Infrastructure Magazine June 2024

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P: (03) 9690 8766

Editor Laura Pearsall


Kody Cook

Steph Barker

Sarah Macnamara

Business Development Manager

Brett Thompson

Art Director

Alejandro Molano


Danielle Harris

Jacqueline Buckmaster

Marketing Manager

Radhika Sud

Marketing Associate

Bella Predika

Digital Marketing Assistant

Emily Gray

Publisher Sarah Baker



Welcome to our June 2024 issue of Infrastructure –my first full edition in the Editor’s chair, and our first edition with our new publisher, Prime Creative Media.

This feels like a fitting issue to launch under a new Editor and a new Publisher, with a theme of new beginnings and new opportunities running through all of the content we’ve sourced.

In particular, I’m really pleased to have contributions from Infrastructure Australia and Infrastructure Victoria in this issue, delving into some of the critical issues each body is working on at the moment.

In his contribution, Infrastructure Australia Chief Executive Adam Copp argues that if there was ever a time for governments and industry to collaborate to tackle the chronic issues undermining the productivity of Australia’s construction industry, it’s now.

His article looks at the ways the industry can work to do this, stating that we need to do more with less to overcome the challenges that come with delivering a ballooning infrastructure pipeline in the midst of skilled labour shortages and stagnating productivity.

From Infrastructure Victoria, their contribution focuses on the opportunity

we as an industry have to reduce the emissions that come from the infrastructure industry.

Infrastructure Victoria’s Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Spear shares the findings from new research from the organisation, which outlines how the Victorian Government can update policies, guidelines and procedures to make carbon emissions count in infrastructure decision-making.

As always in the world of public infrastructure, there’s much to do, and there are challenges in meeting delivery timelines. I hope these two contributions, and the other articles we’re focusing on in this issue, provide some guidance in helping everyone to rise to the occasion.

1 June 2024// Issue 31 EDITOR’S WELCOME
Get in touch at or feel free to give us a call on 03 9690 8766. Don’t forget to follow Infrastructure Magazine on social media – find us on LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.
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If there was ever a time for governments and industry to collaborate to tackle the chronic issues undermining the productivity of Australia’s construction industry, it’s now.


We know industrial landscapes are continually reshaped by technological advancements, and upgrading operational technology networks has never been more critical. As Industry 4.0 propels us towards an interconnected future, operations are faced with the challenge of ensuring their networks are not only capable of meeting today's demands, but are also prepared for tomorrow's opportunities.


Up to 70 per cent of Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions relate to the lifecycle of infrastructure through operational, enabled, and embodied emissions. This provides the infrastructure sector with a massive opportunity to contribute significantly to reducing Australia’s carbon emissions; and Infrastructure Victoria has just developed a report which outlines how the Victorian Government can update policies, guidelines and procedures to make carbon emissions count in infrastructure decision-making.



Melbourne is on track to o cially become Australia’s largest city within the decade, and in order to support such growth, the city needs a public transport system that will get people where they need to go, take pressure o the existing transport network and reduce congestion by taking thousands of cars o the roads each day. Delivered in stages over several decades, the Suburban Rail Loop project is set to help shape Melbourne and Victoria for future generations, all while creating thousands of direct local jobs and helping train the next generation of skilled workers.









2 June 2024// Issue 31 CONTENTS
14 19 20 INDUSTRY INSIGHT 24 28 30 32 34 36 38 42 45


The City of Greater Bendigo has completed an upgrade of the Bendigo Airport, resulting in a new, larger terminal and an expanded business park. The airport’s increased capacity allows for more flights, greatly increasing tourism and business opportunities for the region – while the upgrades construction and the new business park lots are supporting the growth of local industry.



The Victorian Government is committed to making our roads safer for all road users including our most vulnerable – motorcyclists, pedestrians and bicycle riders. As part of Victoria's Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030 and Roads Safety Action Plan 2021-2023, Road Safety Victoria is working hard to drive down road trauma by focusing on the groups that are over-represented in deaths and serious injuries on our roads each year.



3 June 2024// Issue 31 CONTENTS

Jonathan Spear

Dr Jonathan Spear is Infrastructure Victoria’s Chief Executive Officer. Previously the organisation’s Deputy Chief Executive, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel, Jonathan has led Infrastructure Victoria’s work on Victoria’s 30-year infrastructure strategy, research program and provision of independent advice to the Victorian Government. Before joining Infrastructure Victoria during its establishment in 2015, Jonathan held senior leadership, policy, strategy and legal roles with the Victorian Government Department of Premier and Cabinet, Department of Justice, Victoria Police and Slater and Gordon Lawyers. Jonathan holds a Doctor of Philosophy in History, Executive Master of Public Administration, Master of Laws, Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (Honours). He is also a legal practitioner, a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Williamson Community Leadership Program, and a director of the Melbourne Forum.

Dr Wasantha Liyanage

Dr Wasantha is a Senior Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering at the College of Sport, Health and Engineering, Victoria University, Melbourne. His research interests include expansive soil behaviour, slope stability, rock mechanics and hydraulic fracturing. Wasantha leads the Geotechnical and Rock mechanics research at Victoria University and has published over 50 high-impact research papers. He is a passionate advocate of multidisciplinary and collaborative research approaches that lead to more impactful outcomes.

4 June 2024// Issue 31 Contributors



James Oxenham is the CEO of the Hire and Rental Industry Association (HRIA) and the Elevating Work Platform Association (EWPA). Having worked across the UK, Europe, and Australia, James brings over 15 years of extensive industry experience to his role with the hire and rental sector’s peak industry body. With a background in management accounting, he has held pivotal roles at TUI AG Services Group (Spain), The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (UK), BB Retail Capital and Aldi Stores in Australia. As the CEO of HRIA, James drives industry excellence, focusing on training, operational efficiency, and safety standards. Under his stewardship, HRIA has experienced remarkable growth, establishing an EWPA Registered Training Organisation and pioneering digital training methods.

Adam Copp was appointed Infrastructure Australia’s Chief Executive in July 2023. Before his appointment he held a number of senior roles at Infrastructure Australia, including Chief Operating Officer. Mr Copp has over 15 years’ experience in the Australian Government holding a range of policy, strategy and engagement roles across infrastructure, inter-governmental relations and workplace relations. He is a passionate advocate for Reconciliation and First Nations engagement. He has a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Global Law and a Master of Business Administration. June 2024// Issue 31 5


Works across Victoria to improve safety and travel times for rail passengers and motorists are continuing as level crossings throughout the state are removed and replaced with elevated station platforms and bridges.

A construction blitz has seen the removal of boom gates at Keon Parade as part of a project which will see an elevated rail bridge take trains on the Mernda Line over the busy road and the level crossing gone for good.

The brand-new Keon Park Station will open to passengers in late June, providing better access and improved connections to local neighbourhoods, buses, shops and cafés.

The project will improve safety and reduce congestion for more than 18,000 vehicles travelling through this level crossing each weekday, where the boom gates were down for more than 41 minutes during the morning peak.

In Croydon, a modern new transport hub is well underway, with the arrival and installation of the first lift shaft.

A total of four lifts will connect passengers to the elevated station platforms when the new Croydon Station opens in July.

To minimise disruptions, the lift shafts – each weighing 38t and measuring 15m tall and 4.5m wide – have been built off site.

When completed later in 2024, the state of the art Croydon Transport Hub will feature a 687m long rail bridge, new premium Croydon Station, 14-bay bus interchange with shelters and seating and new road connections under the bridge to create more options to cross the rail line and untangle the traffic bottleneck in this area.


Early works are set to begin on the Beveridge to Albury – Tranche 2 section, which involves work on a number of sites on the existing North East rail line to allow for the safe passage of double-stacked freight trains.

Works will take place at Benalla, Euroa, Wandong, Hume Freeway, Tallarook, Hume Freeway, Seymour, and three sites in Broadford, and will include geotechnical investigations, ground water monitoring and additional surveys, as well as development of key management plans.

Inland Rail has said that its appointment of a construction partner for the remaining Victorian sites is on schedule for mid-2024, with major construction commencing in

early-2025 and project completion scheduled in 2027.

Inland Rail Program Delivery Director for Beveridge to Albury section Ed Walker said that these works at the remaining eight sites in Victoria were an important step forward for Australia’s largest infrastructure project.

“Inland Rail is getting on with delivering the project,” Mr Walker said.

“We’ve selected John Holland based on their experience delivering major civil and rail projects including Inland Rail Narrabri to North Star Phase 1 last year and the North East Rail Line Upgrade (NERL) in 2021. They are also responsible for delivering Melbourne’s Metro Tunnel Project and Sydney Metro.

“Over the coming weeks local communities will see the John Holland team on Tranche 2 sites carrying out

early works for new bridges, track lowers and station modifications.

“Inland Rail will look for every opportunity to involve local people and businesses in the project, to maximise the economic and social benefits for communities along the route.”

June 2024// Issue 31 6 NEWS
Keon Parade boom gate removal. Image: Victorian Government.

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Companies have been officially invited to become part of a new business precinct that is set to be developed at the Western Sydney International Airport (WSI).


Plans for the precinct are underway, with WSI establishing a 50/50 joint venture partnership with Australian property group Charter Hall Group to deliver the first stage of the business precinct.

WSI CEO, Simon Hickey, was joined by Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Catherine King, and Charter Hall Industrial & Logistics CEO, Richard Stacker, to turn the first sod at the business precinct site in April.

Mr Hickey said that stage one of the precinct’s development is expected to generate 400 jobs during construction, with another 2,000 permanent jobs anticipated once it’s fully occupied and operational.

“Western Sydney International Airport is the engine room for growth and development across the region that’s attracting billions of dollars of investment and generating thousands of training and job opportunities,” Mr Hickey said.

“This is an exciting time for all kinds of businesses to join our new business precinct that’s geared to grow and evolve over time as the airport builds to ultimately become Sydney’s

biggest international gateway.

“We’ll be getting on with the job of building the precinct over the coming months, with the first phase of works due for completion by the end of next year – at which point extensive testing of the airport will be underway as we prepare to welcome passengers and airlines in late 2026.”

Mr Hickey said that the precinct will initially serve thousands of workers that are building the airport and its extensive connecting infrastructure, and that the precinct will later adapt to meet the evolving needs of airport customers and the local community.

“We’re pleased to partner with Charter Hall on the delivery of the precinct – their extensive investment and development expertise across the nation will be a vital asset as plans to procure new business customers progress this year.”

Upon completion, the 20ha mixed-use development will include up to 40,000m² of modern warehouse space, ancillary offices, a 150-room hotel that will service flight crews, a service station and convenience retail, including food and beverage outlets, as well as gym and conference facilities.

Construction of the first stage of the business precinct also includes internal and external roads, connections to arterial roads and landscaping.

June 2024// Issue 31 8 NEWS
The Western Sydney International Airport construction site. Image: Steve Tritton/


Quest Apartment Hotels is the largest provider of serviced apartment-style accommodation in New Zealand, and is focused on delivering value for money apartment accommodation and services to meet the needs of corporate and business travellers.

For Quest, 2023 marked the 25th year of operations in New Zealand, and Quest now has 42 properties across 14 towns and cities in the country, along with nine new properties in the pipeline –more than any other accommodation provider in the country.

“Our focus is to establish new purpose-built operations in complexes and locations that allow us to fully leverage the value the Quest brand association offers,” said Chief Operating Officer Adrian Turner.

Quest already has around $1.2 billion of property value under its brand, 35 of those purpose-built for the company. The company’s confidence in its position

is also buoyed with opening of the three new properties last year but also by preparing to launch Quest on Kilmore, Christchurch in July 2024.

“Quest was established to fill a gap in the market for accommodation that offered convenient locations, flexible

We’re very excited to announce the opening of our new Quest Apartment Hotel in Christchurch, Quest on

This is the 4th Quest property to join Christchuch City. Make sure you book now to experience this brand new property in the heart of Christchurch.

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Book your next stay at Quest on Kilmore.

and spacious living solutions, and reliable standards. We are proud to be the leading apartment hotel provider in every region where we operate.”

Quest is focused on providing an exceptional visitor experience for its guests. The business launched an app in 2019 which has streamlined the booking process and enabled guests to check in remotely and go straight to their room, with their phone acting as the door key.

Sustainability is also a key consideration, and EV charging facilities are a standard in all new developments; plastic bottles are on the way out for amenities; and solar panels are being installed to offset some of the electricity generated within the property. June 2024 // Issue 31 9 NEWS // SPONSORED EDITORIAL
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The soon to be opened Quest on Kilmore, Christchurch. Image: Quest NZ.


Following amendments to the Infrastructure Australia Act 2008 – which passed in December 2023 and came in effect in early April – the Federal Government has appointed interim commissioners to Infrastructure Australia (IA).

These appointments are part of the Federal Government’s broader reforms to restore IA as the nation’s pre-eminent adviser on infrastructure planning and investment. The new governance structure introduces three commissioners to replace the existing IA board.

Gabrielle Trainor has been appointed to the role of interim Chief Commissioner, while Clare Gardiner-Barnes has been appointed as interim Commissioner.

Ms Trainor and Ms Gardiner-Barnes take on the new roles after previously serving as Chair and Director of IA’s board respectively.

The Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Catherine King, said that they both are highly regarded within the infrastructure sector, with extensive experience across the public and private sectors.

The commissioners will lead the agency until the government completes its merit-based recruitment process to permanently fill all three commissioner roles as outlined in legislation.

Now that IA is operating under its new governance structure, the former board has been dissolved.

The Federal Government has said that it will shortly establish a new Advisory Council to assist the commissioners and IA CEO.

Ms King thanked all the outgoing directors for their contributions to IA’s board and supporting efforts to restore the agency as the country’s expert independent infrastructure adviser.


As part of efforts to address a rise in road trauma, the Federal Government will seek to boost data sharing from the states through its upcoming federation funding agreement negotiations.

The government has said that it will, for the first time, seek to include a provision in this negotiated agreement that will create a requirement for a nationally consistent data set. It will also be investing $21 million in the National Road Safety Data Hub.

This investment will ensure that the Hub can be used effectively by everyone, including decision makers and will continue the work of harmonising the important data provided by state and territories.

The Federal Government has said that a clear picture, underpinned by data, about where best to target road

safety funding will save lives and ensure it is investing in the projects that will make the biggest difference.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Catherine King, said that the government is increasing investments in transport infrastructure because better roads boost efficiency, productivity and safety.

“We want people to get home safely to their family and be part of ending the scourge of road deaths,” Ms King said.

“Better roads get us home quickly and safely, they keep trucks moving, and they get goods to market.

“Addressing the absence of consistent road safety data will complement the work we have already done to improve road safety.”

June 2024// Issue 31 10 NEWS


The New South Wales Government has released a new policy, measurement guidance and roadmap in an effort to support net zero infrastructure delivery.

In support of the broader net zero target, the New South Wales Government is launching the Decarbonising Infrastructure Delivery Policy, which sets expectations for government agencies on managing embodied carbon in public infrastructure projects.

The policy, co-designed with New South Wales Government agencies and industry, will ensure upfront carbon emissions generated during the production of materials and the construction of infrastructure is a key consideration across all project stages and carbon information is collected consistently for government projects.

A key aim of the policy is to uplift State Government agencies’ carbon management capabilities and to ultimately work towards targets for carbon reduction in infrastructure delivery.

To supplement the policy, Infrastructure NSW has developed guidance on measuring embodied carbon for all infrastructure types.

Providing a policy and guidance on measurement of embodied emissions is expected to give industry and government the mandate and confidence to act to reduce emissions across the project lifecycle.

The policy will apply to all New South Wales Government infrastructure delivery agencies, and to capital infrastructure projects over $50 million in the building sector and over $100 million for other infrastructure.

There will be a 12-month transition period before the policy becomes operational in 2025, during which time the State Government will continue to work with industry and government agencies to effectively implement the policy.

The Decarbonising Infrastructure Delivery Policy and measurement guidance are part of Infrastructure NSW’s and Transport for NSW’s Decarbonising Infrastructure Delivery Roadmap, which lays out the State

Government’s plan and activities to reduce emissions across all project stages over the next three years.

Infrastructure NSW Chief Executive, Tom Gellibrand, said that reducing embodied emissions requires a collaborative approach with all members of the industry supply chain and is necessary to ensure infrastructure built today is positioned for a net zero future.

“This new policy and measurement guidance will ensure New South Wales is among the world leading jurisdictions to have a consistent approach to embodied carbon measurement across all asset types,” Mr Gellibrand.

“Infrastructure NSW will continue to engage closely and transparently with industry in implementing the policy to ensure everyone is on the same page and reaching for the same goal.

“The ultimate outcome of this work is to have carbon considered at every stage of project decision making as part of standard practice in infrastructure delivery, to drive our mutual goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.” June 2024// Issue 31 11 NEWS
The new policy aims to ensure carbon is considered at every stage of project decision making. Image: PanuShot/


The Federal Government has announced that it is investing $1.9 billion in 14 new transport projects across Western Sydney.

In addition, the government will also be providing funding for two existing projects.

These projects are set to help underpin the fundamental shift of jobs and growth to Sydney’s west.

The new investments include construction projects, as well as planning projects, to ensure the groundwork is laid for a pipeline of future road investments, which are properly scoped, designed and costed.

The investment will help deliver 14 new projects, including:

♦ Mamre Road Stage 2 Upgrade

♦ Elizabeth Drive – Priority Sections Upgrade

♦ Garfield Road East Upgrade

♦ Memorial Avenue Upgrade

♦ Appin Road – St Johns Road Intersection Upgrade

The Federal Government will invest $147.5 million for planning for roads and rail across greater Western Sydney to ensure that road infrastructure can keep pace with a growing population.

It is also investing $20 million to partner with the New South Wales Government to expand the scope of the South West Sydney Rail Planning – Business Case to include consideration of extending the line to the Macarthur region.

Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, said that the government is proud to support the people of Western

Sydney and deliver the roads and rail lines they need and deserve.

“This is in addition to the new Western Sydney airport and the recently opened Moorebank Intermodal Precinct which will drive jobs and economic activity for Western Sydney,” Mr Albanese said.

“We are getting on with delivering a better future for all Australians, one made in Australia that builds economic opportunity and thriving communities.”

Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Catherine King, said that the government is delivering significant infrastructure that increases opportunities and connections, builds communities and improves safety.

“The hard work we undertook to clean up the mess in the infrastructure pipeline means there is room to ensure current projects can be delivered and plan for future projects,” Ms King said.

“I thank the New South Wales Government for working closely with us to ensure the delivery of these projects.”

New South Wales Deputy Premier and Minister for Western Sydney, Prue Car, said that this announcement is a game changer for Western Sydney.

“It builds on hundreds of millions of dollars invested by New South Wales to deliver overdue precinct roads that will meet the existing needs of local residents, while unlocking development and new places for people to work and live,” Ms Car said.

June 2024// Issue 31 12 NEWS
Aerial view of Parramatta. Image: Steve Tritton/


Early works are currently underway for the delivery of Stage 2 of Naarm Way, which is set to improve access to Melbourne Airport.

Naarm Way Stage 2 will provide a direct connection from the Tullamarine Freeway to new dedicated pick-up and drop-off zones in the T123 car park, reducing traffic congestion and enhancing safety.

Melbourne Airport’s Chief of Ground Transport, Property & Retail, Jai McDermott, said that while there will be temporary inconveniences while construction is underway, the project is an investment in a better passenger experience for the future.

“This project will take an estimated 70,000 cars off Terminal Drive each day and provide a more resilient road network designed to reduce stress for passengers either departing or arriving,” Mr McDermott said.

“It does, however, mean we have to remove parking spaces in the Value Car Park and in the T123 parking facility to make way

for this upgrade, so we encourage everyone to book parking online to secure the best rate, especially during peak times like the upcoming long weekend and Easter holidays.”

The first stage of the project linking the Tullamarine Freeway to the Terminal 4 car park and transport hub opened in the middle of 2023, with this second stage set to open in 2026.

Naarm Way Stage 2 involves connecting a new road from the recently opened Naarm Way to all terminals. Levels 2 and 3 of the existing T123 car park will be repurposed for passenger pick-up and drop-off. Travellers will connect to the terminals via a new pedestrian footbridge, while cars will take exit ramps from the T123 Car Park to join back onto the Tullamarine Freeway.

When completed, the existing forecourt will be closed to public traffic and be used exclusively by commercial vehicles such as SkyBus, taxis, rideshare vehicles, the value car park shuttle bus and other shuttle services. June 2024// Issue 31 13 NEWS
The new policy aims to ensure carbon is considered at every stage of project decision making. Image: doublelee/
June 2024// Issue 31 14 INDUSTRY INSIGHTS

If there was ever a time for governments and industry to collaborate to tackle the chronic issues undermining the productivity of Australia’s construction industry, it’s now. June 2024// Issue 31 15 INDUSTRY INSIGHTS

In December last year, Infrastructure Australia published its third annual Infrastructure Market Capacity report.

A flagship of our research program, this annual report paints a detailed picture of the state of the sector.

We do this by generating an aggregated view of the national demand across plant, labour, equipment, and materials as an evidence base for governments to actively manage their pipelines, with reference to prevailing market conditions.


What were our findings in this edition?

First, it found that across public and private investment, our nation’s total five-year infrastructure and buildings pipeline stands at $691 billion.

As part of that we noted an interesting trend – a four-fold increase in announced investment in energy projects over the next five years.

Given the Australian Government’s energy transition ambitions and legislated Net Zero agenda, this growth is to be expected.

It’s worth noting the volume of utility projects – which stands at $53 billion – is considerably less than the volume of transport projects.

What is important to consider here is that all projects will compete for the same scarce resources.


But just how scarce are our resources?

From our research, we see that skilled labour shortages continue to be one of the most critical constraints for the market, and generally accounts for about 50 percent of project expenditure.

In fact, there is a shortfall of 229,000 public infrastructure workers.

Of those workers, the professions most in demand are engineers, skilled trades, and labourers.

To meet forward demand our existing workforce will need to more than double.

The industry is also facing a capability gap when it comes to energy projects.

There are not enough people either in the market or coming out of university with the experience and skillset to work on these types of projects.

Industry is saying they are needing to rely on a lot of on-the-job training to fill capability gaps. Or they are relying on laterally transferring skills within their existing workforce from say transport to energy projects.


On top of this, our report has also highlighted the ongoing stagnating productivity levels of the industry, which are at 30-year lows.

A core finding from our research is that the construction industry is one of the least innovative sectors in Australia.

Moreover, nationally, Australia lags other economies in the uptake of new techniques for project planning, design, and delivery.

Through our surveys and interviews, the key reasons for this are due to low awareness or understanding of the advantages of new and different techniques, and outdated procurement processes and attitudes. Put simply, the motivation to innovate, along with an enabling environment, are lagging in our sector.

June 2024// Issue 31 16 INDUSTRY INSIGHTS

Another reason is low pipeline visibility, which suppresses industry appetite for capability investment.

Stagnant productivity can be balanced with additional resources. Or, just push workers to go harder and faster longer.

However, as we have established, we are already significantly short on skilled labour, and Australia is in a period of low unemployment. Then there is only so long you can push a workforce to operate at such high levels until it eventually breaks. We are already seeing workers, especially younger workers, voting with their feet and leaving the industry.


So, in the face of these very constraints, what can be done to remedy it? How can the industry and governments ensure the success of infrastructure project delivery with what is available?

While our research paints a detailed picture of the nature of demand and supply within the industry, that is

only half the story. We also provide a series of recommendations for both governments and industry to overcome the very constraints it is facing. Fourteen of them, to be exact.

Each of the recommendations advocates for governments to actively manage demand and reprioritise their pipelines, expand non-labour supply, and improve productivity within the sector.

When it comes to improving productivity in the sector, we call out the need for better methods to measure productivity and understand how it is influenced.

While understanding and better measuring productivity in the construction sector is important, there are of course things both governments and the industry can do to make improvements now.

One avenue is increasing the adoption of modern technologies and innovative techniques such as modern methods of construction.

Recommendation 13 from our report advocates for the Australian Government, in partnership with the states and territories, to encourage increased uptake by prioritising projects that adopt productivity-enhancing technologies and methods.

While there are governments and industry using these methods and technologies it is not happening at the scale or speed required to impact productivity levels.

To ensure ongoing viability and sustainability of the industry, as well as its success to deliver the nation’s infrastructure, action must be taken to improve productivity and close the gap in Australia between the infrastructure sector and other industries.

That of course starts with gaining a better understanding of productivity and how to measure it, but also implementing the things we know work now to help do more with less.

17 INDUSTRY INSIGHTS June 2024// Issue 31
Across public and private investment, Australia’s five-year infrastructure and buildings pipeline stands at $691 billion. Image: Another77/


We know industrial landscapes are continually reshaped by technological advancements, and upgrading operational technology networks has never been more critical. As Industry 4.0 propels us towards an interconnected future, operations are faced with the challenge of ensuring their networks are not only capable of meeting today's demands, but are also prepared for tomorrow's opportunities.

Below, we explore four paramount considerations for upgrading operational technology (OT) networks, emphasising their role in bolstering operational efficiency, security, and future-readiness.


Upgrading networks to counter evolving cyber threats has become essential. As OT networks increasingly integrate with information technology (IT) systems and the Internet, they become more vulnerable to sophisticated cyber-attacks that can disrupt critical infrastructure and operations.

A critical yet often overlooked aspect of network security is the inherent vulnerabilities within legacy hardware. Equipment that has been operational for extended periods may harbour exploitable weaknesses that are not rectifiable through software updates alone. Legacy devices may also lack the advanced security features ingrained in newer models, such as sophisticated encryption capabilities and built-in cyberdefence mechanisms.

Upgrading networks with the latest security and visibility features – including intrusion detection systems, virtual patching, network visualisation, and inbuilt security and risk audits – is essential. This not only safeguards sensitive data and operational continuity but also ensures compliance with best practice frameworks such as the Systems of Cybersecurity for Industry (SOCI), National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST), and the International Electrotechnical Commission's Standards (IEC 62443).


The surge of IoT devices presents a scalability challenge that must be addressed through network upgrades. Ensuring that networks can seamlessly manage an increasing number of devices and the ensuing data deluge is crucial. Upgrades that emphasise scalability allow businesses to harness the full potential of IoT technologies, facilitating innovations such as

real-time monitoring, predictive maintenance, and automated control systems.

This consideration aligns with the trajectory of industrial evolution towards more connected, data-rich operations, enabling businesses to maintain a competitive edge. Plan your network to accommodate both current needs and future growth by carefully considering your data aggregation points and ensuring uplink speeds are scalable.



Reliability in industries where downtime is costly is paramount. Upgrading network infrastructure to include redundancy and fail over mechanisms not only enhances reliability but also ensures that operations continue smoothly during hardware failures or external disruptions. Despite the higher costs and complexity associated with these upgrades –requiring additional hardware, software, and skilled personnel – the investment is essential. High-stakes industries cannot afford to overlook the resilience that these mechanisms provide. It is crucial to select vendors known not only for their reliable and long-lasting products but also for offering robust local support and an extensive knowledge base.


Future-proofing is crucial for network upgrades in the industrial sector, involving the design of networks that are flexible enough to integrate emerging technologies such as 5G, edge computing, and artificial intelligence. This strategy ensures networks remain adaptable to evolving technological trends and business needs, protecting investments in the long term.

Prioritising upgrades that align with future technologies allows businesses to establish a robust foundation for sustained innovation and growth. Additionally, investing in edge-capable network hardware, such as Cisco’s routers and switches, enhances operational capabilities through functions like protocol conversions and deep packet inspections.

Upgrading OT networks is a strategic focus, ensuring they're equipped for current and future demands. As we navigate the twists and turns of Industry 4.0, it's clear that the ability to upgrade and adapt will mark the difference between just keeping up and truly leading the way. Upgrading is your proactive step towards staying competitive and resilient in this dynamic landscape.

To learn more about industrial networks, scan the QR Code to the right to download our eBook Industrial Connectivity: The Backbone of Industry 4.0.


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Up to 70 per cent of Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions relate to the lifecycle of infrastructure through operational, enabled, and embodied emissions. This provides the infrastructure sector with a massive opportunity to contribute significantly to reducing Australia’s carbon emissions; and Infrastructure Victoria has just developed a report which outlines how the Victorian Government can update policies, guidelines and procedures to make carbon emissions count in infrastructure decision-making.

June 2024// Issue 31 20 INDUSTRY INSIGHTS

The infrastructure sector is changing fast. Technology development is rapid. Most Australian states are dealing with infrastructure booms.

National, state and territory-based emissions reduction targets are also changing the way governments need to plan, deliver and manage new infrastructure projects.

There is some concern that measuring carbon in infrastructure could limit new solutions or add significant cost.

But industry groups and businesses say they are ready and willing to respond to clear government direction about the level and pace of infrastructure decarbonisation.

Markets around the world are demanding more low carbon builds and products. Industry sees the need for urgent action to remain competitive.

Last year, the Victorian Government cut its emissions reduction target to net zero emissions by 2045. This is five years earlier than the Australian Government’s target and ahead of other state and territory targets.

As infrastructure delivery will play a key role in meeting the target, the government requested advice from Infrastructure Victoria. We are the state’s independent infrastructure advisory body.

We released our advice on opportunities to reduce the greenhouse

gas emissions of future public infrastructure earlier this year.

Our research finds the state’s multibillion-dollar pipeline of new build infrastructure presents a big opportunity for the Victorian Government to shape the design of infrastructure, the materials used in construction and the jobs created in a low carbon economy.

It also finds decarbonising infrastructure can reduce project costs.

The United Kingdom Treasury’s Infrastructure carbon review concluded that ‘reducing carbon reduces cost’ when decarbonisation is prioritised early and over the long term. It found that reductions in carbon of up to 39 per cent by supply chains achieved average June 2024// Issue 31 21 INDUSTRY INSIGHTS
The Bolte Bridge. Image: Alex Cimbals/

reductions in capital expenditure of 22 per cent.

Research by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation suggests that changing materials and designs in infrastructure alone can reduce costs by up to 3 per cent and achieve up to 18 per cent reduction in embodied carbon.

Our research found that current efforts to reduce carbon across the lifecycle of infrastructure projects are inconsistent. There is no integrated approach to manage carbon emissions over the infrastructure lifecycle in Victoria.

Our advice outlines a path for government to make reducing the emissions of infrastructure the new business-as-usual.

We need fast action to get the benefits of a low carbon economy and meet Victoria’s net zero target. Other governments across Australia can also take this chance to act.

Three principles and ten recommendations (see breakout box) can guide government action.

Prioritising non-build or low build solutions can minimise new construction. It also avoids emissions associated with building and running new infrastructure. Projects using low build solutions usually have lower carbon emissions across their lifecycle.

For example, the Victorian Department of Transport and Planning’s Smarter Roads project improves the traffic light network first, before building new roads. Offsite or modular construction, such as classrooms for schools, can be cheaper and produce less emissions than on-site builds.

Victorian guidelines already suggest departments and agencies consider non-build options in business cases. But government project teams told us that the existing culture favours new build solutions. It does not encourage teams to prepare options that meet service needs without a new build.

To support culture change, government ministers and senior executives should give clear direction about prioritising non-build or low build solutions. When departments and agencies consider carbon reduction at the beginning of a project, there is much more opportunity to reduce carbon impacts.

Our advice also recommends an aligned approach to decarbonisation across Australian governments Industry can adopt proven approaches quickly and with less risk. This can help governments move faster towards decarbonisation targets.

Using existing tools, research and resources also reduces time and

investment costs. For example, our advice recommends the government adopt a full approach to measure and manage carbon emissions like the UK’s PAS 2080:2023 Carbon management in buildings and infrastructure standard. Aligning approaches across borders reduces the burden on industry.

Business can put more focus on delivery of effective decarbonisation strategies. By promoting national consistency, Victoria is also helping to build capability within industry.

In March, Infrastructure Australia released its guide for emission targets in infrastructure proposals. Infrastructure Australia will reflect Australia’s emissions reduction targets in its advice to government, infrastructure plans, audits and evaluations. The national target of net zero by 2050 will also apply to all proposals considered by Infrastructure Australia.

The guidance also introduces a carbon value for business cases. The use of carbon values is common in many other parts of the world. It means that carbon shows up as a cost line item in the business case. This helps to inform project decisions to reduce carbon, but it is not an actual financial cost.

States or territories with higher emissions targets, like Victoria, may need to use higher carbon values for

June 2024// Issue 31 22

their own budget processes. It is common to apply a range of values or sensitivities in business cases to test against changing conditions. We expect any gap between national and state carbon values will reduce over time as Australia gets closer to net zero.

Our advice also recommends the Victorian Government clarify the scale and pace of infrastructure emissions reduction to give confidence to industry. This can encourage businesses to propose or take up options to reduce carbon in the large pipeline of infrastructure projects underway.

There are clear benefits of avoiding carbon now, before it becomes more costly.

If infrastructure managers look at embodied carbon in the project design phase, they can compare the costs and benefits of different materials and methods before a sod is turned. Digital engineering can show large areas of embodied carbon and find ways to save. This can often result in dollar savings as well.

Greater use of recycled materials can reduce demand for new materials. It also avoids the costs and carbon emissions of extraction and

processing. For example, crushed recycled concrete can produce up to 65 per cent fewer embodied carbon emissions than quarried materials. Increasing the use of recycled materials creates demand and new jobs.

Decarbonising infrastructure is critical to our efforts to tackle climate change. But it is also a chance to do things differently, including doing more with less.

Governments and businesses that make decarbonisation the new business-as-usual have the most to gain from the transition to net zero.

To read Opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of infrastructure: advice to the Victorian Government visit

Infrastructure Victoria’s ten recommendations to the Victorian Government to reduce greenhouse emissions from public infrastructure are as follows:

1. Develop a comprehensive approach to measure and manage carbon emissions modelled on the UK’s PAS 2080:2023 Carbon management in buildings and infrastructure standard.

2. Identify and adopt carbon measurement tools and deliver training across the Victorian Government.

3. Value carbon using a target consistent approach and calculate required values to achieve Victorian emissions reduction targets.

4. Update business case guidelines and templates to integrate emissions reduction.

5. Measure carbon in infrastructure cost benefit analysis.

6. Update procurement frameworks and guidance to promote carbon reduction in tenders.

7. Update standard form contracts to include minimum carbon reduction requirements and incentives for further reductions.

8. Establish carbon management prequalification requirements for government contracts. June 2024// Issue 31 23 INDUSTRY INSIGHTS
to decarbonisation
Victoria recommends an
across Australian governments. Image: Kevin Wells


Melbourne is on track to o cially become Australia’s largest city within the decade, and in order to support such growth, the city needs a public transport system that will get people where they need to go, take pressure o the existing transport network and reduce congestion by taking thousands of cars o the roads each day. Delivered in stages over several decades, the Suburban Rail Loop project is set to help shape Melbourne and Victoria for future generations, all while creating thousands of direct local jobs and helping train the next generation of skilled workers.

June 2024// Issue 31 24 URBAN DEVELOPMENT
An artist’s impression of the community surrounding Burwood Station. Images: SRLA.

Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) will deliver a 90km rail line linking every major train service from the Frankston Line to the Werribee Line via Melbourne Airport, better connecting Victorians to jobs, retail, education, health services and each other.

By the 2050s, Melbourne will be home to nearly nine million people – a city the size of London today. Work needs to be done to meet the challenges of population growth and increased demand for transport connections and housing.

SRL will help transition Melbourne from a city with a single CBD, to a city of multiple centres – with planning and investment to attract more residents, businesses, jobs and opportunities – supported by the interconnection that an outer orbital rail line provides.

Across Australia, finding an affordable home is harder than ever. Victoria’s Housing Statement outlines a plan to address housing supply and the Victorian Government has set a target to build 800,000 homes over the next decade.

SRL forms part of this plan. It is expected to help address housing affordability and enable a more diverse mix of homes – with access to jobs, services and opportunities near good public transport.

High quality public and open space is critical for thriving communities, and the delivery of SRL is an opportunity to achieve positive social, environmental and economic outcomes – and this includes providing services and community infrastructure like schools, parks, playgrounds and libraries close to SRL stations.

said that SRL is more than a rail line – it’s a oncein-a-generation opportunity to shape the way Melbourne and Victoria grow.

“With Melbourne set to be the population of London by the 2050s, SRL is an important part of servicing this growth – by delivering more housing options on the doorstep of great public transport, jobs and local services,” Ms Van Camp said.

“We will continue to work closely with local councils and communities as we plan the future for these local neighbourhoods – ensuring they maintain the characteristics people love today, but allowing them to be fantastic places to live tomorrow.”

SRL is set to open up a host of new social and economic opportunities for hundreds of thousands of Victorians by creating greater access to jobs, health services, education, and a diverse range of quality and affordable housing.

More interconnected public transport, greater investment, thoughtful urban planning and local projects that build on the character and qualities of local communities will ensure that Melbourne’s suburbs will continue to be vibrant, safe and attractive places to live and work as the city grows.


SRL is broken up into four major components – SRL East, SRL North, SRL Airport and SRL West – with SRL East (Cheltenham to Box Hill) the immediate focus for delivery. June 2024// Issue 31 25 URBAN DEVELOPMENT
Suburban Rail Loop Authority (SRLA) Executive General Manager, Land Planning Environment and Sustainability, Lissa van Camp, Construction is underway at Box Hill Station.


SRL West from Sunshine to Werribee will build on the major road and rail projects already being delivered in the west, to deliver faster and more convenient travel, and improve access to jobs and services in the middle suburbs.

SRL Airport will connect Melbourne Airport to Victoria’s regional and metropolitan train network for the first time, with direct access to Melbourne Airport from more than 30 stations without the need to change trains.

SRL North – from Box Hill to Melbourne Airport – will see the delivery of seven planned new stations at Doncaster, Heidelberg, Bundoora, Reservoir, Fawkner, Broadmeadows, and Melbourne Airport.


Construction of SRL East is already well underway and trains are expected to be running by 2035.

SRL East is set to deliver 26km of twin tunnels and six brand new underground stations at Cheltenham, Clayton, Monash, Glen Waverley, Burwood and Box Hill, providing a turn-upand-go service. The neighbourhoods around SRL East stations are planned to be as green and sustainable as possible, incorporating new and enhanced open spaces, green areas, and cycling and walking tracks.

Work is underway to develop structure plans for the areas around each SRL East station. SRLA is continuing to work closely with local governments and engage with residents and traders to incorporate their feedback.

Following several years of community engagement, consultation for structure planning kicked off with the release of the SRL Precincts Discussion Paper in August 2023, followed by detailed Draft Visions for each of the six SRL East Precincts in December 2023. The Draft Visions outline preliminary ideas for each SRL Precinct, including opportunities and locations for more housing, jobs and services, and new types of public spaces.

Structure plans will guide the development of these areas over time – helping to achieve sustainable growth and positive social, economic and environmental outcomes for an area. They cover changes to land use, built form, transport and community infrastructure, and public spaces.

Throughout 2024, there will be more opportunities for Victorians to have their say on the future of their neighbourhoods, as the structure planning process continues. Draft Structure Plans will go on public exhibition in late 2024 or early 2025.


The new SRL station at Burwood will enable more welldesigned housing – and greater housing options – where people want to live, close to local schools and Deakin University.

SRL will better connect Burwood with key healthcare, education and employment destinations across Melbourne –attracting investment in new job opportunities and unlocking new spaces to boost housing supply and affordability.

The area surrounding the new underground SRL station will become a hub of activity, attracting students, residents and visitors to the area, with high-quality, well-designed public spaces that celebrate the natural environment and provide great connections to local features such as Gardiners Creek and Lundgren Chain Reserve.

Deakin University will be a major driver of growth, innovation and employment in the area, and SRL will help deliver more homes for staff and students nearby.

Box Hill

The new underground station in the heart of Box Hill will be the centre of a vibrant community hub. The SRL station development is planned to include new areas of public space the size of Melbourne’s Federation Square – including a new

June 2024// Issue 31 26
The Suburban
Rail Loop network.

linear park and a pedestrian boulevard linking Whitehorse Road to Box Hill Gardens.

SRL is set to build on the growth of Box Hill in recent years, bringing more diverse and affordable homes to the neighbourhood, along with new employment opportunities, and better access to the nearby Box Hill Hospital, Epworth Eastern, Box Hill Institute and Box Hill Gardens.

Box Hill Gardens is a valued community space for recreation and providing more housing close to the gardens will allow more residents to enjoy this green open space.

Glen Waverley

The SRL East station at Glen Waverley is expected to be one of the best connected on the metropolitan network – connecting more people to the heart of this vibrant shopping and hospitality district.

It will provide a key transport link to the existing Glen Waverley Line, providing faster and more convenient access for locals and students to universities, employment and hospitals to the north and south of Glen Waverley.


The SRL East station at Monash will connect more people to Melbourne’s largest employment and innovation hub outside the CBD – providing students, employees and visitors with a direct train connection to the area for the first time.

Along with an interchange for bus services and local road improvements, the station will improve access to education, health and research facilities, delivering important transport connections to Monash University.


The SRL East station at Clayton is set to become a major interchange, with trains travelling in four different directions, providing faster and more convenient transport to key destinations across Melbourne and regional Victoria.

The transport super hub will connect metropolitan and regional train services on the Cranbourne/Pakenham and Gippsland Lines – improving access to leading medical research and hospitals in the growing health precinct.


The new underground station at Cheltenham is planned to be the southern gateway to the SRL network, providing faster and more convenient public transport to key destinations across Melbourne’s middle suburbs.

It will improve access to nearby employment areas and connect more people to one of Melbourne’s major retail and entertainment hubs, Southland Shopping Centre. Providing a link to the existing Southland Station, it will also give Frankston line passengers a convenient connection to Monash, Deakin and La Trobe universities.


Over time, this vital city-shaping infrastructure will help recalibrate Melbourne’s growth. As more people choose to live near the public transport connections and more businesses choose to locate there, Melbourne will grow strategically in established suburbs – reducing the expanding urban footprint of Greater Melbourne which puts pressure on transport, road congestion and local infrastructure.

The SRL project is a prime example of an infrastructure project delivering on more than its primary promise.

While the addition of an outer ring rail loop will enhance transport connections around the suburbs of Melbourne, it’s also being developed in a way that ensures the individual elements of the project – the train stations that will serve as the community touch points for the project – have a positive community impact too. The vision for each SRL station is that it will provide a vibrant heart for the communities they serve, helping to make Melbourne’s suburbs homes their residents can be proud of. June 2024// Issue 31 27 URBAN DEVELOPMENT
Suburban Rail Loop Authority Executive General Manager, Land Planning Environment and Sustainability, Lissa van Camp.


When we think of the cities of the future, when we cast our eye toward a more sustainable horizon, we often imagine something drastically di erent. Will our cities be reimagined in climbing-green facades, ringed by solar-powered monorails and fast-paced flying cars? Will we have to completely reimagine how we design our skylines to meet sustainability targets?

InfraBuild – Australia’s largest manufacturer of steel long products – has a clear vision for the future of our cities; it encompasses their pursuit of a carbon-neutral 2030. With over 100 years of operation behind them, they’ve developed and continue to develop a deep understanding of consumer drivers in their industry.

Through this process, they came to a transformative insight about what needs to change and what doesn’t need to change at all: they knew that to create rapid change, it needs to be easy for stakeholders to adopt. In creating their new SENSE Solutions® product range, they sought to create Australia’s sustainable steel without compromise: a steel that will allow our cities to grow and flourish without growing our carbon emissions.


By solving the emissions intensity issues associated with steel, it becomes a sustainability powerhouse – allowing it to remain a mainstay in the cityscape of tomorrow. Due to its strength and recyclability, steel plays a key role in creating long-lasting structures. Steel used in construction is generally regarded as being able to outlast other construction materials including concrete and wood – so structures built using steel today will be the structures we see tomorrow.

But it’s steel’s recyclability rather than its simple strength that makes it a truly sustainable building material. This is something InfraBuild knows well: as well as being one of Australia’s biggest steel producers, it’s also one of Australia’s largest metal recycling businesses. In 2022, InfraBuild was able to capture 98 per cent of the recoverable metals in its recycling stream . The SENSE Solutions® range is a testament to their recycling prowess: it’s made from 100 per cent scrap metal at their Australian manufacturing facilities.



Now available across Australia, SENSE Solutions® has launched and is here to facilitate rapid decarbonisation across the construction industry and help achieve a carbonneutral 2030. Their reinforcing bar, SENSE 600®, is available in bar diameters with the same Equivalent Load Capacity as standard 500N bars: this makes it a simple swap for stakeholders across the industry.

Furthermore, it uses up to 16.7 per cent less raw material than their equivalent 500N bar, and this can result in up to a 35 per cent reduction in embodied carbon. While the development of this innovative bar is transformative, it doesn’t transform the processes of the stakeholders who choose to use it. From their century of operation in the Australian market, InfraBuild has developed a deep understanding of how engineers, builders, and developers approach their work and recognise the intricacies in how these parties come together to handle a project. With this understanding, SENSE Solutions® is enabling stakeholders across the built environment to achieve their ambitions of a more sustainable city.


For engineers and designers, SENSE 600® allows them to use their existing software for new designs, and convert existing designs with the substitution tables that SENSE Solutions® provides. Builders and steel fixers, too, can go about their business as usual: they simply receive a lighter product onsite. With this sustainable swap made, these parties can dedicate their efforts to what they do best: generate creative and innovative solutions that shape our skylines.

But the SENSE Solutions® range goes beyond just the commercial construction industry: they’ve even reimagined our suburbs with a solution for residential projects.

SENSE 600® TrenchMesh™ is designed so it can be a direct replacement for Grade 500 MPa trench mesh, providing an easy transition for residential builders. Both products are CodeMark certified for your project’s peace of mind, making it an even easier choice. With SENSE Solutions®, the work has already been done, so the construction industry can make the sustainable switch at scale and at pace.

While designers, engineers, builders and developers will continue to change the face of our cities, innovations like the SENSE Solutions® range empower them to make more sustainable spaces without added effort or expenditure. For industry leaders and innovators, looking to build the cities and spaces of tomorrow, it’s a choice that just makes sense.

So, what will the city of tomorrow look like? Empowered with materials such as SENSE Solutions®, and the vision of a carbon-neutral 2030, engineers, architects, developers and designers are free to create strong, sustainable cities that give back to people and the planet.

Inspired to make a change? Learn more about the SENSE Solutions range at
Our future cities will be built with sustainable steel. Image: InfraBuild.

SENSE 600® - Australian made certified sustainable steel

Creating the cities of the future from lower-embodied carbon solutions.

Introducing SENSE Solutions® from InfraBuild – Australian-made steel developed to lower Scope 3 emissions without reinventing your processes. The innovative product range can enable Australia’s construction industry to continue designing, building, and planning just like they always have – with no extra steps or compliance hurdles. Empowered with a lower carbon solution, we can all work together towards the sustainable cities of tomorrow without compromise. It just makes SENSE

Confidence from third-party certification from GECA (SSPv1.0i-2019) and meets Australian Standard AS/NZS 4671.

embodied carbon steel
less raw material than our standard 500N reinforcing steel and made from 100% scrap.
Delivers up to a 39%
solution when using in place of our equivalent load capacity 500 MPa product. Uses up to 16.7%


Worldwide, infrastructure is constantly expanding to support our growing population. Cities regularly build new roads and resurface and rehabilitate old roads to accommodate increasing vehicle tra c.

Unfortunately, there are several long-term environmental impacts associated with increased construction, and organisations are looking to sustainable solutions to mitigate these potential problems.

The negative long-term effects of the production, transportation, and placement of asphalt, concrete and other road building materials are many, and they continue to contribute to the damage of the environment. Construction companies looking to increase their sustainability should be aware of the different types of eco-friendly paving options available.

Infrastructure Magazine had the opportunity to speak with Tonkin + Taylor Technical Director, Colin Dailey, who explained that organisations looking to employ sustainable materials in their projects should have a strong understanding of the different types and availability of such materials currently being used by the industry.

“It’s important to understand what the different properties of these materials are, as well as making sure that they're fit for purpose,” Mr Dailey said.

“And ensuring that they've got the right engineering properties for the particular application that they’re being proposed for.”

Mr Dailey described a number of available sustainable paving solutions, including:

Crushed concrete

When concrete structures are demolished the resulting material is typically sent to landfill. However recently it has become more common to recycle this material as it is highly resistant to degradation and can supplement the use of virgin materials.

Crushed concrete can be added in as a supplementary material within various road making materials or used in its own right as an alternative to quarried crushed rock products.

Diversion of the waste material is one upside to using this crushed concrete, particularly in metropolitan areas where landfill space is becoming increasingly scarce. It also repurposes existing materials rather than extracting new material from a finite resource.

Recycled Asphalt Pavement

Reclaimed asphalt pavement, also known as RAP, is material generated when asphalt pavements are removed for reconstruction, or resurfaced where the removed asphalt profilings are recovered for later reuse.

When properly screened into various particle sizes, RAP consists of high-quality, well-graded aggregates coated by bitumen which can be reused in new asphalt mixes, which can be used in place of virgin aggregates and bitumen.

Like concrete, asphalt is non-biodegradable and the process of creating virgin asphalt products uses up valuable non-renewable resources like oil. By utilising recycled asphalt within new asphalt mixes and other technologies including warm mix processes and bio bitumens, pavement professionals can decrease their carbon footprint.

Crumb rubber

Crumb rubber is produced from vehicle tyres that have reached the end of their service life. This practice allows end-of-life tyres to be used for productive outcomes, rather than sent to landfill or sent overseas where they are often burned.

Not only does making use of crumb rubber reduce a challenging waste stream, the material results in asphalt mixes and binders that have a higher resistance to deformation at increased road temperature, improved flexibility and can improve the bond between the bitumen and aggregate particles to offset to oxidation effects as bituminous materials age.

Cost-effective, durable and eco-friendly, recycled paving materials are an ideal alternative for commercial, residential, and municipal infrastructure projects. As the world grapples with the challenges of climate change and resource scarcity, these materials are paving the way to more sustainable and resilient infrastructure.

Sustainability is essential for the future of infrastructure. Reach out to Tonkin + Taylor's transport team to assist with your sustainable infrastructure projects by emailing or calling 03 9863 8686


As a specialist provider of engineering and environmental services, Tonkin + Taylor brings your project ambitions to life.

With proven experience on large-scale projects across Australia and New Zealand, we are the specialist partner of choice.

From land development, transport, renewable energy, waste + resource recovery to water resource management, industry, and mining – we are passionate about creating and sustaining a better world together.

challenges into sustainable solutions
out more at...


When you work in construction and infrastructure, you hear terms like asset, asset management and asset protection on what seems like a daily basis. Assets are the basis of the infrastructure sector, and one of the most important considerations for any asset owner is ensuring their assets are protected so that they are always running optimally and servicing the communities that rely on them so heavily.

The infrastructure sector is defined by large physical assets; the buildings, bridges, roads and railways that connect communities and shape the urban fabric of our cities. These assets all have a significant monetary value, and more importantly, they are critical to the daily lives of millions.

Protecting these assets is of vital importance; and for those charged with the task of doing this, we have identified the seven key challenges that must be factored into this process.

1. Protecting against theft and vandalism

Construction sites are transient and dynamic in nature as projects progress. The continuous movement of machinery and materials, coupled with the absence of permanent structures, make these sites highly vulnerable to theft and vandalism.

2. Restricting unauthorised access

There are a number of factors that can make it difficult to restrict unauthorised access on construction sites or around critical infrastructure assets. Firstly, the dynamic and often open nature of construction projects can create temporary openings or weak points in perimeters. Also, some infrastructure such as water catchment areas, hospitals and roads are not amenable to traditional security solutions such as fences, locks or gates.

3. Blocking cybersecurity threats and protecting privacy Cloud computing, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence are transforming the way the construction and infrastructure sectors operate. But with these new technologies comes the threat of cyber attacks, which can result in the leaking of sensitive data, as well as compromising the integrity of digital systems and disrupting operations.

4. Managing the costs associated with protecting assets

Balancing the need for comprehensive security measures with the imperative to control costs can be a challenge for businesses within the construction sector. While security guards play a crucial role in preventing theft, vandalism and unauthorised access, the cost of deploying dedicated security personnel in all situations can be substantial.

5. Providing effective deterrence

In the infrastructure sector, effective deterrence protects against trespassers, thieves and vandals. But it can be challenging to establish effective deterrence measures due to a number of factors, such as a lack of secure perimeters on construction sites.

6. Protecting against natural hazards

Earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and wildfires can all cause widespread and severe damage to critical infrastructure. Ensuring the security of infrastructure requires advanced warning systems and robust emergency response protocols, as well as resilient design.

7. Leveraging collected data

Surveillance data is common in the infrastructure sector, but utilising this data to best advantage is not. There are many opportunities for infrastructure owners to better utilise surveillance data to enhance future security activities.


Spectur is an innovative provider of cutting-edge technology solutions, specialising in solar-powered 4G connected cameras and warning systems. Spectur’s autonomous surveillance and warning systems use advanced artificial intelligence and IoT technology to sense, think and act in response to threats or gather data without requiring human intervention, even on unpowered and remote sites.

With a range of surveillance systems on offer, Spectur empowers businesses to enhance their security posture, protect assets and foster a secure and safe environment. Deploying smart technology to monitor sites means organisations can better utilise resources, while remaining confident action will be taken should an incident occur.

For more information on how Spectur can help your business overcome the top 7 challenges of securing assets and infrastructure, scan this QR code.

* Australian Institute of Criminology, 2022. Australian businesses spend $16.4 billion annually on preventing and responding to serious and organised crime*. Spend your crime prevention budget wisely. Contact us today to learn how Australia’s largest infrastructure customers use Spectur solutions to stop crime before it happens. Making communities safer, smarter and more sustainable 1300 802 960


Reveal has launched a new Unified Utility Model to help engineers understand the murky world of underground utility information and deliver their projects on-time and on-budget.

Most infrastructure construction projects begin with an engineer or CAD designer compiling maps from asset owners of all the existing utilities in a project scope area. It’s a painstaking and time-consuming exercise and, as many project managers will know, it can also be fruitless; existing utility plans are often incomplete and inaccurate, leading to inevitable design rework and delays on the ground as contractors uncover unknown utilities.

Slot trenches and trial holes can be dug to verify existing plans, but these necessary investigations often affect larger areas and cost more than required, causing major disruption to the public and the community through traffic closures, noise, pollution and carbon emissions.

The field of utility locating has emerged over the past few decades to fill the gap by providing accurate data on the location of underground utilities.

However, this information is typically only gathered by contractors prior to starting construction. Vital information about anomalies or undocumented utilities that could help inform design decisions goes unrecorded or remains as paint marks on the ground to be washed away over time.


To improve project outcomes and drive safer, more efficient infrastructure construction, Reveal has developed the concept of a Unified Utility Model – a 3D utility map that combines all sources of data on the underground in a framework that can be accessed and understood by engineers at the concept and design phases of a project.

The Unified Utility Model takes existing utility plans and informs them with the results of geophysical investigations and visual verifications to produce accurate, comprehensive models of the underground that

are compatible with BIM and CAD design environments.

The Unified Utility Model applies internationally supported utility detection and mapping standards such as PAS-128 and AS-5488. Engineers can easily interpret and rely on the intuitive visualisations that accurately describe both the underground detections and the risks associated with them.

The Unified Utility Model depicts the existing utility record, the results of the utility investigation and the updated 3D visualisation of the asset, with a chain of evidence showing how the model has been derived.

Armed with the Unified Utility Model findings, engineers can design with confidence, knowing they are minimising the risks of project delay and cost overrun that affect most infrastructure construction in Australia.

Contact Reveal today to learn more about how your engineering consultancy can deploy Unified Utility Models on your next project. 34 June 2024 // Issue 31 URBAN DEVELOPMENT // SPONSORED EDITORIAL
For more information, visit
Visualisation of statistical corrections to asset location data. Image: Reveal. Unified Utility Mode with toolbar. Image: Reveal.


With Reveal, you can eliminate subsurface risks, deliver infrastructure projects faster and minimise cost blow-outs and variations.

If you need to understand your underground, get in touch with the world’s leading subsurface experts.



Fosroc ANZ is spearheading the push for isocyanate-free sealants in Australia and New Zealand with its Nitoseal MS range of products that are not only faster and easier to apply, but safer to use.

The Nitoseal MS hybrid sealant range offers the weathering and adhesion performance of silicones with the strength of polyurethanes. But unlike polyurethanes, MS sealants do not contain isocyanates.

According to Fosroc ANZ’s sealant specialist, Technical Support Manager, Martin Venn, Nitoseal MS products are a safe and high-performing alternative.

“Given their advantages in terms of performance, usability and safety, Nitoseal MS products are set to become the new go-to sealant for applicators,” he said.


Isocyanates are a group of highly reactive organic compounds that easily become volatile and enter the atmosphere as a vapour. They are common in manufactured materials such as polyurethane foams, synthetic rubbers, paints and varnishes.

Exposure to isocyanates can result in irritation of the nose, throat and eyes. It can cause coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath, as well as nausea, vomiting, and headaches. Direct contact with the skin or eyes can result in blistering and irritation.

A recognised carcinogen, excessive exposure may cause liver and kidney disease, and chronic lung damage.

Europe has introduced strict regulations regarding the use of materials containing isocyanate. While these regulations don't apply in Australia, Fosroc ANZ has recognised that isocyanates are a chemical of concern and, as a result, has initiated the move away from them.

Until recently, applicators had few alternatives to isocyanatecontaining sealants, particularly for high-traffic areas, where strength and hardness is critical.

“In terms of strength, there wasn't really an acceptable alternative,” said Mr Venn.

“The Nitoseal MS Hybrid range is really a game-changer.”


Australian-made for Australian and New Zealand conditions, Nitoseal MS utilises state-of-the art Duraflex® technology for a safer, better performing sealant.

Suitable for vertical and horizontal joints, Nitoseal MS products are paintable, resistant to weathering, and gun faster than polyurethane sealants.

Being solvent free, with low levels of VOC (volatile organic compounds), Nitoseal MS sealants are also environmentally friendly.

“In addition to the health benefits, applicators tell us that they find Nitoseal MS products easier to use, less temperature dependent and longer lasting,” Mr Venn said.

“The fact that they cure quickly, adhere to a range of surfaces and are highly durable makes them an increasingly popular choice.”


Fosroc's Nitoseal MS range comprises two products for use in general construction:

♦ Nitoseal MS250 – suitable for facades and available in eleven colours

♦ Nitoseal MS400 – with a Shore A Hardness of 40, suitable for trafficked areas

For orders of 120 sausages or more, Fosroc ANZ offers a colour matching service.

Find out more about Fosroc ANZ’s range of isocyanate-free sealants at

Fosroc ANZ is proud to lead the push for isocyanatefree sealants in Australia and New Zealand. Image: Fosroc.


The Fitzroy to Gladstone Pipeline, an almost $1 billion pipeline project that will deliver water security and about 30 gigalitres of water a year to Gladstone, has celebrated its first birthday since the project was announced in February 2023.

The Queensland Government announced the $983 million pipeline to address the single source water supply risk from Awoonga Dam, enabling long-term water security to Gladstone’s industry and support to ongoing economic development in the region.

The 117-kilometre pipeline will run from the Lower Fitzroy River in Rockhampton and connect to Gladstone Area Water Board’s (GAWB) existing water network at Yarwun.

The pipeline also comprises:

♦ An intake structure at Laurel Bank to collect water from the Fitzroy River

♦ A Water Treatment Plant, Pump Station and Reservoir at Alton Downs

♦ Two reservoirs at Aldoga to store water before it connects to GAWB’s existing water network at Yarwun

♦ A connection to the Mount Miller Pipeline

The Fitzroy to Gladstone Pipeline (FGP) will have the capacity to transport 30 gigalitres of water per annum from the Fitzroy River to Gladstone. The pipeline’s design enables efficient retrofitting with additional infrastructure should bi-directional flow be required in the future.

A joint venture comprised of McConnell Dowell and BMD Group (MBJV) has been contracted to construct the FGP, and once constructed, the pipeline and its associated infrastructure will continue to be owned and managed by the GAWB.

Benefits of the FGP to the community include:

♦ Water security and reliability

♦ Continuous operation of Gladstone’s industry

♦ Contribution to the growth of the Queensland economy

♦ More than 400 jobs at the peak of construction

June 2024// Issue 31 38 URBAN DEVELOPMENT
The Fitzroy to Gladstone Pipeline is taking shape. Images: Gladstone Area Water Board.

♦ More than 40 per cent of construction costs to be spent locally throughout project delivery

♦ More than 500 hours of training to the delivery team

♦ More than 25 apprenticeships and traineeships over the duration of construction

♦ Target spend of $10 million with suppliers and businesses owned by First Nations Australians

Queensland Minister for Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water Glenn Butcher said the FGP was part of Queensland’s Big Build, the biggest decade of infrastructure delivery in Queensland’s history, with the government delivering infrastructure needed to support a growing Queensland.

“Right now, industry in Gladstone generates $6 billion in gross regional product every year and these activities depend on significant quantities of water now and into the future,” Minister Butcher said.

“This pipeline will allow Gladstone to access their water allocation from the Fitzroy River, which we know means security in good jobs and the delivery of safe and reliable water services to enhance the liveability of our region.

“We are already seeing the lasting positive legacy that the Fitzroy to Gladstone Pipeline will have on our region as a result of the Miles Government’s commitment to supporting local content and workforce.

“To date, the pipeline has engaged with more than 111 local businesses across Rockhampton and Gladstone, with local spend totalling $71.6 million.

“As of the end of March 2024, $97.3 million has been spent within Queensland.”

The FGP team is also committed to upskilling the next generation of workers and currently has 18 trainees working on the project.

GAWB Chief Executive Officer, Darren Barlow, said the Queensland Government’s decision to approve the pipeline for construction reflected the region’s importance to the state’s economy.

“The announcement was pivotal in securing water for Gladstone’s industry as well as helping sustain the Queensland economy and provide jobs, and I thank the Queensland Government for their decision,” Mr Barlow said.

“Water security has been an ongoing, critical issue for Gladstone due to

the single-source water supply from Awoonga Dam.

“Four successive failed wet seasons resulted in a Low Supply Alert Declaration being issued in April 2021, which is declared before stricter supply restrictions are needed.

“From GAWB’s perspective, it’s been fantastic to see the MBJV engaging with local suppliers to deliver tangible benefits to the Central Queensland region such as jobs, supply contracts and local capability raising.”

The FGP team achieved a major milestone on 17 October 2023, with then Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Minister for Manufacturing, Regional Development and Water, Glenn Butcher, turning the first sod on site in Aldoga, signifying the beginning of major construction.

The sod-turning event followed the first pipes arrival from Steel Mains to the MBJV laydown site in Gracemere in June 2023, and the laying of first pipes through Wetland Protection Areas near Rockhampton in September 2023.

As of the end of March 2024, a total of 44 kilometres of pipe has been laid, making up more than 34 per cent of the 117 kilometres of pipe required for the FGP. This includes two of the seven June 2024// Issue 31 39 URBAN DEVELOPMENT
As of the end of March 2024, a total of 44 kilometres of pipe has been laid.

Wetland Protection Areas (WPAs) within the pipeline corridor. The remaining five WPAs will be completed during the May to September dry season.

Pipe laying through the northern boundary of the Stanwell to Gladstone Infrastructure Corridor State Development Area commenced in

early November 2023. The team has been engaged in preparative works for pipe-laying in the southern pipeline corridor since mid-2023, undertaking geotechnical investigations and cultural heritage clearances. Pipe laying works commenced south of Gracemere in January 2024.

The Trencor T1660 Magnum Mechanical Drive Chain Trencher, which will be used to excavate the pipeline trench at the Gladstone-end of the pipeline corridor, was recently assembled in anticipation of the works, following its arrival to the Port of Gladstone in November 2023.

The Trencor T1660, weighing approximately 140 tonnes, is the largest trencher in Australia and was specifically sourced for the FGP due to its ability to excavate pipeline trenches in hard rock up to 1.8 metres wide and 5 metres deep.

Recently, the FGP team celebrated the start of construction at the Aldoga Reservoirs site, following several months of preparative works.

The Aldoga Reservoirs, located at the southern end of the pipeline corridor, are vital infrastructure that will hold up to 100 megalitres of water, across two reservoirs, before it is

June 2024// Issue 31 40
The route for the FGP.

gravity fed to GAWB’s existing water network at Yarwun.

“It is fantastic to see the progress at the Aldoga Reservoirs site, which has included the removal of more than 65,700 cubic metres of earth,” Mr Barlow said.

“Each reservoir is approximately 78 metres wide, which is more than the width of a rugby field, so it has certainly been a massive job for the team.

“Construction is progressing at each of our supporting infrastructure sites, including the Alton Downs Water Treatment Plant and the Intake facility at Laurel Bank.”

Other recent construction milestones include the finalisation of all major road works on Laurel Bank and Ski Gardens Road, completion of two trenchless crossings at the Bruce Highway and Capricorn Highway and construction of the temporary workers accommodation camp in Gracemere.

The Gracemere accommodation camp, which was completed in early January 2024, can house up to 104 people and includes a reception, office, kitchen and dining, amenities, gym, laundry, locker room, linen store, storage, communications room, and medical room.

The site in Gracemere also includes a pipe laydown yard, a washdown area and a vehicle workshop.

“While we are targeting 60 per cent of our construction workers to be from within the local area, the temporary workers’ accommodation camp is housing workers from outside the region,” Mr Barlow said.

“We are aware of the high level of pressure on Rockhampton’s rental market and we have been careful to avoid adding any additional pressure. Workers at the Gladstone end of the pipeline are housed at the Homeground accommodation camp in Calliope.”

Once construction of the pipeline is complete, the site will be deconstructed and returned to pre-existing condition.

“It has been an incredibly busy yet rewarding year for both Gladstone Area Water Board and the McConnell Dowell BMD Joint Venture. We’ve made solid progress and I’m really proud,”

Mr Barlow said.

The FGP is expected to be operational in 2026, weather and site conditions permitting. Once constructed, the FGP and associated infrastructure will be owned and managed by Gladstone Area Water Board.

Scan the QR code to check out the FGP progress over the past 12 months. June 2024// Issue 31 41 URBAN DEVELOPMENT
The largest trencher in Australia assisting in the works.


Great infrastructure starts with a solid foundation, and the soil behaviour underneath the foundation of our buildings has a huge influence on how they will perform over time. A team from Victoria University is investigating the impacts of seasonal changes of soil characteristics on building performance, particularly in the expansive soils that cover our major cities.

Approximately 20 per cent of Australia’s land, spanning six out of eight major cities, is cloaked in expansive soil. Expansive soils swell with moisture in wet months and shrink in dry spells, applying immense pressure on lightweight structures such as houses. The consequence? Cracks, instability, and a barrage of housing insurance claims. And it’s not just Australia, this is a global concern.

In an Australia-first study on this specific issue, a group of researchers led by Dr Wasantha Liyanage at Victoria University (VU) constructed a full-scale test foundation on an expansive soil site in Sunshine North, Victoria, with the aim of comprehensively evaluating soil behaviour underneath the foundation and the resulting foundation performance that lead to house cracks.

“The first-hand data from a full-scale foundation can help to realistically understand the foundation’s performance over time and develop a lasting solution. According to our knowledge, this is the first time in Australia that this topic is researched using a test foundation of this scale,” Dr Wasantha said.


The Australian standard for residential slabs and footings (AS 2870-2011) is the key point of reference for engineers, architects, and builders involved in residential construction across Australia. This standard is a comprehensive guide and an important resource for all stakeholders.

“The growing number of house cracking issues, despite following the standard design and construction practices, is a concern and can be a product of a multitude of factors,” Dr Wasantha added.

In addition to insufficiently detailed site investigations, noncompliant construction practices and poor post-construction site maintenance, inadequacies in the foundation design procedure also contribute to the substandard performances of foundations.

According to Dr Bertrand Teodosio, a member of the research team at Victoria University for this project, “The design procedure of the current standard relies on several assumptions and empirical methods whose validity is worth verifying.”

June 2024// Issue 31 42 URBAN DEVELOPMENT

As a part of this research, the design procedure of residential foundations was scrutinised, and the reliability of the underlying assumptions was evaluated against hands-on data from the full-scale foundation.


Waffle raft foundations, also known as ‘waffle slabs,’ are a type of foundation commonly used in house construction. They are reinforced concrete slabs with ribbed patterns resembling waffles, and the void spaces within the grid of beams can house insulating materials, improving energy efficiency. Expanded polystyrene pods are typically used as void formers. Their cost-effectiveness, thermal insulation properties, and construction efficiency make waffle slabs popular in Australia.

“Waffle raft foundation structure helps to distribute the superstructure load uniformly on the ground. They are versatile and adaptable to various ground conditions,

however, careful engineering and adherence to building codes is essential to ensure structural integrity and compliance with site-specific requirements,” Dr Wasantha said.

According to published data, the waffle raft and the stiffened raft account for around 65 per cent of Australia’s new and existing single-detached dwellings.

The popularity of this foundation technique prompted the VU researchers to select a waffle raft foundation for their study in addition to other engineering reasons.

“The seasonal variations of the soil condition below the waffle raft used in this research can be extrapolated to other types of shallow foundations through various techniques such as numerical simulations,” Dr Bertrand said.


In 2022, an ~8m x ~10m large-scale waffle raft foundation was constructed for the research on the premises of June 2024// Issue 31 43 URBAN DEVELOPMENT
The soil behaviour underneath the slab has a considerable impact on foundation performance, particularly when building on expansive soils. Image: Kropotov.

Victoria University’s Sunshine Campus in Sunshine North, Victoria, following the guidelines of the current Australian standard, AS2870.

The initial exploration of the ground profile confirmed the site is underlain by expansive soils typically found in the West of Melbourne. The ground below the foundation was fully instrumented prior to pouring the slab to measure soil moisture content, temperature and ground movement at strategically varied locations.

“Our aim was to develop a clear picture of geomechanical changes occurring below the foundation with seasonal weather changes and how these affect the foundation performance. A number of sensors were installed at different locations/depths under the foundation as well as outside of it for comparison,” Dr Wasantha added.

The constructed test foundation in 2022 was monitored for more than a year, spanning through all four seasons, yielding some significant initial findings.

According to Dr Wasantha, “The covered ground below the foundation should be largely immune to surface weather changes, and the AS2870 standard also assumes mound shapes for designs defining an empirically estimated distance from the edge where the foundation could deflect due to ground movements. However, the initial first-hand data of our study disputes those empirical estimates and suggests that soil moisture content changes can extend further towards the centre of the foundation than the empirically estimated edge distance in AS2870.”

These results have direct implications for the current standard design and construction practices of residential foundations in Australia. It indicates a possible disparity between the assumptions of the standard design practice and what is actually happening on the ground.

“Our data also suggests the overall seasonal weather conditions are more influential on the soil behaviour under and in the vicinity of the foundation than the short-term weather changes such as sporadic rainfall events,” Dr Bertrand added.

Through further analyses, VU researchers have observed that surface weather changes affect the ground deeper than what is recommended in AS2870. This depth is one of the key parameters used in designing foundations. It is climate-dependent such that different values are provided in the standard for

different regions and cities in Australia. There can be a multitude of factors behind the observed discrepancy.

“The soil depth undergoing shrinking and swelling due to seasonal surface weather changes has important controls on the pressure applied on the foundation. Our data suggests that this depth can be higher than that is recommended to be used in designs in AS2870 for the Melbourne region,” Dr Wasantha added.


The current AS2870 standard is the version revised in 2011, more than a decade ago, and many environmental conditions that affect the foundation performances can be different now, caused primarily by the impacts of climate change. Based on the initial outcomes of this research, the VU researchers believe that the time has come to review the standard and materialise necessary amendments.

The monitoring of the test foundation will continue for a few more years, and the VU researchers expect to draw further insights into the short- and long-term foundation performances. They are also currently working on developing advanced software simulations, which will further shed light on comprehensively understanding the engineering performances of foundations constructed on expansive soils.

“Currently, there is a lack of datasets to develop and validate numerical models of foundations built on expansive soils. This research will produce a robust dataset for future research initiatives in this field. The simulations we are currently working on will be validated based on the observed characteristics of the test foundation and extended further for investigations in the parameter space,” Dr Wasantha said.

The research team has also embarked on using the research outputs for artificial intelligence modelling, where the foundation’s performance can be potentially predicted for the future.

As Dr Bertrand said, “The dataset of this research is also a useful resource for developing artificial intelligence models to envisage how the foundations will react to seasonal weather changes in the future. This will set a strong base for making amendments to the existing standard.”

Overall, the VU researchers are confident that the outcomes of this project will contribute to future houses being more resilient against ground movements, reducing one of the key stress points home ownership can provide.

The research team would like to acknowledge the financial support from the Victorian State Government, industry support from Geoid Engineering (Geotechnical) Pty Ltd, and administrative support from Victoria University for the success of this project.

June 2024// Issue 31 44 URBAN DEVELOPMENT
Construction of the test wa e slab at Victoria University. Image: Victoria University. The completed test slab. Image: Victoria University.


As Australia’s population grows, growth communities will play a critical role in housing, with Australia’s fast-growing outer suburbs already home to more than 5 million people. For the residents that call these communities home, there are certain infrastructure expectations that are considered to be non-negotiable.

New communities around Australia require a range of basic infrastructure needs to be met before they can really become home for new residents. Roads, public transport, schools, supermarkets and health facilities are some of the big ticket items that come to mind; but in 2024, equally important is the ability to access highspeed internet for work and leisure activities alike.

In fact, new research shows four out of five buyers already expect an nbn network connection in their newly built home, which gives developers who provide it a valuable selling point for their communities.

nbn® New Developments works with many of Australia's leading technology innovators, problem solvers and outcome makers through thousands of new property development projects right across Australia.

nbn New Developments also work with some of the best technology solutions companies from around Australia through a partner program called nbn Smart Solutions. The program is designed to curate experienced, trusted technology industry partners to help deliver smart technology solutions leveraging the power of nbn connectivity.

nbn’s program and its Smart Solutions partners can help deliver cutting-edge property development technology solutions with confidence – confidence in design, trust in execution, and confidence in the outcome.

The program's partnerships are forged by a mutual desire to transform urban landscapes into intelligent, sustainable ecosystems. Their strategic alliances align closely with nbn's

core values and vision – to lift the digital capability of Australia – by providing a solid platform to harness the nbn networks' extensive capabilities. Through collaboration, the program can help deliver versatile, innovative urban proptech solutions that significantly elevate the value and functionality of both developments and cities.

An example of an exciting new innovative approach is the SIMPaCT (smart irrigation management for parks and cool towns) project currently operational in Sydney Olympic Park. This initiative was designed with a clear objective: to combat urban heat and reduce water consumption.

nbn and SAPHI, an Australian tech-agnostic solution provider, achieved this by deploying 250 intelligent sensors across the park for critical data collation overlayed with two advanced artificial intelligence algorithms, all backed by the robust infrastructure of the nbn network.

This intricate system works by optimising the existing irrigation network, which, in harmony with the greenspaces of Bicentennial Park, reduces the suburb's temperature by up to 4 degrees while achieving an impressive 15 per cent annual saving in water usage. It's a tangible demonstration of how smart technology can create a more liveable, sustainable urban environment. nbn's partnership with SAPHI has been instrumental in scaling these solutions.

nbn's Smart Solutions program can help provide new property developments with a platform to harness the best possible technology at an accessible cost, all backed by the reliability and redundancy of the nbn network. June 2024 // Issue 31 45 URBAN DEVELOPMENT // SPONSORED EDITORIAL
For more information about how nbn Smart Solutions can work with your development, head to Image: ymgerman/

The almost $12 million project is a joint initiative between all three levels of government, with the Federal and Victorian governments investing $4.5 million each and the City of Greater Bendigo contributing $3 million.

Infrastructure Magazine had the opportunity to interview City of Greater Bendigo CEO Andrew Cooney about the recently completed upgrade and gained his insights into how the project got started and how important it is for the region.

Mr Cooney said that in 2014 a business case was prepared to attract $15 million to upgrade the airport’s runway, which was officially opened in 2017.

“This project delivered a 1,600m code 3C runway and represented an incredible asset for a regional city, capable of landing aircraft carrying up to 70 people,” Mr Cooney said.

“In April 2019, the city welcomed the arrival of QantasLink and regular passenger flights between Bendigo and Sydney. However, development of the airport was always considered a two-step project, with the second step being expansion of the terminal and development of a business park.

“The original terminal building was once a kindergarten and while it was given a basic renovation when the Qantas service started, as the service increased in popularity it was evident an expanded terminal would be needed.

“In 2022, all funds for the project were secured including $4.5 million each from the State and Federal governments. The city initially contributed $985,000 and added a further $2.1M, due to rising construction costs experienced on the

The City of Greater Bendigo has completed an upgrade of the Bendigo Airport, resulting in a new, larger terminal and an expanded business park. The airport’s increased capacity allows for more fl ights, greatly increasing tourism and business opportunities for the region –while the upgrade's construction and the new business park lots are supporting the growth of local industry.

project. The additional funds ensured the terminal could be complete and provided trunk infrastructure to an initial nine business park lots.”


The new terminal building is approximately four times bigger than the original structure and is set to provide expanded travel options to passengers.

Mr Cooney said that the new terminal features an expanded departure lounge, a new café and space for a future security screening area. The old terminal was demolished in August of 2023 in order to make way for the new facilities.

“There’s also a new entry foyer, baggage check-in, indoor baggage claim area, new restroom facilities, new administration area and asphalted car park with 183 parking spaces.

“Landscaping has been done by Djandak, a Dja Dja Wurrung Traditional Owner business.”

A special feature of the airport is the landscaping and interpretive signage prepared by Djandak. Djaara woman Timani Nicholls-Moore provided cultural and creative direction around the garden design and – together with Djaara man Andrew Saunders – provided cultural advice for the signage.

“The project also delivered an expanded apron, which can fit two, 70-seat aircraft and puts the city in a great position to attract other airlines and future flights to other destinations.

“An expanded terminal and additional apron space means the capacity for more flights to more destinations. June 2024// Issue 31 47 AIRPORT
« Inside the upgraded terminal. Images: City of Greater Bendigo.

“The city has recently undertaken some market research to find out where people want to fly to. Top destinations included the Gold Coast, Adelaide, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. Discussions are ongoing with airlines to identify opportunities to establish new flights out of Bendigo.”

Mr Cooney said that, additionally, the airport’s emergency services facilities have been bolstered and include a new helipad that can accommodate a wide array of emergency service helicopters, such as flood and fire response, as well as military and police activity.

“This specific aspect of the project was funded by $300,000 from the Federal Government’s Regional Airports Program.

“Bendigo is in the centre of Victoria, making it ideally located to support a response to an emergency anywhere in the state.

“Thanks to the expanded apron, the airport is also a refilling site for large air tankers, one of a handful of sites in the state, and means Bendigo is a standby location during extreme fire days. This adds to the airport’s other emergency service uses, including as an Air Ambulance and State Government fire base.”


Mr Cooney said that despite construction taking place as the economy was emerging from COVID-19 – resulting in cost escalations in the industrial sector that impacted construction efforts – the City was still able to deliver a vital facility that is set to continue growing local industry.

“The nine business park lots have been delivered and are ready to be developed by local industry.

“The development of the initial business park lots close to the city centre provides a great economic opportunity. Bendigo needs more appropriately zoned industrial land.”

Mr Cooney said that more than 50 local companies took part in the project and more than 370 people worked on the site.

“The head contractor, Nicholsons, is a regional Victorian business with an office in Bendigo that used a range of local subcontractors, including for electrical, sewer and water infrastructure.

“There were also six consultants/civil design experts – a mix of Melbourne and local businesses – that supported both the terminal project and business park, which represents the work of about 16 people.

“Projects of this scale are not only an investment in local infrastructure, a valuable transport service and future business growth, they deliver real employment opportunities and are an investment in the skills and capability of local industry.”


Mr Cooney said that the Bendigo Airport services much more than just the Greater Bendigo and central Victorian region.

“Passengers can travel from as far as southern New South Wales to use the service, demonstrating that the ease of travel from Bendigo is a big driver, particularly when it comes

June 2024// Issue 31 48 AIRPORT
The airport opening was attended by, from left: Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government the Hon. Catherine King, Federal Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters, Bendigo Mayor Cr Andrea Metcalf, Premier for Victoria and Member for Bendigo East the Hon. Jacinta Allan, Member for Bendigo West the Hon. Maree Edwards, and City of Greater Bendigo CEO Andrew Cooney.

to parking, checking in and waiting in a comfortable new space. It provides a stress-free way to travel.

“The City is planning for a population of approximately 200,000 people by 2050. We are proud of the fact that Bendigo is accessible by road, rail and air.”

Mr Cooney said that the airport is part of an ongoing effort to ensure that the City of Greater Bendigo is an attractive place to live, work, and travel to and from.

“We have the fantastic Bendigo Art Gallery that is the centre of our cultural offering and is renowned for hosting amazing, international exhibitions, our worldclass Ulumbarra Theatre was once an old gaol and stages amazing performances, we are a UNESCO City and Region of

Gastronomy that attracts people to dine in our award-winning restaurants, Bendigo was recently named the Wotif Aussie Town of the Year, and we have a diverse industry including one of Australia’s best regional hospitals and we’re home to Australia’s fifth-largest bank, the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank.

“We see the airport as being another feather in our cap when it comes to attracting people to live and work in the region, as well as making our region more accessible from a tourism perspective.”

With the new terminal and business park now officially open, Bendigo Airport is set to be an even greater economic driver and important emergency services hub for the Bendigo region and beyond. June 2024// Issue 31 49 AIRPORT
The airport’s upgrade will allow for more flights to and from Bendigo. The upgrade to Bendigo Airport was o cially opened on 26 April 2024.
June 2024// Issue 31 50 INTELLIGENT TRANSPORT

In broad terms, vulnerable road users are overrepresented in fatalities in Victoria. In 2022, they accounted for 47 per cent of all road fatalities –motorcyclists (24 per cent), pedestrians (18 per cent) and bicycle riders (5 per cent).

To address an increase in the number of construction trucks and large vehicles on Victoria's road network, particularly near multiple Big Build project sites, Road Safety Victoria, with the Department of Transport and Planning, is leading the Construction Trucks and Community Safety Project to improve the safety of bicycle riders, motorcyclists and pedestrians around construction areas.

The Construction Trucks and Community Safety Project is a multi-stakeholder partnership between government, industry and non-government organisations.

One of its key aims is to improve walker and rider safety by addressing truck vehicle requirements, truck-driver training, route selection and temporary traffic management.

The project commenced in late 2016 with a stakeholder forum at Melbourne Town Hall, resulting in the development of an Action Plan highlighting areas which required further improvement.

These areas were ‘signed on to’ by forum participants and formed the basis of working groups that met over the following few years.

These working groups helped to develop model contract clauses and supporting materials that were then made publicly available in 2021 through the VicRoads website.


The project recognised a need to engender best practice using the lever of contract clauses to require a change in practice within industry.

Model contract clauses were developed to accommodate the safe movements of bicycle riders, pedestrians and motorcyclists near construction sites.

These clauses are applicable to a range of constructionrelated contracts and include:

♦ Ensuring temporary traffic management supports the safe travel of pedestrians, bicycle riders and motorcyclists

♦ Ensuring the best routes are chosen in order to avoid conflict with vulnerable road users

♦ Key truck safety requirements

♦ Truck driver training

Many of Victoria’s big build projects have adopted the model clauses in their contracts, and a number of councils and other organisations are considering adopting them into their contracts.

Here are the key components reflected in the model contract clauses.


To help improve safety, a range of truck safety features are recommended for construction trucks used to service construction sites.

These include:

♦ Trucks should have side under-run protection

♦ The truck’s front, rear and side blind-spots should be eliminated or minimised through the use of visual aids, sensors and audible or visual alerts

♦ Trucks should be fitted with audible indicators to alert other road users when they’re turning left

♦ Trucks should display prominent signage warning people of the dangers of travelling too close to trucks June 2024// Issue 31 51 INTELLIGENT TRANSPORT
The Construction Trucks and Community Safety Project will improve safety around construction areas. Image:

♦ Increased conspicuity with the use of fluorescent and retroflective tape outlining the body of the truck and trailer, and increasing the visibility of the drawbar

♦ Trucks should protect the air quality of vulnerable road users by achieving a minimum of Euro 4, but preferably Euro 5 or above

These features play a critical role in protecting vulnerable road users from getting involved in truck collisions, and go some way to protecting them if they are.


With the National Road Safety Partnership Project, a suite of Toolbox Talks has been developed for truck drivers with a focus on pedestrian safety, bike rider safety and blind spot awareness. These packs are available on the VicRoads and National Road Safety Partnership Program websites. Other topics include fatigue, distraction and load management.

These Toolbox Talks are designed to give team leaders, managers and facilitators the resources needed to give toolbox safety talks to truck drivers, increasing their awareness about on-road hazards and how to drive safely near vulnerable road users. Each package contains a generic overview, topic background information and fact sheet, as well as PowerPoint slides and a video.

Construction Trucks Toolbox Talk Blind spots


As part of the effort to ensure vulnerable road users are kept safe during construction periods, a route selection tool has been developed to help construction companies choose the route that provides the safest outcomes for bicycle riders, pedestrians and motorcyclists.

The online HIRA tool can be used by construction companies undertaking projects involving significant heavy vehicle movements to ensure that they have considered vulnerable road user safety when selecting their haulage routes.

This can be achieved by either limiting interactions with pedestrians, bicycle riders and motorcyclists, or introducing suitable countermeasures to make particular locations safer.

The HIRA tool supports collaborative decision making between the construction company, haulage subcontractor and other key stakeholders. Through discussing and rating the various routes available, these representatives are actively considering the impacts of routes on vulnerable road user safety.

The HIRA tool is helping construction companies to proactively consider the safety of vulnerable road users during their route selection process. It includes an instructional video and facilitators overview.

Blind spots are areas around a vehicle that are not directly or indirectly visible to the driver.

There could be pedestrians or cyclists in your blind spots at any time.

Slow down. Try to anticipate their movements.

June 2024// Issue 31 52 INTELLIGENT TRANSPORT
Tips for Drivers Remember vulnerable road users can be near your vehicle, but hard to see due to blind spots. 1 Check your mirrors even when there doesn’t seem to be anybody in front or around the vehicle. 2 When preparing to turn left be aware of your blind spots. Watch for cyclists who may move forward into your blind spot when you move to the right in preparation to turn left. 3 Remember to slow down and drive to the conditions in areas with high pedestrian and bicycle rider activity. 4 When leaving your truck, watch for cyclists and motorcyclists, and open your door slowly, look backwards to make sure the lane next to your vehicle is clear. 5
you are taking
of available products and technology. Make sure drivers know how to adjust their seats to maximise visibility around the vehicle. 1 Train your drivers about safe decision-making in busy urban areas where there are more pedestrians, bicycle riders, and motorcyclists. 4 Choose vehicles that offer better direct vision so that drivers can easily see others on the road. 2 Develop activities that help drivers improve their visual scanning skills and strategies. 3 This toolbox talk is a collaboration between the NRSPP and the Construction Truck and Community Safety project, Victoria. The Construction Trucks and Community Safety project is a multi-stakeholder project supported by Road Safety Victoria, Department of Transport and Planning, Victoria. Published in August 2023. The Toolbox Talks poster on ‘Blind Spots’ is a great resource for truck drivers. Image: Road Safety Victoria, DTP and National Road Safety Partnership Program.
Tips for Companies
Work with the specific blind spot diagram for each vehicle model during
and ensure


The project has developed a suite of resources to assist traffic management companies to develop temporary traffic management plans that accommodate vulnerable road users.

A key resource is the Safety Essentials: Accommodating Pedestrians and Bicycle Riders at Temporary Road Works Best Practice Guide. This is designed to be used as a reference tool by companies that are in the process of developing and implementing Traffic Management Plans in Victoria.

The document summarises elements of temporary traffic management industry standards and guidelines that focus on the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, including those contained within the Austroads Guide to Temporary Traffic Management.

It was specifically designed to ensure that temporary traffic management planning adequately accommodates pedestrians and bicycle riders.

With so much construction taking place around Victoria, and often in areas with high active transport use, or in regional locations where there is high recreational cycling use, it’s becoming even more important to actively consider and provide for vulnerable road users who may be using the road network near a work site.

The Construction Trucks and Community Safety Project provides model clauses that once embedded in construction contracts uplift various elements of the work that needs to take place during construction periods, to better protect vulnerable road users.

For more information, visit the Construction Trucks and Community Safety Project on the VicRoads website.

Information is available to help state and local government, developers and utilities with the resources they need to deliver these model clauses, so that they can optimise safe practices to protect vulnerable road users.

The project is a partnership between Road Safety Victoria, Municipal Association Victoria, Bicycle Network, Transurban and Traffic Accident Commission. It is supported and funded by Road Safety Victoria, within the Victorian Department of Transport and Planning. June 2024// Issue 31 53 INTELLIGENT TRANSPORT
Pedestrian safety around construction sites can be a challenge. Image: Adam Calaitzis/



June 2024// Issue 31 54 CONSTRUCTION
An artist’s impression of the new Australian Institute for Infectious Disease. Images: AIID.

A new Australian Institute for Infectious Disease (AIID) has been established to bring together some of the nation’s greatest scientific and medical research minds to provide a rapid, coordinated response to current and future pandemics. To support the AIID, a new medical research centre will be built in Melbourne to provide state-of-the-art research platforms and technology which will enable rapid responses to public health crises – a necessity in a post-COVID world.

Three Foundation Partners – the University of Melbourne, Burnet Institute and Doherty Institute – will collaborate to enhance Australia’s capability in infectious disease research, education and public health, protecting Australian, regional and global communities.

The Foundation Partners all have expertise in infectious disease research and public health, and will be responsible for initiating the Victorian Infectious Disease Alliance and delivering the AIID facility. The Foundation Partners will colocate in the facility and participate as part of the Alliance.

The Victorian Government is acting as the Major Supporting Partner and has committed $400 million to build a cutting-edge, high-tech headquarters within the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct. The Foundation Partners are contributing a further $150 million towards the facility and the University of Melbourne is providing the land for the development, valued at up to $100 million.

Assistant Vice Chancellor and AIID Project Steering Committee Co-Chair, Professor James McCluskey, said that AIID represents a once in a generation opportunity to integrate the critical mass of expertise in Melbourne around new shared facilities at the forefront of pandemic preparedness, prevention and response.

“So much was learnt in the COVID-19 pandemic and the three AIID Foundation Partners were at the forefront of cutting-edge science, government advisory and leadership through those difficult times,” Prof McCluskey said.

“The AIID seeks to build on those lessons and protect Australia and the region from the inevitability of the next pandemic.”


The AIID will have the following key areas of focus for infectious diseases:

♦ Diagnostics: acceleration of test development and commercially viable diagnostics

♦ Therapeutics: enabling rapid design, testing and delivery of therapeutics for new pathogens to save lives at-scale within months. The Cumming Global Centre for Pandemic Therapeutics (CGCPT) will lead this work

♦ Genomics: assisting regional capacity with robust systems for rapid prevention, detection and response to infectious diseases

♦ Vaccine research: driving development of nextgeneration vaccines including mRNA

♦ Clinical trials: providing a safe environment for the rapid evaluation of new drugs and vaccines

♦ Data to inform public health decision making: to translate research into sustainable health solutions for diverse locations and communities

The AIID will have a meaningful impact on the response to infectious diseases and pandemics including:

♦ Speed: Australia’s ability to respond rapidly to emerging diseases will limit the impacts on lives and livelihoods

♦ Equity: the AIID will be an asset for Australians, the region and the world. Its programs will feature and support diverse, marginalised and at-risk communities to ensure no one is left behind in the fight against infectious diseases

♦ Sovereign capability: the AIID’s sovereign research and development capacity protect Australia and the region from the impacts of a global pandemic June 2024// Issue 31 55 CONSTRUCTION

♦ Ground-breaking innovation: equipping the brightest minds with the best technology and resources available will provide fertile grounds for break-through discoveries and advancements

Victoria’s medical, scientific and research community played a key role during the COVID-19 pandemic in scientific discovery, vaccine development, therapeutics, diagnostics and modelling that had global impact.

The AIID will further establish Victoria as a global leader in infectious diseases and public health, and will support the translation of ground-breaking research into life-saving outcomes. In addition to delivering significant research and public health outcomes, the AIID will also support hundreds of jobs, increasing productivity of the biomedical sector and driving commercialisation opportunities.


To support the AIID’s work, a purpose-built, cutting-edge facility will be constructed in Melbourne’s Biomedical Precinct. The AIID facility will occupy the area of 766-780 Elizabeth Street and 213-223 Berkely Street and physically connect to the Doherty Institute across multiple storeys.

Demolition of existing buildings will commence in 2024, with construction commencing in 2025, due to be completed by the end of 2027.

The building will be a centre of excellence housing up to 1,000 researchers and staff members from the Foundation Partners, Victorian Infectious Disease Alliance partners, biotech industry and commercial partners.

Co-location will strengthen collaboration and engagement with their peers nationally and internationally and create a platform for new partnerships to be forged with the private sector and industry stakeholders.

“The AIID facility will significantly enhance Victoria’s impressive offering of high-end health infrastructure, creating greater sovereign capacity to develop home-grown responses to new and emerging infectious diseases – a key lesson from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Prof McCluskey said.

With government funding secured, a strong business case finalised and land acquired, development of the AIID facility project is well underway.

“Designed by Wardle architects and engineered by Aurecon, the facility offers unique opportunities for the construction industry to deliver a project that will be critical to the health and safety of the community.”

Concept design for the building was completed in early 2023, and schematic design completed in early 2024 with input and collaboration from Foundation Partner researchers and staff, who will ultimately be the future users of the building’s cutting-edge facilities.

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The AIID will strengthen Australia’s capability to respond to incidents and protect the community.

The facility will enhance Australia’s capability in infectious disease research, education and public health.

“Located on the prominent Haymarket intersection, it will be an iconic and proud addition to the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct requiring a complex mix of skills, resources, fittings, fixtures, equipment and expertise to deliver.

“Over 365 construction jobs are estimated to be created on average during each year of the design and construction of AIID, providing construction and professional services such as engineering, design and architecture.”

Kane Constructions has been engaged for the early and enabling works which commenced in early 2024. Tendering for main works will follow in the coming months.

“Encouraging sustainability and diversity in the construction industry will be a focus throughout the project's delivery and we have embedded targets into our tenders and contracts such as diverting waste from landfill and directing work towards under-represented groups.”

The facility will feature:

♦ One of the largest high containment facilities in the southern hemisphere enabling identification, isolation and characterisation of new viruses and other infectious diseases

♦ New drug screening, imaging and testing in high containment needed for early-stage human drug and vaccine research

♦ Human infection challenge unit designed to accelerate

the development of new medicines and vaccines for key partners and industry clients, through high-quality and ethical clinical research. Robotic biobanking to efficiently and safely store biomedical samples from large clinical trials

♦ Public health genomics, incorporating future technologies and artificial intelligence to allow for rapid outbreak response and understanding of transmission of infectious diseases in communities

♦ Cross-disciplinary disease transmission modelling, allowing for prediction of new outbreaks and the impact of interventions

♦ Dedicated space for industry partners designed to create an innovation-focused entrepreneurial environment that supports the translation of promising discoveries into the successful commercialisation of medical products and services to deliver patient benefit Infectious diseases will continue to be a threat for Australia and the world. Learning from COVID-19, AIID is set to strengthen Australia’s capability to respond to incidents and protect the community. The AIID facility will drive this by unifying efforts and harnessing the immense potential of Victoria’s biomedical sector, providing access to the right research infrastructure and knowledge networks, and increasing engagement with industry. June 2024// Issue 31 57 CONSTRUCTION


June 2024// Issue 31 58 CONSTRUCTION June 2024// Issue 31 59 CONSTRUCTION It’s becoming clear that having more women in construction roles could be the key to addressing many of the sector's challenges. Image: Jaynothing/

It’s no secret that the infrastructure sector is staring down the barrel of a critical skills and worker shortage in the coming decade; and at the same time, we know that there’s so much more that can be done to increase the participation of women in the sector. Here, James Oxenham looks at the steps we can take to increase the number of women embarking on construction careers, and the multiple benefits that will flow on from this.

When most people think of a carpenter, electrician, or foreman, they think of a man. And for the most part, they would be right. Australia’s construction industry is undeniably a male-dominated space, with women comprising a mere 2 per cent of on-site employees across the country. As the sector continues to face severe skills shortages, however, it has become increasingly clear that integrating women into construction roles could hold the key to addressing many of the sector's challenges.

While this isn’t an entirely new concept – a push for a more diverse workforce has seen many more women join the industry in recent years – it is one that we need to invest in now more than ever. From building houses to developing infrastructure and important community facilities, the construction sector is the backbone of the Australian economy. To create a more inclusive, accessible, and innovative industry, we must tap into the talents and perspectives of women.


The construction industry’s skill shortage has taken a toll on various sectors including residential, commercial, civil engineering, and infrastructure projects. Although Australia’s growing economy has created significant demand for construction projects, an ageing workforce, lack of training programs, and immigration restrictions are just a few reasons why the sector is struggling to find skilled workers.

The consequences of this skills shortage are widespread and take a significant toll on businesses, individual workers, and the industry as a whole. Critical infrastructure projects have experienced major delays, scarcity of materials is leading to cost overruns, and understaffed businesses are experiencing reduced productivity and increased labour costs.

These issues go on to affect various aspects of the Australian economy, impacting inflation, interest rates, and overall economic health. Just as important is the effect that it has on quality and safety standards, as more and more employees feel the need to rush work or undertake unsafe or unsupervised practices to complete projects. This domino effect of consequences ultimately hinders the innovation and growth of the industry, limiting the adoption of new technologies and sustainable practices.


With so many businesses affected by this widespread skills shortage, the industry must recognise the importance of attracting and retaining talent when it comes to building a robust construction sector. With research showing that one in two women are looking to change careers, there is no

better time for the construction industry to create pathways for a more diverse workforce.

Technological advancements have played a pivotal role in making the industry more accessible for people of all genders and abilities. With automation reducing the reliance on manual labour, the sector has become increasingly appealing to women seeking fulfilling career opportunities. However, it’s not enough to simply encourage women to apply – realising the full potential of female talent requires a cultural shift within construction firms.

Creating an environment that values diversity and inclusion is critical to fostering resilience in the industry. By recognising and addressing gender biases, companies can cultivate workplaces that empower all employees to thrive. This includes developing initiatives that aim to promote work-life balance, mental well-being, and professional development. By making the industry a more psychologically safe and enjoyable place to work, we can not only attract more talent but ensure they stick around for longer.

A more gender-inclusive construction workforce is also a great way to improve your bottom line. Studies have shown that diverse teams are more profitable, with McKinsey & Company reporting a direct correlation between diversified workforces and profitability. Businesses that operate without gender bias are more likely to hire based on ability and experience, creating a more productive and capable workforce. With all this in mind, it’s clear that to gain a competitive edge in an increasingly competitive market, construction companies should focus on recruiting and retaining women.


Embracing diversity is not simply a question of morals or ethics. It’s also a great way for businesses to gain a strategic advantage over competitors. Research consistently demonstrates that diverse teams outperform their competitors in areas such as communication, decisionmaking, and leadership. The reason for this is simple: when you hire more diverse people, you gain a more diverse set of perspectives, strengths, and skills that help you to drive innovation and productivity. In the context of the construction industry, where collaboration and problemsolving are pivotal skills, gender diversity is the key to unlocking a whole new level of success.

Women bring a unique set of skills to the table, including strong communication, empathy, and adaptability. These qualities are particularly valuable in construction environments where teamwork and creative problemsolving are essential. By fostering a culture that celebrates these attributes, construction firms can create inclusive

June 2024// Issue 31 60 CONSTRUCTION

workplaces where all employees feel valued and empowered to contribute their best work.

Promoting gender diversity can also have a ripple effect on workplace culture, enhancing employee satisfaction and retention. By creating environments where individuals feel supported and respected, companies can foster a sense of belonging for all workers regardless of gender. This, in turn, can lead to greater collaboration, innovation, and overall success as employees feel more fulfilled and secure in their roles.


Creating a more inclusive construction industry requires dedication from all stakeholders, whether it be industry leaders or individual employees. Initiatives aimed at breaking down barriers and promoting gender diversity are essential in driving meaningful change. Programs like the Women in Hire Development Program, established by HRIA, provide valuable resources and support to women entering the industry, paving the way for a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

Collaboration between the hire and construction sectors presents a unique opportunity to amplify these efforts. By aligning strategies and sharing best practices, stakeholders can leverage their collective influence to effect positive change. This collaborative approach not only benefits

individual companies but also strengthens the industry as a whole, fostering a culture of inclusivity and innovation.

We can’t do this without addressing the systemic barriers that women face when entering and advancing within the construction industry. This includes combatting stereotypes, providing mentorship and networking opportunities, and implementing policies that support work-life balance and parental leave. By creating a more supportive and inclusive environment, the industry can attract and retain top talent from all backgrounds, driving long-term growth and success.


As the construction industry grapples with evolving demands and persistent challenges, the need to embrace diversity and inclusion has never been more pressing. By welcoming women into the workforce, construction firms can tap into a rich pool of talent, drive innovation, and foster environments that promote success and well-being.

This isn’t simply a matter of social responsibility. It’s a much-needed answer to the industry’s critical skills shortage. Embracing gender diversity will inevitably create a stronger and more resilient construction sector for generations to come. We’ve all seen first-hand just how devastating the skills shortage can be – it’s time that we recognise how gender diversity can help us bridge the gap. June 2024// Issue 31 61 CONSTRUCTION
Women bring a unique set of skills to the construction industry. Image: UfaBizPhoto/


The Chartered Institute of Building is the world's largest and most influential professional body for construction management and leadership. With a vision to improve the quality of life for the users and creators of our built environment, the Institute is focused on developing a culture of modern professionalism in the building industry around the world.

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) stands for the ethics and practice of built environments across the world, with a Royal Charter to promote the science and practice of building and construction for the benefit of society.

The CIOB works to promote the science and practice of building and construction for the benefit of society. Image: Ant Clausen/

Founded in 1834 and based in the UK, CIOB has offices and staff in China, Europe, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, the Americas and Australia. There are nearly 50,000 global members working worldwide on the development, conservation, and improvement of the built environment.

June 2024// Issue 31 62 CONSTRUCTION

Everything the CIOB does is to improve the quality of life for those creating and using the built environment.

CIOB also accredits educational qualifications, currently amounting to nearly 300 degree-level courses at 100 institutions around the world. In Australia and New Zealand, these include Western Sydney University, University of Technology Sydney, RMIT, University of Melbourne, Bond University, Curtin University, University of Newcastle, Deakin University, University of Auckland, and Massey University.

The organisation has evolved into a globally recognised professional body, fostering best practices, promoting ethical standards and championing continuous development within the construction sector.

At the heart of CIOB lie its core values, which guide operations and shape the impact the organisation has on the construction industry. Professionalism, integrity, excellence, and respect are the cornerstones upon which the CIOB stands.

Upholding the highest ethical standards fosters a culture of transparency, accountability, and trust among members, ensuring that every action reflects the values of integrity and modern professionalism. Inclusivity is another pivotal value, as CIOB welcomes individuals from diverse backgrounds, embracing their unique perspectives and contributions. Moreover, a relentless pursuit of excellence drives the institute to continuously innovate, adapt, and lead in an ever-evolving industry landscape.

One of the key pillars of CIOB is a commitment to education and professional development. Through a comprehensive range of educational offerings, CIOB equips aspiring professionals and seasoned practitioners alike with the knowledge, skills, and competencies essential for success in the construction industry.

Membership is the equivalent of a British Bachelor’s degree (MCIOB) or the Fellow (FCIOB), a British Master’s degree, signifying excellence and proficiency in the field, enhancing career prospects and credibility within the industry. CIOB’s Academy offers continuous learning modules, CPD, and e-learning, catering to individuals at every stage of their career journey. Furthermore, through partnerships with academic institutions, industry bodies, and training providers worldwide, CIOB ensures its educational offerings remain relevant, accessible, and responsive to the evolving needs of the construction sector.

Beyond education and professional development, CIOB plays a pivotal role in driving positive change and making impactful contributions to the construction industry and society at large. Through advocacy, research, and collaborative initiatives, the organisation addresses pressing challenges, promotes sustainability and advances in innovation within the built environment. From spearheading campaigns for improved safety standards on construction sites to championing equality, diversity and inclusion initiatives, CIOB advocates for policies and practices that benefit both industry professionals and the communities they serve. Moreover, CIOB’s research contributes to the body of knowledge in construction management, informing best

practice and shaping industry trends globally. By fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing among our members and stakeholders, the institute catalyses innovation, fosters resilience, and drives sustainable growth across the construction ecosystem.

CIOB has published numerous research publications including modern slavery, modern methods of construction (MMC), housing, tax policy, sustainability, mental health, ageing population and workforce challenges, social mobility, migration and many more.

The global network feeds an understanding of issues facing the industry, and emerging international trends allow CIOB to inform from a unique perspective. The membership process is rigorous and prospective members’ knowledge is evaluated by fellow experienced professionals. CIOB audits members to ensure requirements are met to uphold the rules and regulations of professional competence and conduct.

Advocating for the industry to government and various departments around Australia and New Zealand, and making strong representations on behalf of the industry, is important. Ensuring elected officials, and the officials who are not elected in the bureaucracy, get to hear international perspectives from the world’s only global body for the building and construction industry is a key area for CIOB. Continuing research and publications, like upcoming work on AI, serves to inform government and industry alike.

CIOB also organises events for members and the wider industry, and regularly hosts site visits, tours, and events including an annual panel at Sydney Build. CIOB is also an industry partner with the Future of Construction Summit, and will be attending Building Nations in New Zealand in August. Having a Royal Charter to act in the public interest means CIOB is a registered charity in Australia, and its role, from the people who enjoy the built environment to the builders who create it, is to advocate for industry and foster meaningful cooperation.

CIOB stands as a beacon of excellence and professionalism in the construction industry, shaping the future of the built environment through its rich history, core values, educational offerings and impactful contributions. As the global construction landscape continues to evolve, CIOB remains steadfast in its commitment to equipping professionals with the knowledge, skills and ethical framework necessary to thrive in a dynamic and challenging industry. With integrity, professionalism, inclusivity, and excellence as guiding principles, CIOB continues to inspire, empower and lead the way towards a brighter and more sustainable future for construction professionals and the communities they serve.

Looking ahead, CIOB is collaborating with various state governments and fellow industry bodies to ensure a strong and unified front for the industry. Hosting joint events with globally recognised experts like Mark Farmer at Master Builders Victoria, or discussion panels with the NSW Government and other industry experts on sustainability are examples of this partnership working to advance discussions on important topics that shape the industry and lead the cultural shift.

For more information on how the Chartered Institute of Building is contributing to the construction industry in Australia, head to June 2024// Issue 31 63 CONSTRUCTION


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