM university graduates being female. In addition to improving Australia’s STEM education participation and performance, we

must equip our STEM talent pipeline with the skills needed for the future workforce. There is no doubt that our built and natural environment, and the delivery of new projects, will transform through technology, innovations and new practices. While we lack clarity on some of these advancements, it is clear that we will see an increase in demand for hybrid STEM skills – the ability to deliver ‘soft’ digital and technology solutions with ‘hard’ engineering skills, and underpinned

...a study by the Australian Chief Scientist identified that two-thirds of children aged nine to eleven are drawing a male when asked to draw a scientist. This is perhaps why we are seeing three males to every female in Year 12 physics classrooms, 1.9 males to every female in Year 12 advanced mathematics classrooms, and only 16 per cent of STEM university graduates being female.


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Photo from STEM Share NSW

by creative thinking. It has been suggested these changing demands will require a ‘STEAM’ education approach that includes the arts to help guide student inquiry, dialogue and critical thinking.

It is clear that ongoing and systemic challenges facing STEM education in Australia are not and cannot be addressed by one stakeholder alone.

So, what are governments, the education sector and industry doing about these challenges? In short, we are seeing a scattered approach by a diverse range of stakeholders with different priorities and focus areas. For governments and the education sector, these include interventions on underperformance, and aligning the education system with skills demands and job growth opportunities. For industry, we are seeing a number of initiatives focused at primary school students showcasing STEM careers and providing learning experiences, however these somewhat tamper off at the secondary education level.

between governments, industry and the education sector. There are a number of examples of impactful initiatives, particularly at Australia’s universities and by industry, that could be leveraged further through better coordination. It is clear that ongoing and systemic challenges facing STEM education in Australia are not and cannot be addressed by one stakeholder alone.

The obvious solution to the scattered approach is improving the coordination

This is why Consult Australia believes improving collaboration and coordination is an important next step for improving Australia’s STEM education performance, and we make this call to action in an upcoming discussion

paper. This paper takes a deeper dive on the STEM education challenges and analyses the current approach of stakeholders. The paper also outlines Consult Australia desire to consult and work with stakeholders from government, the education sector and industry to leverage opportunities to strengthen Australia’s STEM talent pipeline. Consult Australia’s STEM education challenge discussion paper is being launched later this year. James Robertson Consult Australia


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Consulting Matters Features

Building skills doesn’t happen overnight

Getting the right mix of skills and experience into your business and helping people grow can be both a challenge and an opportunity. While it’s in every business’ interests to invest in people, there are many ways to go about this. Generally, companies apply a 70:20:10 model, which suggests that roughly 70 per cent of learning happens on the job, 20 per cent from relationships with others, and 10 per cent through structured training. Although this may vary from person to person, it does tell us that people need a mix of learning experiences and that informal learning, like on the job training and feedback, are of great benefit. The relationships one builds at work are also important, and it’s not just good relationships, having a bad manager can provide an opportunity in learning what not to do! Role models and mentors can also make a huge difference, this can be an older or more experienced person or a team mate. Good training can boost all of this, and technology offers many options and gives wide flexibility, especially if your team is on the road a lot. What’s important is to be

mindful that people learn in different ways and to cater for their different needs. Learning is an iterative process, it builds up over time and doesn’t happen in a straight line. Think about the first time you did something new and how you got there - how much practice, feedback and adjustment it took. So what are some things you can do to boost learning in your business? 1. E  ncourage people to invest in their own learning and make them accountable, get them to write down their goals at regular intervals, say every six months, and to reflect on what they’ve achieved. 2. Give them the support they need to reach their goals, whether it’s helping them identify options, providing added flexibility, or contributing towards the cost of a course. 3. A  llow time for sharing back. If someone’s attended a conference or come off a big project, give them time to talk about it at your next team meeting or encourage them to share a video or some photos. This gives them the

The relationships one builds at work are also important, and it’s not just good relationships, having a bad manager can provide an opportunity in learning what not to do!

opportunity to consolidate their learning, and others a chance to learn something new. Don’t over-do it, it should be easy to share back rather than an exercise in creating new work. 4. E  nable people to get a range of experiences, for example, by becoming involved on different projects, working with different people, shadowing a more experienced team member, stepping into someone’s regular job while they’re on leave, or touring a new site. 5. C  reate a safe, supportive environment, give people the opportunity to build networks at work, to mentor and to be mentored. Good relationships go a long way, if people are consumed by politics and rivalry, or feel threatened they won’t have either the space to learn or the inclination to share back. Remember, learning is a two-way street, it must come from the learner being enthusiastic and willing to develop themselves further, but the support, encouragement and the environment that the employer sets remains critical. Felicia Goh Cbus This article was brought to you by Cbus, the industry super fund for building, construction and allied industries. Cbus’ Trustee: United Super Pty Ltd ABN 46 006 261 623 AFSL 233792 Cbus ABN 75 493 363 262.


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Micromobility: Safety problem or transport solution? WHILE THERE HAS BEEN A SIGNIFICANT FOCUS ON THE REPLACEMENT OF OUR PASSENGER CARS WITH AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES, THE EXPLOSION OF MICROMOBILITY ON OUR STREETS HAS TAKEN MANY BY SURPRISE.

Micromobility has been around for as long as the bicycle. But the technology and form has changed. The proliferation of e-bike and e-scooter start-ups has brought into focus the shape of transport today and in the future. We are waking up to the fact that the future of urban mobility is not just about driverless cars. Changing commuter habits Over 70 per cent of the New Zealand population live in urban areas and there is an increasing shift towards urban living, typified by housing intensification such as apartments and townhouses. Many of these residents will not have the space or need to own passenger vehicles and many won’t have access to parking at home or work. The advent of e-power has changed transport options for many. E-bikes have increased the effective commuting range of cyclists and opened up this activity to people who may have hung up their cycle clips years ago. For shorter commutes, e-scooters have presented new options to those closer to our cities. What is surprising is how quickly the uptake has been for low-powered e-transport; or is it? Unlike public transport, you can travel whenever you like and from door to door, giving people more freedom. In addition, there is a lower cost to the user plus the feel-good factor of zero-emissions and less congestion. But what about safety? E-powered cycles on shared paths, e-scooters on footpaths, e-skateboards on the road, limited road rules and regulation…

Surely this is a recipe for road safety catastrophe? Our risks have shifted with the added complexity of micromobility. We’re switching between the road and footpath, mixing it up with pedestrians, negotiating vehicles emerging from driveways and contending with infrastructure not designed with those scenarious in mind. But before we throw our hands in the air, we need to look at these risks holistically. Is it not possible to achieve a solution that’s both safe and sustainable? Micromobility has huge potential urban transport benefits and may just make life better. Safe system principles operate around survivability in a crash. The accepted survivable speed between a car and a vulnerable user (pedestrian, cyclist, scooter user, skateboarder or motorcyclist) is 30 km/h. However, cars can travel at or in excess of 50 km/h on most urban roads. Micromobility transport generally operates at speeds of up to 30 km/h and involves significantly less mass. This means that micromobility users operate within accepted

survivability tolerances, presenting lower risk to themselves and other vulnerable users. Sure, speed on the footpath is an issue and maybe legislation will limit speeds. Realistically whatever this speed is, it will at times be too fast and at other times too slow. Either way, enforcement will be challenging. Maybe more 30km/h speed limits on urban roads could be the carrot to encourage more micromobility travel on roads and away from footpaths. Consideration of safety risks posed by micromobility should be given. But these should also be reviewed in the context of the Safe System and the safety risks we live with (and accept) everyday such as thousands of cars travelling on urban roads at high speeds for vulnerable users. Without doubt, more guidance and legislation is needed. Infrastructure design will need to change in our cities to cater to lower speed and safe micromobility. Whatever eventuates, it’s an exciting time for more liveable and safer cities. Marcus Brown Beca


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Consulting Matters Business essentials

The Importance of Cash Flow Forecasting Often, when we ask business leaders if they manage their cash flow, we usually hear a resounding "yes!" But when asked how they do it—the response is often “well...we check the bank account every day?” This is not an effective cash flow management strategy! Firstly, your bank account is a historical record of the comings and goings of your money—unless you have a plan in place for where your money is coming from and where it will be spent, simply reviewing the bank balance daily will not make it grow! In business, one of the most important tools is a cash flow forecast. Would you ever sit in a car, put a blindfold on, and then start driving? That’s what it’s like if you don’t have a cash flow forecast in place.

Three things to set you up for success 1. K  now how to differentiate between profit and cash 2. Create a cash flow management system, including a safety bank balance 3. R  eview and manage regularly

Know how to differentiate between profit and cash Firstly, profit and cash are different. Profit is a measure in our Profit & Loss (P&L) and is normally understood as revenue, less expenses, which equals profit. Cash is simply the money you have in your bank account. For most businesses, there is a difference between profit and cash, but that could be

for numerous reasons. For example, the payment of tax, or purchase of computers and equipment, versus waiting on our debtors to make payment or creditors we haven’t paid yet, but ultimately the two are different. Cash is usually delayed and after profit, unless you’re a cash business, like a small café. So, which one’s more important? Profit or cash? The answer is, they both are—and the two are interrelated. However, the age old saying ‘cash is king’ will prevail—there have been many profitable businesses that run out of cash and are forced to close down. Usually the more profit you make, the more you need to invest in systems, equipment, additional people, and premises—all of which requires cash. In most cases, you’re investing cash before you earn the additional profit. So, to make more profit or grow, you require more cash. Of course, you can borrow it, inject it, get it from shareholders, family, or friends, but the point is, there is a relationship between the two. Equally, if we don’t make profit or don’t continue to make profits, we won't be converting it to cash and we’ll run out—a business can actually be profitable, but run out of cash. Having a loss on P&L happens, but you won’t necessarily go out of business because of a few months of losses. Running out of cash is much harder to recover from. Conversely, just because you had a profitable month doesn’t mean you had a positive cash flow month. Similarly, just because you have cash in the bank doesn’t mean your business is performing well. That’s why cash flow and a P&L have to be looked at together.

For most businesses, there is a difference between profit and cash, but that could be for numerous things. For example, the payment of tax, or purchase of computers and equipment, versus waiting on our debtors to make payment or creditors we haven’t paid yet, but ultimately the two are different

Create a Cash Forecasting System Cash is your single most important asset: it’s the generative capacity of your business. You need a cash system that allows you to forecast, as accurately as possible, your cash in and cash out. This may start as a monthly forecast, but depending on your needs, it could turn into a weekly or even daily system. The point is, you need some kind of cash forecasting system. Starting with historical numbers, you can build out your first cash forecast using either a cash management tool or simply Excel. The first time you create your forecast, everything is based on historical numbers and future assumptions. Each month that passes is going to tell you something about the accuracy of those assumptions and give you the opportunity to assess and revise. Ask yourself the following: •W  hat was inaccurate about your assumptions? • Was this factor a 'one-time thing'? •H  ow can you refine your forecast based on the actuals that just happened? The cash flow forecast, coupled with your P&L, gives you future vision and a more accurate picture of the financial position of your business. Most importantly, it gives you the knowledge to make better strategic decisions.

Review and Manage If you don’t have the means to create cash flow forecasts, hire an accountant to create them for you. With a cash flow forecast, you can see which months of the year you can expect to face a cash deficit and which months you’ll see surpluses. This information can help you to hold over funds from surplus months to cover deficit months, and it can also give you insights into your business when you compare the forecasts to the actual figures. Not only can a cash flow forecast help you to even out your cash flow, but it can also help you to make important decisions such as when to make capital purchase and when to cut expenses. By reducing sporadic cash flow and maintaining a healthy equilibrium, your


Business essentials Consulting Matters

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business can enjoy the benefits of increased stability.

With a cash flow forecast, you can see which months of the year you can expect to face a cash deficit and which months you’ll see surpluses. This information can help you to hold over funds from surplus months to cover deficit months, and it can also give you insights into your business when you compare the forecasts to the actual figures.

"

So, what are the steps you can take in your business to you prevent you running out of cash? a) H  ave enough cash reserved to cover 2-4 months’ worth of expenses (this will depend on your risk profile). b) H  ave cash plan and forecast you use to make decisions. c) H  ave clear understanding of the difference between profit and cash.

Management For Design adds certainty to business decisions by combining your vision and hard data. We uncover the fundamentals of your business, identify areas for improvement and enable sound, evidencebased decisions, to move your business and projects forward confidently with fewer surprises. For more information, contact Gordana Milosevska on gmilosevska@m4d.com.au Gordana Milosevska Management for Design

MANAGEMENT FOR DESIGN `

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Want to talk insurance with someone who knows your industry? Working your way through your businesses insurance requirements, particularly when it comes to professional indemnity, can be like navigating your way through a forest. That's why, way back in 2009, Consult Australia created the PI Pathway and partnered with brokers that we were confident not only knew our industry, but would also provide our members with the level of service that we would be happy to endorse. Bovill Risk IC and Planned Insurance have been partners on the pathway since its inception, and nine years later they are continuing to help our members find their way through the insurance forest for not just PI insurance but across all their business insurance needs. To make sure you have the best available insurance for your business or project contact our PI Pathway Partners now.

Protecting Professionals

Bovill Risk & Insurance Consultants www.bric.com.au

Planned Cover www.plannedcover.com.au

Darren Pavic, Broking Manager PO BOX 1020 Richmond North Victoria 3121 1800 077 933 bw@bric.com.au

Simon Gray, State Manager PO Box 1983, North Sydney New South Wales, 2059 1800 077 933 sydney@plannedcover.com.au

Photo courtesy of Seb Zurcher


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Consulting Matters Business essentials

Reimagining cities for the urban billions MACQUARIE EXPLORES HOW CITIES OF THE FUTURE CAN PREPARE FOR URBAN POPULATION GROWTH AND REMAIN SUSTAINABLE, DESIRABLE PLACES FOR PEOPLE TO LIVE AND WORK. Urbanisation is one of the key social and economic trends of the 21st century. Currently, 54% of the world’s population lives in cities, by 2050 this will reach 66%i. We need to prepare for this future and create cities that are multi-faceted, sustainable and desirable places for people to live. For cities to prosper, governments, developers, planners and the private sector must return their focus to the central feature of any thriving city: its people. A return to human-centred city creation is vital in an era when globally mobile, technologically equipped and skilled populations are more readily able to relocate and choose where they invest their time. Cities that offer convenience, affordability and flexibility, while enhancing the wellbeing and enjoyment of residents, will be best placed to succeed as global populations exercise unprecedented choice about where they live. Rising incomes and education levels, international travel, and a technologically connected world have made people more mobile, which means cities must be more competitive to attract highly skilled people. A return to human-centred spaces Urbanisation has been an engine for economic growth and poverty reduction, as well as entrepreneurship and innovation. By 2025 it is forecast that urban consumers will contribute an additional $US20 trillion to global spending.ii But the rapid pace of urbanisation has also fuelled challenges such as housing shortages and affordability issues, urban sprawl, environmental degradation, air pollution and congestion in cities with inadequate infrastructure.

For cities to prosper, governments, developers, planners and the private sector must return their focus to the central feature of any thriving city: its people.


Consulting Matters

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Development in some cities has been focused on building places for work rather than creating places for engagement and interaction that can be easily accessed by all. Historically, cities were the focal point of the public realm and acted as a meeting place where people could conduct a number of activities such as work, leisure and cultural engagement. Design and infrastructure that was multi-purpose and driven by a village green or town square approach led to the creation of some of the world's most celebrated spaces, such as Paris' Place des Vosges or New York's Times Square. While the paved squares of Europe's great historic cities appear physically simple, they offer a complexity of use for activities ranging from summer festivals, to watching a Champions League Football match, to hosting a political rally. There is an opportunity to return to some of these historic principles that originally allowed cities to develop as places of many places, which were inclusive, dynamic and allowed a process of interchange. As urban populations grow, improving life for city dwellers is a task that economies must start addressing now by putting people at the heart of all city development. Jessie He Macquarie Group

Visit macquarie.com/built to read the full article.

Why do accountants sell their business while engineers give theirs away?

World Urbanization Prospects (The 2014 Revision) - 2014 United Nations.

i

Urban World: Cities and the rise of the consuming class – June 2012, McKinsey & Company.

ii

Find out what your business is worth, visit: Macquarie.com/built

This information is issued by Macquarie Business Banking, a division of Macquarie Bank ABN 46 008 583 542 Australian Credit Licence 237502.


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Consulting Matters Corporate social responsibility

Designing Gender Training for Pacific Communities To help communities better respond to gender-based violence in times of emergency, Australia Assists deployee Petra Letter has designed, and is now delivering, a training package for emergency response staff across the Pacific. In July 2018, Gender Specialist Petra was deployed through RedR Australia to International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) in Fiji, through the support of the Australian Government’s Australia Assists program. Across her 12 month deployment, Petra has been working to build local capacity in responding to gender-based violence in an emergency context, through implementing training for IPPF Member Associations staff.

“Natural disasters are inevitable in the Pacific region, so a gender-based violence training package delivered in the preparedness phase is essential to improve the response when the next emergency hits,” says Petra. “This training aims to improve the lives of vulnerable women and children during that time of need.” Before developing the training, Petra conducted extensive mapping of the genderbased violence legal and policy structures available in different Pacific nations. She also ran a survey across Member Association staff to gauge skill levels and identify gaps, and mapped gender and protection training programs conducted by other UN Agencies and NGOs in the region.

“Mapping other programs ensures we are not replicating what other agencies are doing. There has been significant work in genderbased violence response, and mapping and navigating the work from multiple stakeholders was essential in ensuring IPPF’s services are purposeful and targeted,” says Petra. “Being based in Suva for the first two and a half months of my deployment gave me the opportunity to focus on the research needed to design training to be delivered across a broad range of needs and staff skill levels.” So far, Petra has delivered the training across IPPF Member Associations in the Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji. In each country, the training was facilitated alongside local staff more familiar with the national context and team’s needs, and has been extremely well received. “The way training was delivered in each country really varied. It was tweaked based on the unique needs and culture of


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Consulting Matters Corporate social responsibility

each Member Association we were working with,” says Petra. “Many have been calling out for a stronger training framework, so to be a part of delivering something with such high demand and impact was really exciting.” Petra has drawn on her background in education throughout her deployment, which has been a huge success in the eyes of her senior, IPPF Sexual and Reproductive Health Advisor, Jane Newnham. “Petra is a fantastic addition to our team. She is very experienced in the field, and she has a great ability to take initiative and to learn from work that's already been done in the area. She works really hard, which is shown by the fantastic output she's had in such a short period of time,” says Jane. “It's really very timely getting her into country with support from Australia Assists through RedR, and we have been able to respond to the needs of Member Associations in an efficient manner.” Scheduled to remain on deployment until July, Petra is delivering the training in Papua New Guinea in June. “While mapping and networking time was so valuable in developing the training, travelling to the country to actually deliver the training was the most rewarding,” says Petra. “It’s experiences like that which keep me coming back to the humanitarian sector.” Elliana Saltalamacchia RedR Consult Australia is a founding member of RedR Australia. For more information about RedR Australia, take a look at their website at www.redr.org.au. Petra is deployed as part of the Australian Government’s humanitarian deployment program Australia Assists, managed by RedR Australia.


Consulting Matters

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Consulting Matters Project case study

Modular schools design

While the idea of modular construction can strike fear into the hearts of those unfamiliar with the process, Senior Structural Engineer and Director, Karlie Collis (top) says Northrop Consulting Engineers can demystify the process and provide clients with costeffective well-built projects. “The term ‘modular’ has many facets to it. Modular may include fully volumetric, watertight construction (think of prefab houses), or it may simply be the use of prefabricated, modular frames,” Karlie explained. While modular design in schools is still a relatively recent sector, Karlie said the process and the end-result is much better than traditionally built schools. “The quality of finishes and standard of construction are actually more controllable and usually much higher in modular construction than on-site construction,” she explained. “The factory processes allow for tighter controls and monitoring, without the environmental factors often encountered on-site.” Karlie believes modular schools are the way of the future and will become the first choice for clients to construct. “Modular schools have to play a critical part in the future delivery of school infrastructure,” she said. “It will be the most economical method of meeting the fastgrowing demand.” School projects require an understanding of the use of the buildings, and an appreciation for their future use, according to Karlie, and whether they will be relocated to other sites.

It’s also important to consider the future maintenance of projects, as well and ongoing user costs. “It really is a whole-of-life approach,” Karlie added. And modular schools are totally customisable. “Fully modular schools can be customised in any number of ways,” Karlie said. “Obviously there are cost savings in having some repetition in shape and size, but anything that can be customised on a standard build can be customised in a modular build. “The decision as to which level of modularisation is appropriate is one we love

to explore with clients as we like to tailor our engineering solutions to each project.” But, just like a traditional project, each construction site comes with its own individual challenges, including minimising disruption on sites already in use. “A lot of development is on school sites currently occupied by staff and students. Minimising the disruption to existing schools is always a high priority,” Karlie explained. “Modular and off-site construction is the most successful method of reducing on-site time and disruption.” And when challenges are involved, the best thing to do is to get in early. “The earlier an engineer can be involved with a project, the sooner challenges can be turned into resolutions,” Karlie explained. This is particularly relevant to modular school design. “The key with modular construction is early engagement as off-site construction can begin before approvals are obtained.” Northrop has a proven track record for delivering modular schools, Karlie revealed. “We played a key role in the delivery of NSW’s first fully weathertight, fully interchangeable, three-story structure, including fully modular stairs for Alexandria Park Community School. Built in just three months, our design maximised additional administration and teaching space, whilst minimising the amount of playground used.” Joanne Sacco Northrop


Project case study Consulting Matters

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Monash University Chancellery Monash University has developed the Monash Net Zero Strategy to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. A key part of this is a commitment to deliver all new buildings to a high-performance standard, from both an energy efficiency and occupancy comfort perspective. With a long-established tradition in providing excellence in education, Monash University envisions its new Chancellery building as a transformative structure, uniquely designed in partnership with ARM Architecture, and inspired by Passive House principles. To deliver this bespoke, high-performance building, Aurecon was engaged by the University to provide building services including mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, fire protection, and vertical transport, as well as environmentally sustainable design (ESD), including Passive House consultancy. Passive House is an integrated design process and holistic construction certification standard characterised by five design principles and performance criteria, which ensure a design delivers a very high performance and comfort for the lifetime of the building. A passive-house building will be designed in accordance with building-science principles governing thermal insulation, high-performance windows, mechanical ventilation heat recovery, airtightness, and thermal bridge-free construction. Located at the forefront of Monash University’s campus at Clayton, Victoria, the Chancellery building will provide a modern flexible workplace for the University’s executive team, doubling as a celebratory event venue for hosting distinguished guests and visitors. The 10,000m2 building will comprise a single basement level for car parking, ground-level event spaces, two levels of office space, and a third level to house the University executive.

The Monash University Chancellery building

Under these principles, the building aims to provide significant performance benefits, including drastically reduced energy demands and subsequent costs; high thermal comfort and quality of occupant experience; high indoor air quality, health and well-being; and resilient, adaptive and future-ready features. The Monash University Chancellery building is inspired by Passive House principles Delivering thermal comfort to a building, while ensuring high performance from an energy perspective, is challenging. To achieve this balance, Aurecon’s project team designed an out-of-the-box solution which is unique in Australia. The team also used a custom Aurecon Design Wave and Methodology to guide the project’s ongoing collaboration and focus on innovation. Key stakeholders were heavily involved in the

A passive-house building will be designed in accordance with building-science principles governing thermal insulation, high-performance windows, mechanical ventilation heat recovery, airtightness, and thermal bridge-free construction.

decision-making process and idea sessions, including engagement through numerous workshops, meetings and other collaborative sessions. To ensure best-value outcomes, Aurecon successfully completed: •A  customised 90-day plan, outlining the project team’s commitments to Monash University •W  orkshop sessions with project disciplines and key stakeholders • Integration and design of key aspirations, including Passive House aspiration and a low energy, carbon-neutral building •B  uilding a global connection with the Passive House Institute in Germany •P  roviding life-cycle cost advice The building has been designed in accordance with the Monash University Eco-Accord, a design tool containing the University’s built environment aspirations. It is through this unique design, which strikes the strategic balance between functionality and flexibility, that the Monash Chancellery building is a beacon of Australia’s leading building projects in the energy efficiency and high-performance space. Johanna Trickett Aurecon


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Jun 2019

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Consulting Matters July 2019  

Consult Australia's official quarterly publication focuses on the issues which are prevalent in the consulting industry through articles and...

Consulting Matters July 2019  

Consult Australia's official quarterly publication focuses on the issues which are prevalent in the consulting industry through articles and...

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