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Industry updates APPOINTMENTS
Kerryn Coker and Kate West have been appointed as new co-Chairs for Arup in Australasia, and Murray Kretschmer as Chief Operating Officer, with plans to enhance the firm’s focus on sustainable development including climate services. Kate and Kerryn will succeed Peter Chamley who is retiring after a distinguished career in global senior management and as the leader of highly complex infrastructure projects. Murray takes over from Bruce Tanner who will move to a new executive role after seven years as COO. Rohitha Silva has joined Beca as a Technical Director in its NSW Transport and Infrastructure business. With 25+ years’ civil and structural engineering experience in Australia and Thailand, including more than 12 years in Sydney, Rohitha has been involved in the design and construction of numerous major Transport Infrastructure projects. Key career highlights include working on the NorthConnex (NCX) Tunnel in Sydney, and on the Pacific Highway Upgrade, South West Rail Link and North West Rail Link Projects. HKA, the global leading consultancy for multi-disciplinary expert and specialist services in risk mitigation and dispute resolution within the capital projects and infrastructure sector, announced that Dr Kourosh Kayvani has joined the firm as Principal, Forensic Technical Services, based in Sydney. Kourosh, a chartered professional engineer and Fellow of Engineers Australia, brings with him a wealth of specialist engineering, expert witness, and failure investigation expertise, as well as a long and distinguished history of directorships, industry accolades, academic appointments and speaking engagements.
Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) has announced its next Managing Director for New South Wales, Stephen Mee, marking the start of a new era for Australia’s most respected quantity surveying firm in 2021. During his 37-year career with RLB in NSW, Stephen has built a reputation as one of Australia’s most respected and trusted quantity surveyors. He works with some of Australia’s largest and most successful development and construction companies.
Aurecon’s Chief Executive Officer, William Cox (left), announced the appointment of Giam Swiegers (right) as Chair to the Aurecon Group Board effective 1 January 2021. "As Chair, Giam brings valuable perspectives on the global business landscape as well as deep understanding of the Aurecon strategy to Aurecon board discussions and decisions,” Mr Cox said. A highly regarded business leader in Australia with over thirty years leadership experience, Mr Swiegers is a respected authority on business strategy, technological innovation, and the transformation of organisational culture. Tonkin is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Olivia Oliver to the newly created position of Chief Operating Officer. Having joined Tonkin just over four years ago, Olivia has held a number of positions in the organisation including Team Leader—Stormwater and more recently Technical Manager, and Operations Manager, Queensland, and Northern Territory. Olivia’s expanded accountability covers all Tonkin activities across Australia.
EMM Consulting Chairman Gary Flowers recently announced the appointment of two new members to the company’s board of directors, effective immediately. Joining the board are Nicole Armit and Paul Gibbons, in an exciting evolution of the company’s governance, management and strategic direction. Both Nicole and Paul bring with them a wealth of experience and a diversity in thought. Their combined skills and experience including industry reputation, technical/professional skills and behavioural attributes were acknowledged and endorsed by all board members. Helen Davidson is the newly appointed CE of ACE New Zealand taking up the role in March 2021. Formerly, a general manager at Engineering New Zealand, after studying law and biomedical ethics at the University of Otago, Helen worked across health law, professional regulation, patient safety policy and biomedical ethics in New Zealand and Canada for 15 years. And then switched from the health sector to the engineering sector and spent the past five years with Engineering New Zealand before joining ACE.
INDUSTRY NEWS On 26 December 2020, Australia lost one of its most passionate public transport advocates with the passing of Michael Apps. Michael has devoted the best part of the past two decades to the development of creative solutions to assist our nation’s policy makers in tackling the many challenges that confront us in respect of moving people around cities, regions, and states. Consult Australia offers its condolences to Michael’s family and friends and the team at BIC. Stantec has signed an agreement to acquire GTA Consultants (GTA), an Australia-based transportation planning and engineering firm with a diverse portfolio of long-standing clients across the public and private sectors. GTA provides award-winning expertise in transportation advisory, planning and analytics; transport engineering; and technical design, having worked on many of Australia’s largest and most iconic transportation projects.
In January 2021, Umow Lai’s Melbourne practice took the final step in joining the Integral Group brand. Umow Lai’s Sydney and Brisbane offices previously rebranded as Integral Group in January 2020. Umow Lai was founded in 1991 in Melbourne by George Umow and Dominic Lai and is a leading multi-disciplinary building services engineering, fire engineering, ICT, and sustainability (ESD) consultancy that is synonymous with design excellence, quality, ecologically sustainable development, and award-winning projects. With the Climate Ambition Summit in December marking the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement, Jacobs (has fulfilled its commitment to transition to 100% renewable energy for its operations in 2020 and achieved net-zero carbon emissions for its operations and business travel in 2020. These milestones and other key objectives were outlined earlier this year in Jacobs’ first Climate Action Plan to help address the climate crisis.
NEW MEMBERS Consult Australia would like to welcome all of our new members who have joined us since January: FSC-Range Arccos Consulting Pty Ltd Westpeak Engineering Pty Ltd Engineering Sydney Seasco Pty Ltd Trading as Zeil Consulting OCULUS Landscape Architecture Urban Design Environmental Planning Pty Ltd SCG Consulting Engineers Envelop Consult Pty Ltd pitt&sherry
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From the President Maybe rather than looking in the rear vision mirror at the transformations in the past, I should be looking for the transformations that I want to make in the future—for me, for my family, for my business.
This edition of Consulting Matters is all about transformation. Transformation is defined as a dramatic change in form or appearance, or an extreme, radical, major change. This got me thinking about the transformations that have occurred in my life and I struggled to identify them because, while they may be transformational when viewed with the value of 20:20 hindsight, at the time they felt incremental. But if we experience change incrementally, does it mean that it is transformational? I don’t think these concepts are mutually exclusive. When we think about the changes that occur in our lives it is rare for them to be sudden, major events that cause radical change. Yes, that does happen. But mostly, changes are an accumulation of little events that cause us to change progressively. Change, when viewed upon completion, may be a transformation—but it probably happened slowly. And if you are anything like me it happened painfully. Last year caused some major changes in the lives of most people around the world and some of those changes have been transformational. I’ve heard the COVID-19 lockdown response described as the biggest working from home experiment ever conducted. It pushed all of us to look for the changes we could make to bring our teams together and continue to engage with our people. But how many of those changes will actually last? Of the extreme changes
that were forced upon us, what have we continued to embrace as things become more normal? For me, my life now feels very much like it was before COVID-19. My weekends are filled with sporting activities. My week includes going to work and spending it with people. I travel less—something I am extremely grateful for. Things have reverted in many ways to normal, so I am not sure that it was a transformational event. In business we talk regularly about the ‘step change’ – something that will transform and radically alter our approach. I am a sceptic that the step change actually works. Instead, I think that many small, incremental changes are a far more likely pathway to meaningful and lasting changes, which in the end can be just as extreme or dramatic. There have been a lot of dramatic changes in my life—many of them forced on me by surroundings and some of them brought about by changes I have chosen to make. An example of this is the changes that have come as my children grow up, we are experiencing the transformational change of my oldest son starting to drive and progressively becoming more independent. This is a slow gradual process but will dramatically change the lives of my wife and me. Maybe I have been asking the wrong question.
Maybe rather than looking in the rear vision mirror at the transformations in the past, I should be looking for the transformations that I want to make in the future—for me, for my family, for my business. Maybe we should be planning the transformations that we want to make and rather than having them happen because of our surroundings, have them happen because we are intentionally driving that change. Maybe this is the transformation that we need to make—to intentionally work on making little changes that lead to a lasting, dramatic change when viewed through our rear vision mirrors.
Gerry Doyle President
What’s happening at Consult Australia
From the CEO Welcome to 2021! As happy as we are to wave goodbye to 2020, looking back I feel that we can all share in a sense of accomplishment. Toilet rolls aside, Australia handled the rapid transformation from a nation of travellers to a nation that embraced a new way of connecting and working remarkably well. The strong sense of social responsibility was an essential element in Australia’s ability to manage the spread of the pandemic. Across the Consult Australia membership, we saw a greater focus than ever before on mental health and flexible working. Whilst activity and discussion was happening before the pandemic, suddenly every single one of us faced uncertainty and change to a greater or lesser extent. We all experienced pressure and challenge. No longer was stress and anxiety something that happens to someone else, it was happening to us all. One of the best things to come from this experience is that we’ve learnt to create a safe space for people to share what’s happening outside work and provide appropriate support. We’ve also reassessed the amount of business travel being undertaken, noting the costs to business, the environment, our families, and ourselves. At Consult Australia we’ve learnt the value of providing you access to a fantastic range of speakers and content online. I know that many of you are looking forward to a return to face-to-face events and networking opportunities, and over the next few months, we’ll be bringing back face to face event options (subject to any further disruptions). But noting the positive feedback we’ve
received about our online delivery and the convenience of not having to travel to venues we’ll continue to offer online content. How have you transformed over the last year? Forgive me for speculating, but I daresay that transformation may not be done yet. So, to help you in this edition, Professor Danny Samson sets out examples of organisational transformation in his article and discusses BHP’s experience and the scale of the opportunity. Management for Design explores the essential elements of setting up a great business system, a key part of successfully implementing change. Kevin Pascoe at Laguardia PCD highlights in his article the opportunity to transform contracting behaviours in Australia with the introduction of the NEC®4 contract suite tailored for use on Australian construction projects. This has the potential to provide the right contract scaffolding to support greater collaboration and less disputation, which is so sorely needed for a multitude of good reasons. Ovarro’s Chief Technology Officer, Matthew Hawkridge, explores the theme of transformation from the perspective of emission reductions across our cities and the role of RTU’s in capturing data to measure, monitor, and control asset performance. Lucy Griffin and Ben McGarry from Aurecon also consider Australia’s transition to a netzero economy and how this could lead to a transformation of our approach to sound and acoustics in design. I’d like to thank all of you for participating in this year’s Leaders Conference (which
At Consult Australia we’ve learnt the value of providing you access to a fantastic range of speakers and content online. I know that many of you are looking forward to a return to face-toface events and networking opportunities, and over the next few months, we’ll be bringing back face to face event options (subject to any further disruptions).
we’ll cover in the next edition of Consulting Matters) and for joining our International Women’s Day (IWD) event. This year’s IWD theme was Choose to Challenge. Georgie Dent writer and advocate for gender equality and families, and executive director of The Parenthood, reminded us that in Australia many of us have the privilege of being able to choose to challenge, while so many others do not. So, let’s make that choice to challenge the status quo to transform into a kinder, fairer, and safer society.
Nicola Grayson CEO
What’s happening at Consult Australia
SME Highlights Be empowered to ask for reasonable payment times Long payment times can have a significant impact on small business, particularly as the economy collectively works to recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19. Faster payment times benefit small businesses, their supplies, and in turn encourage ongoing engagement from both small business and big business in projects. Government clients across Australia recognise this and have been bringing payment times down for suppliers. On 1 January 2021, the Payment Times Reporting Act 2020 (Cth) also come into force. The Act outlines the obligations of certain large businesses to report biannually on their payment periods to small business. The scheme creates greater transparency for small businesses on larger business payment performance. While the Act does not require big businesses to pay small businesses within a certain period, Consult Australia encourages small business members to request a 30day payment time from your clients. This is especially the case when you are a subconsultant where the government client is paying the head contractor within 30-days. This is a reasonable time frame for the payment of consultants which is supported by: • the Commonwealth Government in the Explanatory Memorandum to the Act as a benefit to both small business and the economy in general • the Australian Standard 4122-2010 General Conditions of Contract for Consultants which was developed collaboratively with representatives from government, consultant businesses and contractors. • the Consult Australia Contract. Read more in our recently published Member Briefing on Payment Times, available under ‘Business Services’ of our website. Release of the Insurance Inquiry Final Report by the Small Business Ombudsman The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) recently released its Insurance Inquiry Final Report which found widespread market failure in regard to the availability and affordability of essential small business insurance
products. The final report makes a suite of recommendations designed to rebalance risks taken on by insurers and make small business insurance products more accessible. In terms of professional indemnity insurance, the recommendations include a call on the Commonwealth Government to provide an insurance scheme of last resort for small business. While Consult Australia supports this recommendation, we continue to advocate for action on de-risking the market. First SME Open Forum for 2021 Thanks to the small business members who joined our first 2021 SME Open Forum on 3 February 2021. As usual, insurance was a hot topic, with Nicola and Kristy able to update members on recent meetings including with Lloyds of London. We also talked mental health and how growing businesses tackle the challenges of remote working and keeping people engaged especially in terms of career progression. Finally, we discussed the burdens on business of separate registration schemes soon to be introduced in NSW and VIC and the work Consult Australia is doing with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to realise a drivers’ licence scheme. The next SME Open Forum will be on 7 April 2021 – keep an eye out for your email invite. This is your chance to talk direct to Consult Australia's Board President, CEO and Policy Team. With no set agenda, SME members can raise in the forum any and all concerns and questions. Be engaged, get value! To best way to get value from your membership is to engage with Consult Australia, be it through events and education, by responding to calls for input or just contacting your State/Territory Manager to vent about current business frustrations.
Here are some of our SME members that have already been active in 2021:
What’s happening at Consult Australia
State & Territory 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 members.
NSW Kristy Eulenstein For New South Wales, we know the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 and Regulations will have a significant impact on business practice for all those working on class 2 buildings. As NSW Manager I have been working hard with ConstructNSW to ensure our members have resources that explain their obligations under the Act and the Regulations, which come into force on 1 July 2021. Clarity is still needed on what designs will be ‘regulated designs’ and whether engineers registered can be automatically registered as design practitioners in the same category. As with every year, procurement is front of mind. The goal this year is to ensure our members get access to leading clients (both private and public) through our events pipeline. We are also continuing to build relationships and secure regular meetings with key government clients; Transport for NSW, WaterNSW and SydneyMetro. In 2021, we will push for government action on insurance – through both the procurement and practice lens. As reported at the end of 2020, Consult Australia has secured a seat on Infrastructure NSW’s new Infrastructure Industry Forum, and we hope this will lead to outcomes with government and other industry associations in 2021 on pipeline issues. A key focus will be to ensure a stable pipeline of work, especially after stimulus funds are allocated. Our people focus remains strong for 2021, looking for local opportunities to promote our policy work on skilled migration, STEM education and diversity. The mental health of our people is paramount and an important point to raise in procurement discussions. NSW Gold Sponsors:
VIC James Robertson Practice issues have dominated our activities in Victoria and will continue to do so for a while yet. Some of our members were welcomed into the new year with potential suspension from the Construction Supplier Register (CSR), which could make them unable to provide services on Victorian government building and construction projects that use the CSR as a pre-qualification requirement. We successfully lobbied for extensions to those suspensions and continue to work with the government to resolve this issue. On 1 July 2021, the professional engineering registration scheme commences, with engineers already registered under the Building Act 1993 (Vic) as building practitioners, being the first to move to the scheme. By 1 December, they will be joined by fire safety engineers, then remaining structural and civil engineers from 1 October 2022, then electrical engineers and mechanical engineers in 2023. We are working with the Victorian government to ensure resources are made available making clear the obligations for those working in Victoria. Consumer Affairs Victoria has recently released some useful guidance on the scheme implementation (available here), and please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any follow up questions. In terms of people, procurement, and pipeline issues, we recently contributed to Infrastructure Victoria's public consultation on the draft 30-year infrastructure strategy for the state. In Consult Australia's submission, we highlight that industry considerations are currently missing in the draft strategy despite being critical for the successful delivery of all desired outcomes. We encouraged Infrastructure Victoria to expand the strategy to consider industry topics related to pipeline delivery such as procurement practices, skill shortages, use of technology as a project tool, and pipeline visibility. VIC Gold Sponsors
What’s happening at Consult Australia
QLD Kristine Banks In Queensland, we start the new year by welcoming the new Qld Manager! Thank you to all the members that have helped me to hit the ground running, especially the dedicated committee members. I am looking forward to a productive year as we capitalise on our seat on Transport and Main Road’s Collaborative Procurement and Delivery Model Taskforce. This is a real chance to help TMR develop truly collaborative procurement and contracting behaviours. We have also already had good success talking insurance with Queensland government, including Energy and Public Works (EPW) and Treasury, which we will continue during the year. In the people area, a key focus for 2021 (in addition to the TMR Taskforce) will be working with the Queensland Major Contractors Association (QMCA) to implement our joint Charter for Change. While we do not see too much law reform on the horizon just yet, we have seen changes to enforcement powers for the Board of Professional Engineers Qld (BPEQ) and government policy changes which could impact business practice. For example, changes to EPW’s Ethical Supplier Mandate and TMR’s proposed Best Practice Industry Conditions (BPICs). Both of these seem heavily focussed on securing outcomes or trade positions and improving on-site safety – however do not explicitly exclude professional services from their ambit. In 2021, from a pipeline perspective, we are looking to continue engaging with Building Queensland and Treasury to ensure a smart pipeline of future work. QLD Gold Sponsor
SA Jan Irvine In South Australia, a key focus for 2021 pipeline activities is to secure a stable pipeline for small to medium enterprises (SMEs), especially in the residential space. For example, there is an opportunity to advocate for a bigger spend on social housing. This is of course in addition to looking for smart pipeline of state infrastructure projects. In terms of procurement, we already have strong relationships, so the key is to continue that engagement and continue to raise insurance issues. Practice areas of importance include not only registration of engineers (where we maintain a watching brief and ready to use lessons learnt from other jurisdictions) but also red tape reduction initiatives. For example, members have advised that the statutory declaration regime in SA is so restrictive that it causes unnecessary barriers to business. Our people area will necessarily involve COVID-19 vaccination roll-out and what that means for business. Flexible working is also a significant issue faced by businesses. SA Platinum Sponsor:
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NT In 2021 we look to foster a deeper engagement with key stakeholders including Department of Industry, Planning and Logistics (DIPL) and the Power and Water Corporation, to drive better procurement outcomes. Pipeline issues are a core focus of our quarterly meetings with DIPL and will remain so. While in terms of practice, we will leverage Consult Australia’s work in other jurisdictions to ensure the NT government prioritises mutual recognition to ensure a robust but workable scheme. NT Gold Sponsors
What’s happening at Consult Australia
ACT It looks like engineering registration will be a dominant topic this year, with the ACT’s Chief Engineer Adrian Piani providing an update that the framework is being designed now. Consult Australia provided input to the development phase in mid-to-late 2020 and will continue to work with the ACT government to ensure that the practice impacts are manageable. Our quarterly engagement with Major Projects Canberra will be a key area for procurement, pipeline, and people discussions. As is our engagement with the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate which we hope to strengthen in 2021. Already this year we have had good discussions with the Suburban Land Authority on liability and insurance, which will continue and will also lead us to talk to the central procurement agency Procurement ACT. ACT Gold Sponsors
Tas In Tasmania, we started 2021 with great engagement with both private and public stakeholders. The newly initiated monthly meetings with the Department of State Growth have started well, giving an opportunity to discuss a broad range of issues impacting business providing services to Tasmania, including pipeline and people issues. We met with Martin Ferguson MP, in his capacity as the Tasmanian Infrastructure Minister, last month to discuss our Considering Social Impacts in Infrastructure Business Cases report. The Minister agreed there is an opportunity to improve how we consider social impacts in business cases and committed to putting us in touch with Infrastructure Tasmania to practically work through potential improvements to the business case development framework. With the visit to Hobart by Kristy Eulenstein our Policy Lead (Procurement and Practice) we held face-to-face meetings with Treasury, TasWater and Civil Contractors Federation Tasmania to progress discussions on insurance and contracting. On the TasWater contracts in particular, we gave some frank feedback on the proposed new contracts, which included many terms counter to our Model Client Policy. We are leveraging our relationship with CCF Tasmania to get real change here. TAS Gold Sponsors
WA Diane Dowdell We kicked off the year releasing our policy platform for the 2021 state election and engaging with all parties during caretaker period. We see 2021 as the year to tackle the perennial issue of local government procurement. We are engaging with the Local Government Association (WALGA), the Small Business Development Commission (SBDC) and the Minister for Local Government. Insurance has hit the top of the agenda in these discussions along with talk of productivity savings. Also, this year we continue our positive engagement with key stakeholders including Main Roads and the Public Transport Authority, Water Corporation and Department of Finance. Practice issues will likely continue as a priority, as consultation continues on building reforms and other law reform related to procurement. We have also seen interest from government agencies on recent Consult Australia reports, Considering Social Impacts in Infrastructure Business Cases and Uplifting Productivity. On the pipeline front, we see an opportunity to emphasise economic diversification within the state to go beyond mining and pure infrastructure. In terms of people, the key advocacy point for this year will be looking to skilled migration to unlock the capability to bring the right people to the state. WA Platinum Sponsors:
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Testing, testing: how responding to climate change will make our world quieter OUR HEARING ORGANS START TO DEVELOP AT TWO OR THREE WEEKS OF GESTATION, AND AS WE CONTINUE TO DEVELOP IN THE WOMB, WE CAN HEAR WELL ENOUGH TO REACT TO SOUND. SIGHT MAY WELL BE LISTED SECOND IN INFLUENTIAL ACADEMIC MARSHALL MCLUHAN’S ORDERING OF THE HUMAN SENSES INTO A HIERARCHY OF IMPORTANCE YET TRADITIONALLY, INDUSTRIAL DESIGN HAS FOCUSED ON SIGHT AND TOUCH, ESPECIALLY FOR EXPENSIVE ITEMS. BUT, AS WE LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DESIGN OF INFRASTRUCTURE REQUIRED FOR A NET-ZERO EMISSIONS FUTURE, AUDIO IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT IN HOW WE DESIGN, AND FOR WHOM.
Do we need more or less noise? This question is in the eyes (or ears) of the beholder. Rachel Carson’s seminal text ‘Silent Spring’, responsible for kicking off the modern environmental movement, argues that a healthy natural environment should be ‘noisy’ with natural life. However, COVID-19 has revealed a mixed reaction to the relative silence that so many people experience from working remotely. For some, prolonged silence and isolation made them desperate for interaction with others; some introverts thrived in lockdown and never want to return to an office; others craved solitude after the noise of homeschooling kids, while trying to work. Anecdotally, people are seeking out silence, as evidenced by the trend of city folks moving to regional centres. There is also the increasing use of noise-cancelling headphones, allowing people to curate their own audio environment, regardless of what sounds are actually around them.
A more sustainable future means that our world will likely become quieter as energyefficient technology has the potential to reduce noise impacts. In most machines or systems, noise reflects a loss of energy in the system – energy being wasted rather than put to productive use. As we focus on reducing emissions and increasing energy efficiency, there is potential to achieve a quieter environment. Creating power with solar panels or hydrogen instead of boilers and steam turbines; powering vehicles with batteries
or hydrogen fuel cells rather than gasoline or diesel engines; electrifying rail lines to take diesel-electric locomotives out of service and developing high-efficiency electric motors to make commercial processes (from air conditioning to manufacturing) whisper-quiet. What are the ramifications of a quieter world as communities’ transition to net zero emissions, and how does that impact design? Could the noisiness of your factory floor or your suburb become a measure of how sustainable you are as a business or a community?
The influence of increased or decreased noise on creativity, mental health and reflectiveness is probably down to the individual, although there are questions to be asked as we design this new audio world. Sound-masking systems conceal noise in new offices, but what if these became more common? Would organisations lose creativity if eavesdropping was lost? Research shows eavesdropping actually makes us better people. Could plugged-in employees result in decreased stress at the expense of less creativity and social engagement? Hearing is a primal threat detector for humans and design has compensated for quieter noise in the past: for instance, the first cars were preceded by a person ringing a bell as a warning. Silence can be a problem, which is why electric trams and cable cars traditionally ring a bell to alert pedestrians to their approach, and why pushbikes have a bell on their handlebars.
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Now, electric vehicle makers have synthetic sounds generated from their quiet motors – to make pedestrians aware that cars are around. While this has already become a legal requirement in the EU, other automakers are looking for workarounds: for example, Ford reportedly wants to include an ‘off switch’ for its line-up of police vehicles, presumably so officials can sneak up on suspected criminals. How audio design can improve sustainable outcomes Audio design in infrastructure could become a way to solve problems or achieve better sustainability outcomes. Look at start-up Ping Services, the creators of a stethoscope for monitoring the ‘health’ of wind turbines. Acoustic technology ‘listens’ to turbine blades to monitor their condition and helps predict degradation without early retirement, a common issue afflicting wind turbines. The idea of creating an ‘acoustic fingerprint’ of well-maintained operating equipment, as a measure of equipment performance, has multiple applications across many industries such as mining and manufacturing. Ping, a small Adelaide start-up, is reaping the benefits of being an innovative first mover in using noise, or absence of it, as a measure of efficiency. This movement towards less noise could change our property and settlement patterns, reducing urban sprawl. For instance, real estate next to busy roads may not necessarily lose value in a future of predominantly electric vehicles, because the reduced noise and reduced particulate emissions (no engines, less brake wear) will alleviate the impact on amenity that a busy roadway would normally have. A school in the Netherlands has placed acoustics at the heart of design under the premise that less noise equals less stress, illness and lower absentee rates. More than 30 000 m² of stone wool tiles and a long wall of reindeer moss supports the ceiling in creating a comfortable acoustical environment. Acoustic panels themselves are becoming more sustainable with options now made from chemical-free pulp. The opportunities a net-zero future brings for design are endless. As roadways become narrower due to automated, quieter, and nonemitting vehicles, the physical environment can be integrated further into design. Increased vegetation has the power to muffle harsh noise and absorb carbon dioxide. Just as rooftop gardens and flower walls are now commonplace, the best of Mother Nature’s audio like the calming benefits of birdsong could be incorporated on a broader scale.
A school in the Netherlands has placed acoustics at the heart of design under the premise that less noise equals less stress, illness and lower absentee rates. More than 30 000 m² of stone wool tiles and a long wall of reindeer moss supports the ceiling in creating a comfortable acoustical environment. Acoustic panels themselves are becoming more sustainable with options now made from chemical-free pulp.
Designing for silence An electrified economy could potentially see increased audio pollution restrictions (for example, construction site noise limits, airport curfews) to reduce intrusions on people’s audio space. In the same way that smog and pollution were controlled in response to the industrial revolution’s excesses, the transition to a net-zero economy could include further control of public sound. New regulations around use of drones already protect local wildlife, and sound laws have been enacted by governments and councils to account for technology that causes ambient public noise to recede from electrification and high-efficiency motors. Not all of these will be reactions against sound: already, pleasant background sounds are actively introduced in places where people need to be calm, such as medical settings, or synthetic engine noise is simulated in electric vehicles to create a sportier sound upon acceleration. Incorporating the design of sound into the built environment from the beginning is the best way to achieve a quieter environment, and avoids subjective tastes dictated by a few for the group. Already there are moves to design quiet spaces while, at the same time, we are warned of the psychological dangers of silence. Between the two extremes is a design challenge for perhaps audio-neutrality – more likely to be attained if we start with human need. Decarbonising economies to combat climate change is a complex journey and won’t happen overnight, and neither will our response to lowering noise levels. Instead of the future soundscape being managed as an afterthought, more value could be obtained if we consider it early in the design phase, especially of workplaces and education institutions, as a driver of qualitative measures such as engagement, fulfilment, and purpose.
Sound is important to us. It is not only one of the first senses to develop, but it is also widely believed to be the last sense people retain before they lose consciousness forever. While COVID-19 has provided an unexpected context in which to consider the audio environment we want to live, work, and play in, climate change is providing ongoing opportunities to return to the sounds of nature. You’ll have to keep listening to find out what a net-zero emissions future sounds like. Perhaps it might not only be smelling the roses, but also hearing the bird’s chirp. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful world! Lucy Griffin Ben McGarry Aurecon This glimpse of the future was crafted by: Lucy Griffin and Ben McGarry, Aurecon This post originally appeared on Aurecon’s Just Imagine blog.
Consulting Matters Feature
Universal design: Specifying slip resistance Universal design is the design of buildings, products, and environments to make them accessible and usable to all people of different ages and abilities over time, without the need for adaptation or specialised design. Building design considerations that implement universal design can minimise hazards that would otherwise pose significant risks. Slips occur when a person's foot loses traction with the ground surface. This can be due to inappropriate footwear, surface contaminants such as water or grease, the flooring product's finish, or its innate slip resistance rating. Environmental factors such as poor lighting or poorly maintained walkways can also play a role. Slips commonly result in falls and further injuries, particularly fractures to the hip and leg. Slips, trips, and falls are the leading cause of serious injuries related to building design and construction, and they disproportionately affect vulnerable populations, especially elderly people, people with illnesses or disabilities, and children. People aged 65 years and over account for almost 75 per cent of all hospital separations nationally due to falls occurring in buildings. Structural and design components of buildings can increase the likelihood of slips, as well as affect their severity. According to a 2008 report by Monash University Accident Research Centre, hazardous building features include the non-attenuating and nonabsorptive nature of many residential and institutional flooring surfaces, insufficient lighting in stairways, and the lack of handrails in many domestic stairways. The most common location for falls resulting from slips or trips is the home. Residential design is hugely important to quality of life and a person's ability to live independently. The principles of universal design can be applied to residential projects to reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls to the greatest extent possible. Existing flooring can be treated to improve its slip-resistant qualities, for example by grinding or sanding the flooring product. In some areas, such as kitchens, bathrooms and laundries, slips are a foreseeable risk. Slip-resistant surfaces are most useful here. In universal design, flooring should accommodate all users regardless of age, condition, pace, or footwear. This is not limited to the floor surface itself. Entrances,
Although adaptations and modifications can be made at a later stage, universal design can be specified in documentation from the very beginning of the design process to ensure the suitability of a home for all residents at every point in their lives. Universal design considerations can come at minimal or no extra cost to the client if introduced from the initial design stage of the project.
for instance, should have adequate weather protection (such as drainage, sufficient awning depth, and an entry floor mat), and the installation of handrails on both sides of a staircase can be very effective in reducing the risk of slips. Ensuring adequate lighting is another simple way to effectively incorporate universal design. Although adaptations and modifications can be made at a later stage, universal design can be specified in documentation from the very beginning of the design process to ensure the suitability of a home for all residents at every point in their lives. Universal design considerations can come at minimal or no extra cost to the client if introduced from the initial design stage of the project. These considerations require appropriate documentation, such as NATSPEC specifications. The ABCB has recognised under-specifying as a problem in the past when it comes to slip resistance. Incorporating universal design by stipulating the exact requirements for a product, material, treatment, or finish reduces the risk of slips and injuries. With the October 2020 update to the National Building Specification, NATSPEC released three new TECHnotes highlighting the effectiveness of universal design and ways in which universal design principles can be applied to different projects. The TECHnote DES 039 Universal Design: Slip Resistance focuses on how universal design can prevent slips and provides further information about standards and universal design. Like other NATSPEC TECHnotes, which cover a variety of topics relevant to building professionals, this document provides helpful considerations for specifiers.
The majority of people will benefit from universal design during at least one period in their lives. It should not be an afterthought added on at the end of the design process, or not at all. Specifications are an indispensable tool for building professionals, complementing the drawings, and allowing the final construction to reflect the design as accurately as possible. Including stipulations to improve slip resistance is one way to make the home and the built environment safer for everyone. NATSPEC is a not-for-profit organisation owned by Government and industry. It maintains the National Building Specification and has been a valued part of the Australian construction industry for over 45 years. For more information, visit www.natspec.com.au. Emma Green Natspec
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‘Big T’ Transformation: beyond continuous improvement Many organisations, including our consulting firms, engage in leading and managing all sorts of improvements, striving to continuously improve productivity, service quality, staff engagement and other key elements that make for successful and value creating businesses. On occasion it makes sense to go much further than that and to undertake a step change: a transformative change, that can be one of many types. Some examples are: • Restructuring the organisation, for example from independent divisions to a matrix structure • Adding a brand new line of service, entering a new industry with your services, or a major new geography or market • Changing your workplace culture, or even core values • Digitalising the business processes, endto-end • Business model transformation using new ways of structuring and pricing your services • Implementing step-change new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence or Cloud
• Adding a new capability to gain competitive advantage such as investing in amstep change of Innovation Capability or Sustainability/ ESG This is not an exhaustive list, yet covers some major themes that can lift a business to a new trajectory. These transformative changes are never guaranteed to succeed, and the likelihood of success depends very much on whether they were sensibly created, than how well they were implemented. Consider when BHP chose to exit its ‘traditional’ steel sector, acquire Billiton, and develop massive new iron ore assets on the North West Shelf of Australia and elsewhere, restructuring the industry pricing mechanisms so as it became the world’s biggest resources business. In my new book written with BHP ex-Chairman Don Argus, we have considered the strategic leadership and governance elements of those and other transformations, that underpinned Australia’s mining boom. The Reserve Bank estimates that the mining boom raised Australia’s GDP per capita by 13%, and it is evident that BHP shareholders got a 10 times return on investment. It was truly a set of transformative changes that led BHP
to become the resources powerhouse that it now is, indeed it is world’s biggest in that sector. Such transformations require inspired leadership, excellent governance, and a proactive ‘strategic decision process’. In order to sense the transformation opportunity, then seize it and decide to go forward then effectively implement, the evidence is that successful companies such as BHP at the time have the following in place: first that leaders, meaning board and executives, are dissatisfied with the status quo, hungry to create more value, and hence proactive. Second, given an appetite for Big T transformation rather than just incremental improvement, they need an analytics based decision process and be able to pursue a long term vision and strategy, with good judgement being exercised across a stream of aligned and integrated decisions. In contrast to BHP’s achievements, we can learn much from the demise of NAB’s industry leadership as shown in the Figure (drawn from our book). I worked within NAB when Mr Argus and his team took it to extraordinary heights during the 1990’s, transforming it from being a domestic Australian business to an international
Consulting Matters Feature
Our consulting engineering and related sector executives can exercise clear choices, and achieve industry outperformance, transforming their organisations based on excellent strategic leadership. I have seen this in my own work whereby a significant South African consulting engineering business was able to outperform its rivals very substantially on this basis.
powerhouse, buying and integrating seven overseas banks, and creating tremendous shareholder value prior to 2000, through this transformation. The second key ingredient then was excellent risk management. As the Figure shows, what can be done, can also be undone, and when Mr Argus and his leadership team left during 2000-1, another, very unfortunate transformation occurred, and NAB fell back to the pack, and indeed languished for quite some time. Our consulting engineering and related sector executives can exercise clear choices, and achieve industry outperformance, transforming their organisations based on excellent strategic leadership. I have seen this in my own work whereby a significant South African consulting engineering business was able to outperform its rivals very substantially on this basis.
This is not rocket science, even compared to the technical content of the work we do, but it can be considered as ‘social science’ or ‘business science’, namely carefully choosing a clear focus of transformation, perhaps modified from the list above, then executing precise strategies in pursuit of that transformational vision. Of course, the devil really is in the detail, but just as NAB and BHP did, disciplined strategic implementation and sound project management can deliver such transformations. Pursuing such a transformation is not risk free, but many examples including those described above inform us that when the transformation strategy is right, well led by astute boards and executives and well governed in implementation, that value creation can be magnificent.
Danny Samson University of Melbourne Danny Samson is Professor of Management at the University of Melbourne. He conducts consult Australia’s annual education program, newly designed as ‘Service, innovation and Sustainability Excellence’. Comments are welcomed on this article: email@example.com
SERVICE, INNOVATION AND SUSTAINABILITY EXCELLENCE A two-day management course for technical professionals Conducted online and in person (Melbourne) November 15 and 16, 2021 Program director: Professor Danny Samson (leading all sessions) To inquire or enroll: email (for an enrolment form) to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Prof. Samson, 0438 782 866 for further details.
Transforming Australian Construction Contracting with NEC4
COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of collaboration between all parties when impacted by a common risk or threat. Collaboration is also essential when embarking upon complex endeavours such as the design and construction of infrastructure and build environment projects. Yet, collaborative procurement and contracting approaches are still uncommon in Australian engineering and construction. Traditional ‘hard dollar’ contracts typically used in the market are highly bespoke and drive adversarial outcomes. This is exacerbated by the scarcity of up-to-date standard form contracts that can simply be picked up and executed for the various project procurement solutions. Australian Standard form contracts are both adversarial in nature, and many years out-of-date. The problem is widely recognised and generates much industry discussion – more so now as focus is on the post-COVID economic recovery. Our industry sorely needs a transformational contracting approach. The UK’s Institute of Civil Engineers, New Engineering Contract® NEC4 suite are widely recognised as the most collaborative standard form contracts available. They have been developed and in use for nearly 30 years and have gradually evolved from their UK base into other construction contracting geographies. So why is NEC4 so collaborative? At its core, good communication and project management process is the characteristic
feature. In the widely used Engineering and Construction Contract (ECC) for example, risk management is incorporated in the specific terms of the contract. There is an overarching general requirement of both parties to act ‘in a spirit of mutual trust and cooperation’ and a requirement for either party to give ‘early warning’ to the other of any matter that could negatively impact the cost, program, or quality of the project. This active risk management process continues with the project manager entering this risk into the project risk register, which is formally defined in the contract. Either party then convenes a ‘risk reduction meeting’ which the other party is obliged to attend. Here they work together to: • consider proposals to avoid or reduce the risk. • seek solutions that are beneficial to all who will be affected. • decide on the actions to be taken; and • identify the party who will take them in accordance with the contract. By requiring the participation of both contract parties, the goal is clearly to achieve the outcome best for the project – not best for an individual party. Following the risk reduction meeting, the project manager then issues the updated risk register and for any decision that needs to change the works information, they instruct the change at the same time as the risk register is updated. This change instruction caters for a variation to scope which is typical of any construction contract. In the NEC4 ECC however, because it flows directly from the risk reduction meeting, it provides a clear pathway by which a reallocation of a project risk might be made. Another contract form in the NEC4 suite that will be of particular interest to Consult Australia’s members is the Professional Services Contract (PSC), and its companion Professional Services Short Contract (PSSC) for smaller, shorter-term, or lower-risk engagements.
Australian Standard form contracts are both adversarial in nature, and many years out-of-date. The problem is widely recognised and generates much industry discussion – more so now as focus is on the post-COVID economic recovery. Our industry sorely needs a transformational contracting approach.
In recent years, some Australian projects have used the NEC® contracts. To do so however saw bespoke changes introduced to not only dealt with Australian law, but which also shifted the risk and modified the contract away from its standard. Specifically, the suite’s core payment clauses did fully not align with or use the terminology of the various security for payment legislation in Australia. This has now been rectified. In 2019, the NEC® approached Consult Australia to collaborate and assist with making the necessary changes to the NEC4 contract suite so they could be easily used for Australian construction projects. The drafting, review, and approval process has been disrupted by COVID-19 as one might expect, however the NEC® has now approved and is publishing the NEC4 Y(Aus.)1 Clauses for every contract in the suite. These clauses outline and translate the contract payment terms in compliance with the security of payment legislation in each Australian jurisdiction. For Australian projects, each standard contract now simply needs to cite the Australian Y(Aus.) 1 clause in the Contract Data. With the contract not requiring modification and shifting of legal risk, contract formation discussions are focussed on matters of scope and commerciality rather than terms of law. With the availability of an ‘off-the-shelf’ contract for the majority of all project procurement solutions, there is hope that the NEC4 contract suite will become more widely used and transform Australian construction into a more collaborative contracting environment. Kevin Pascoe Laguardia PCD
Consulting Matters Feature
What makes a business system great? MANY TIMES, WE HAVE HEARD BUSINESSES SAY THAT “IT IS IMPORTANT TO GET THE RIGHT PEOPLE” OR “WE ARE LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT SYSTEM”. REGARDLESS OF THE INDUSTRY, THESE ARE COMMON PROBLEMS AT SOME POINT IN A BUSINESS’ LIFECYCLE, BUT WHAT IS ‘RIGHT’?
Having the right people is only the start of developing a great business. The key is to have these people in the correct positions and have their roles working effectively by implementing and using the systems and processes provided by the business. Management, as most people know it, has far less to do with people than you’ve been led to believe. Architects and Engineers (and most people) are almost impossible to manage. Managing is about managing a process — a way of working — a business system. Chain of command Your people need to know what the ‘chain of command’ is regardless of the structure you use. How decisions are made and communicated must be made clear to everyone inside the business. Not only will having a clear leadership structure assist the business with standardising processes, but it makes the lines of responsibility clear. Too many times we have heard people say, “draw a line in the sand”. These lines eventually wash away, so ensure yours are slightly more permanent!! Having leaders in your business that can engage and drive improvement in the business is the starting point. Leaders need to actively embrace business systems — why they are important in the business, how the information is used in the business and what’s expected of the users etc. From this, selecting the right systems for a business becomes easier as these people will help drive the selection of key systems and identify processes that need improvement. The beginning of this process should be to start talking internally about what issues you have with your current processes and systems — what’s working, what’s not working, what’s missing, what other systems have your people used and would recommend etc. The next step involves documenting in a clear and concise manner these discussions. This then forms a basic requirements document for you to provide. Effective system implementation The major pitfall most businesses get into is “but we want to do it our way”. This is the biggest mistake we see across any systems implementation. When going through an implementation ensure that your vendor has
sufficient local knowledge in your market and a demonstrated history of effective implementation. Then allow your vendor to guide you through the implementation process and merge your current processes with the vendor’s experience. A typical selection process will run through four stages: • Ask your vendors to match their system with your requirements brief. • Have 3 vendors present their systems, and then reduce this to 2 options. • Have both remaining vendors spend a minimum of 1–2 hours with teams inside your business to gain a greater understanding of how the product will fit your business. • elect a preferred vendor and present to the decision makers. Selecting the right team The next step is critical, and that is selecting the right team from within your business to take ownership of the implementation. This team should consist of your biggest critics and your biggest supporters. This team will work with your selected vendor to drive the implementation process and help manage change within your business. Then the journey really begins!!
A key responsibility for every business owner is to systematise your business. It’s not something you can dwell on. Your Business Systems are one of the key foundations of your business and it is only from having effective systems that you can control and build your business. Your systems should run your business and people must follow your systems. It’s only through having strong business systems in place that will allow you to take time away from your business, knowing that everything is under control, knowing that your team of great people that you trust are following the approved systems in your business and knowing that your team has everything in place to drive the success of the business. Management for Design provides strategic, financial, and business management services to engineers, architects, designers, and other creative businesses. Partnering with Management for Design will improve and maximise your performance. Robert Peake Management for design Our objective is to establish long term partnerships with leaders who want to build and grow successful businesses, create great work, and lead the creative industry. If you would like to benefit from advice and support in developing your business, please contact Management for Design Founding Director, Rob Peake: email@example.com
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Smarter Thinking Cities
With the announcement that diesel and electric cars will be banned by 2030 in some countries, five years ahead of schedule, it won’t be long before even more attention is focussed on emissions from the built environment. Here, Matthew Hawkridge, Chief Technology Officer at Ovarro, looks at how RTU’s play a key part in delivering this through smarter, more efficient cities. According to the United Nations, world population is likely to reach 9 billion by 2050 (from around 7 billion today). This growth will see an increase in the number of mega cities with populations over 10 million. Sydney and Melbourne already have a population greater than 5 million. The demands on energy, traffic and utilities will be acute although making cities smarter is one way of tackling this challenge and here we look at why RTU’s can deliver this utopia.
What role do RTU’s play in smart buildings? The principal benefit of RTU’s is that they enable buildings and indeed entire cities to be remotely monitored, allowing status of a vast range of assets such as traffic lights, electrical substations, transport nodes and HVAC systems, amongst others, to be regularly verified from a laptop or smart device. The RTU’s gather, interpret and act upon this data. They can also monitor the external environment, for example, local temperature, which can be useful when optimising energy efficiency. The point is, and specifiers may not realise it, that an RTU is able to solve many of the problems they face in mega cities or any built up conurbation.
How can digital twin help smart cities? Digital twin involves the replication of a physical asset, process or system to create a virtual representation of the physical world, like a simulation using 3D renderings of CAD models. It can be used in smart cities to predict different outcomes based on variable data, running as simulation scenarios until the optimum outcome is identified – all within the digital space. Digital twin uses real time data gathered by sensors, PLC’s or RTU’s. Although data can be gathered using all three methods, it is the RTU that offers the distinct advantage over PLC’s and sensors of being environmentally robust – essential when tens of millions of people in a mega city rely on the systems.
What are RTU’s? The best way of thinking about RTU’s is that they are ‘mini-computers in the field’, so adding one to an older asset can make it ‘smart’. RTU’s help optimise assets in both near and remote applications – particularly useful for renewable assets that will supply the mega cities. Their principal role is to provide monitoring and control, although functionality now goes far beyond this with an ability to collect, analyse and act upon data.
Digital twin uses real time data gathered by sensors, PLC’s or RTU’s. Although data can be gathered using all three methods, it is the RTU that offers the distinct advantage over PLC’s and sensors of being environmentally robust – essential when tens of millions of people in a mega city rely on the systems.
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How robust are RTU’s? RTU’s are resilient to environmental extremes, withstanding anything from -40C to +70C climatic temperatures. Having multiple, independent communications links, redundant power supplies and redundant process controllers provides another buffer to site conditions and future technological developments. Their resilient nature and layers of redundancy ensure that RTU’s are a reliable part of a mega city’s support infrastructure. How can RTU’s support maintenance partners? Where maintenance of assets within a smart city are factored out, knowing the status of the device before the end customer ensures better outcomes for all project partners. Where the asset could potentially develop a fault, RTU’s enable maintenance teams to take preventative action. For smart cities this can be critical to flow of people, for example, avoiding an outage at a transport interchange. Another useful feature is being able to control the asset from a smart device to ensure that it is fully functional. Again, without an RTU, it would require a visit to the site by an engineer. Can RTU’s help companies meet environmental commitments? With a growing focus on the environment, ‘big data’ captured using RTUs allows accurate monitoring of emissions. In Asia, TBox RTU technology monitors diesel generator systems 24/7, providing emissions data to a central reporting location. The centralized data can be accessed by the wider community through an Air Quality
Index app on smart devices as a means of keeping their energy providers in check. In addition, the RTU’s monitor the generator health, by tracking exhaust temperatures, heater exchange throughput and oil quality as part of proactive maintenance measures. Monitoring fuel use also benefits efficiency management and deters fuel theft. Can RTU’s act autonomously? RTU’s can respond immediately to any identified problems before the information leaves the asset. Unlike sensors, which are a valuable source of information, it is the RTU that completes the loop of “See, Decide, Act”. Here, the RTU acts as the site co-ordinator and maintains a full history of events. This means operators have a better understanding of asset condition at all times, both in the present and historically. Conclusion As the world’s population grows through to 2050, RTUs will play a more prominent role in making sure these megacities work efficiently. Even now, the world’s largest cities are growing at phenomenal rates and it won’t be long before they reach capacity, although RTU’s are already routinely deployed. In simple terms, unless we embrace technology, these vast urban conurbations are liable to grind to a halt. For more information on Ovarro, visit: www.ovarro.com Matthew Hawkridge Ovarro
Business essentials Consulting Matters
Cbus hits $60 billion FUM milestone
Cbus, one of Australia’s largest industry super fund for the building, construction and allied industries, has reached a new milestone in January 2021 with total Funds Under Management (FUM) surpassing $60 billion. Despite the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic in the past year, Cbus’ ability to organically grow our FUM is a result of our commitment to our investment approach which has included investing opportunistically in the post-COVID economic recovery. It also reflects the success of our investments strategy as we continue to deliver value for Cbus members by internalising our investments program to deliver strong returns while reducing investment costs. Leading the recovery and creating jobs for our members As a profit-to-member industry fund, Cbus has a proud history of investing back into our industry and creating jobs for our members through Cbus Property#.
Since its inception, Cbus Property has generated annualised returns of 15.3% p.a.* and created over 100,000^ direct jobs in the building and construction industry. Leveraging on our unique position in the industry, we saw opportunities in investing in the recovery which protected returns and created jobs for our members while contributing to the broader economy. We believe our investments will likely contribute to the creation of a further 100,000 jobs in Australia going forward. Current projects include 83 Pirie Street in Adelaide’s CBD, a $300 million office building development with the South Australian government committed as the anchor tenant, which is anticipated to create up to 2,000 jobs during construction. Looking ahead Over the next 12 months, Cbus will continue to actively look for opportunities that create strong returns and jobs for our members, playing an important role in Australia’s economic recovery and supporting our members’ financial wellbeing during their working lives and into retirement.
For more information, visit cbussuper.com.au This update was brought to you by Cbus, the industry super fund for building, construction and allied industries. Felicia Goh Cbus # Cbus Property Pty Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of United Super Pty Ltd and has responsibility for the development and management of Cbus’ direct property investments. * Since inception in 2006 to 30 June 2020. Cbus Property investments are part of the property asset class in the High Growth, Growth, Conservative Growth and Conservative investment options and these returns are net of fees and form part of the crediting rates allocated to accounts invested in these options. ^ Estimated jobs since 2006 to June 2020 based on inductions for completed and committed developments. This information is about Cbus. It doesn’t take into account your specific needs, so you should look at your business needs, objectives and requirements before making any financial decisions. Read the relevant Cbus Product Disclosure Statement to decide whether Cbus is right for you. Call 1300 361 784 or visit www.cbussuper.com.au for a copy. Cbus’ Trustee: United Super Pty Ltd ABN 46 006 261 623 AFSL 233792 Cbus ABN 75 493 363 262
Consulting Matters Protecting your business
Professional Indemnity Insurance – Market Update Just like all industries, 2020 has forced transformation in the Insurance world. Although it now seems like a haze, there have been some changes in the Insurance industry that are worthy of a mention. Over the course of 2020 we saw significant contraction in cover provided by insurers to construction and design consultants, particularly around cladding exposures, loss mitigation costs, costs estimate and cross liabilities. This resulted in a significant market retraction with several insurers either exiting or ceasing to write new business and the remaining insurers imposing, in some cases, significant increases in rates. Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 (NSW) Insurers are also concerned about the changes to the duty of care provisions under the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 (NSW) which came into effect in June 2020. The new registration and certification scheme that comes into effect mid 2021 may also impose additional insurance requirements. However, it is too soon to determine how these changes in legislation will affect consumers. Covid19 Amongst the multitude of problems brought on by a global pandemic, one of them is obviously a significant degree of uncertainty in respect to what the future global economy will look like. In the past, we have typically found that where uncertainty exists, insurers tend to price for the worst-case scenario or just withdraw capacity altogether. As such we must educate the insurers and, in particular, the re-insurers of the new risks that each profession faces and, more importantly, the risk controls that each respective profession/insured has put in place to minimise their exposure. In our experience, past recessions have seen increases in claims against professions such as property valuers, real estate agents, financial planners, accountants, mortgage brokers and construction professionals. In other words, claims tend to increase as losses are crystallised in a recessionary market – this is particularly concerning as many Insurers are only just finalising claims that arose from the global financial crisis (GFC) of 2007-2008
State of the Professional Indemnity (PI) Market: • During 2020, insurers continued to increase PI premiums reflecting the ‘hardening’ market’, • In the main, PI rates are on the rise and the rate of increase can range significantly depending on the profession, • Insurers are restricting cover and are looking for significant increases in both premium and self-insured retentions (i.e., excesses or deductibles), • Insureds with paid claims and/or open notifications continue to experience the greatest impact, • Increased focus by PI Insurers on Insureds with ‘Combustible Cladding’ exposure, • After Marine insurance, Professional Indemnity represents the second most exposed class of insurance for Lloyds of London and is now an exposure that Lloyds are actively seeking to lessen. This has contributed significantly to the previously mentioned reduction of PI capacity in the Australian Market, • Insurers are experiencing a higher frequency and severity of PI claims than ever before, • Insurers and reinsurers are reviewing risks more stringently and their response times are much slower than in previous years. The Trends in the Market - 2021 and Beyond • Continuing claim activity around construction professionals exposed to Cladding/Non-Compliant Products • Historically PI claims tend to increase following economic turmoil and although, the Australian economy seems solid, much of the insurance market is very much driven by global factors, • Heightened concerns regarding the PI risks of all building professionals and in particular, Building Certifiers/Surveyors, Project Managers, and certain disciplines of Engineering (e.g., Fire, Structural, GeoTechnical etc), • Increased concerns in respect to possible PI issues raised by Covid19 related issues and from the recent Royal Commissions into Banking, Aged Care etc, • Continued tendency amongst PI insurers to restrict policy coverage, mainly through the imposition of additional exclusions or tighter policy wordings,
•T he reduction of PI capacity in the Australian Market has meant the need for brokers to build multi-indemnity layer programs, meaning that Insurers may need to refer your risk to Re-insurers based overseas for review, and this all takes additional time and adds to the complexity of the program. What can you do? Some strategies to keep in mind to help with your insurance renewal include: •R eturn your proposal form early. This will allow your Planned Cover Broker time to review and send to insurers for discussion. Insurers may need to refer your risk to Senior Underwriters or possibly Re-insurers based overseas for review, and this all takes additional time. •B e prepared to put in more thought and time in completing your submission and, depending on the size of your business, we suggest putting some work into developing a risk management program that we can include with your completed proposal form as part of your PI renewal submission. •F or any Insureds that have had the misfortune of being involved in a claim or two, a risk management program with specific emphasis on what you have learned from the claim, can also prove highly beneficial in assisting us to secure favourable terms on your behalf. •S peak to your Planned Cover Broker regarding any concerns or changes in your practice. In order for the PI market to stabilise, Insurers will need to see value coming into the market so they can underwrite the risks profitably. There is a belief that the hard market will continue for another 18-24 months and Professional Indemnity premium rates are expected to increase by an additional 10-20%, but much greater increases are expected for more complex &/or highly exposed risks or those with substantial claims history. Karen Meiklejohn Cos Cirocco Planned Cover
Talk insurance with someone who knows your industry That's why Consult Australia has partnered with brokers that we are confident really understand our industry and will also provide our members a level of service that we would be happy to endorse. Bovill Risk IC and Planned Insurance have partnered with us for over ten years, and continue to help Consult Australia members find their way through the insurance forest for insurance and across your business insurance needs. Contact our partner brokers now to see how they can help your business.
Bovill RiskBovill, & Insurance Consultants Chris Managing Director www.bric.com.au
PO BOX 1020 Richmond North Victoria 3121 1800 077 933 firstname.lastname@example.org
Planned Cover Simon www.plannedcover.com.au
Gray, State Manager PO Box 1983, North Sydney New South Wales, 2059 1800 077 933 email@example.com
Consulting Matters Corporate social responsibility
Transforming ICT in Education in the Pacific FOR MANY PEOPLE, EDUCATION ABRUPTLY CAME TO A HALT DUE TO COVID-19, CAUSING A SIGNIFICANT LOSS OF LEARNING AROUND THE WORLD. A REDR AUSTRALIA DEPLOYEE WITH THE AUSTRALIA ASSISTS PROGRAM, PETER, HELPED STRENGTHEN THE PACIFIC’S TECHNOLOGICAL CAPABILITY IN THE EDUCATION SECTOR IN 2020 THAT HAS GIVEN TEACHERS THE SKILLS AND ABILITY TO DELIVER LEARNING ONLINE THROUGH THE PANDEMIC AND BEYOND.
To date, the Pacific Islands have been largely untouched by the health impacts of COVID-19, but the economic impact to the region is set to be one of the most severe in the world. Closed borders have kept the virus largely out of the Pacific but it has also kept tourists out too. An estimated AUD 5 billion in additional surplus is needed in the next few years for the region to recover. This means governments now have less financial capacity to invest in education and training. The education systems, which are already under-resourced, were exposed by the pandemic, with schools and higher education facilities closing their doors during lockdown periods. Without the right technology and digital infrastructure in place, such as broadband access and computers, there was no continuity to access education when a crisis or disaster hit. In partnership with the Australian Government, Peter commenced work in June with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to ensure a longer-term vision for the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in education in the Pacific.
Australia Assists deployee, Peter, collaborating with colleagues via Zoom in his role as ICT in Education Specialist with UNESCO.
For many people, education abruptly came to a halt due to COVID-19, causing a significant loss of learning around the world. A RedR Australia deployee with the Australia Assists program, Peter, helped strengthen the Pacific’s technological capability in the education sector in 2020 that has given teachers the skills and ability to deliver learning online through the pandemic and beyond.
After leading an education organisation in Hong Kong, Peter was en-route to Samoa via Australia when COVID-19 struck. As the borders closed, Peter based himself in Australia and began working remotely.
The education systems, which are already underresourced, were exposed by the pandemic, with schools and higher education facilities closing their doors during lockdown periods. Without the right technology and digital infrastructure in place, such as broadband access and computers, there was no continuity to access education when a crisis or disaster hit.
Corporate social responsibility Consulting Matters
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Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT) teaches survival techniques and lifesaving interventions through rigorous classroom and simulation-based training. RedR Australia is an internationally recognised provider of quality humanitarian training, helping to prepare people from all professional backgrounds for the challenges they may encounter in remote or hostile environments and other complex operational settings. Highly experienced humanitarian practitioners will teach your employees the skills and knowledge they need to stay safe.
t redr.org a e n li n o k o o b d n a ind out more
Consulting Matters Corporate social responsibility
In the Pacific, many teachers and students can only access online learning tools using their phones.
One of the biggest challenges was enabling access for students and teachers to devices so teaching could take place, explained Peter. "A digital learning environment, or faceto-face ICT curriculum that does not put technology in the hands of students, is doomed, as would be a music program that doesn’t allow students to play instruments or a sports programme without equipment." "We found that many teachers had access to Facebook so we used this channel to deliver some learning resources for teachers." "Unreliable internet connections have been a major barrier so working with internet service providers like Digicel, Vodafone and others has been essential to develop online solutions and put mobile networks in place to deliver online education." As part of Peter’s role, he helped set up a Lifelong Learning Lab in Samoa, where people can access training and education networks, making access to quality education more inclusive. The Lifelong Learning Lab
is funded by the India-UN Development Partnership Fund through the UN Office for the South-South Cooperation as part of UNESCO’s Samoa Knowledge Society Initiative.
"The Lab will be a centre for streaming and producing ICT in Education courses, micro- credentials and training for healthcare workers, farmers, youth and marginalised groups."
"This is a place where people can go for training, mentoring, creating and collaboration. Once opened, it will enable teachers, secondary students, health practitioners, ICT professionals, women, youth and entrepreneurs to innovate, learn, collaborate and be better prepared to maintain continuity of work, advance their careers and learn through pandemics, disasters or crises."
Peter’s deployment has laid the foundation to advance the quality and accessibility of education to students in the Pacific, enabling learning to continue wherever students and teachers might find themselves, despite crises or disasters.
"There has being a special focus in developing the Learning Lab to be inclusive, ensuring women and people with disabilities have access to the centre where they can be mentored and trained, accessing distance learning online and experience some face-toface learning."
Lisa Symth RedR If you would like to find out more about becoming a humanitarian by joining the RedR Australia roster, building your skills through our training courses or donating to RedR Australia, visit redr.org.au.
Corporate social responsibility Consulting Matters
RedR Australia deployees support education around the world. Australia Assists deployee, Axelle, worked in Myanmar with UNICEF supporting information management and communications related to the implementation of education services in response to the Rohingya crisis.
Consulting Matters Project case study
New Frenchmans Creek Bridge delivered in 72-hour window It is not always the multi-billion-dollar projects which help transform Australia’s transport network, it is often a modest bridge which is vital to a community’s future growth. Since 2011, the Department of Transport and Main Roads, Queensland (TMR) has been actively investigating the facilitation of Type 1 Road Train access between Central Queensland Livestock Exchange (CQLX) at Gracemere, west of Rockhampton, and the two abattoirs in North Rockhampton, initiating the Rockhampton Road Network – Road Train Access Upgrade project. One of the route’s key shortcomings identified during preliminary assessments was the existing road bridge over Frenchmans Creek which did not have adequate structural capacity to facilitate continued Type 1 Road Train access. It was determined that replacement of the bridge would be required to support the economic growth of this region famous for its beef exports. SMEC was commissioned by TMR as the lead consultant to deliver the preliminary and detailed design of the replacement of Frenchmans Creek Bridge. Demolition and construction works were to be initially undertaken in a single sixty-hour window for a two-stage program, however it was decided to extend the closure to seventytwo hours and complete the entire bridge replacement in one stage rather than two. Community need drives innovation In addition to maintaining access for the abattoir supply chains and local community, there were significant constraints for the project including no suitable diversion route and inadequate space on the highly constrained site to facilitate a temporary sidetrack during construction. “These constraints meant that the bridge could not be replaced using standard demolition and construction methodology without closing the road for several months. As a key transport route, this was not a viable option as it would significantly impact the supply chain of essential food items,” explains Dave Hogan, SMEC’s Manager Roads & Highways QLD/NT. SMEC presented a proposal to replace the road bridge within a short seventy-two-hour road closure period. This was made possible by three innovative solutions: • a one-of-a-kind deck unit,
• f ast curing grout systems in line with the latest technologies and • a bespoke mix design developed to respond to site constraints. “The solution was endorsed by TMR as it resolved all the physical constraints on the project, allowing the State’s Type 1 Road Train access commitment to be upheld with minimal community disruption,” said Dave. Precast sections To achieve their goal, the design team made use of precast elements wherever possible, researched and specified a range of suitable specialised fast-curing grout products for individual applications and adopted design details that facilitated easy, rapid and low-risk installation. The geometry of the bridge was governed by the need to allow construction of most of the bridge elements – including the foundations, substructure and a section of the bridge deck – prior to the road closure in order to minimise the number of construction activities needing to be undertaken within this window. An innovative one-of-a-kind triple hollow deck unit for road bridges was designed to minimise the number of lifting operations, in order to limit traffic control disruptions during online construction and to optimise time during the road closure window. Collaboration By challenging standard demolition and construction methodologies, SMEC collaborated with TMR to propose, create and deliver a bridge replacement design that was delivered without significantly disrupting the supply chain between the two abattoirs in North Rockhampton and the CQLX at Gracemere for an extended period. This innovation will support the Queensland State Government in achieving their commitments to local industry and support economic growth in the region by minimising disruption to an essential supply route during construction and by providing a long-term access route for Type 1 Road Trains into the future. Emma O'Rourke SMEC
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