Last Friday I had the pleasure of joining the QLD CCF team at their table for the Road Australia Annual Luncheon at Customs House. Since 1952, Roads Australia have been providing a forum for the many stakeholders of the road sector – industry and government – to come together and work cooperatively and effectively. The event brought together industry leaders to celebrate the year that was, and to galvanize the industry leading into 2016.
The guest speaker was the Deputy Mayor & Chair of the Finance and Economic Development Committee (Brisbane City Council), CR Adrian Schrinner. Being the youngest person to ever serve as Deputy Mayor of Brisbane, Adrian offers a fresh and realistic outlook on the current significance of infrastructure in the South East.
Kingsford Smith Drive Upgrade
Cr Schrinner reminded us that the project was only made possible from the savings the Brisbane City Council has made from leasing off the tolling right operation of Legacy Way tunnel to Queensland Motorways in 2013. After this agreement was made, Brisbane City Council said it would receive a minimum of $428 million in payments, plus savings of $650 million by 2020 under the lowest-case scenario for the deal with Queensland Motorways.
Awarding the tender
Distinguishing between the shortlisted tenderers for the project was the closest evaluation in a very long time. Cr Schrinner apologised to the other contractors in the crowd, stressing that Lend Lease were awarded the contract for more than just cost factors, but the totality of the design and construct.
The Brisbane City Council was especially looking for improvements to local amenities and access for all road users, including cyclists, pedestrians and public transport users. Lend Lease's bid was very strong in this area.
Cr Schrinner, said the council would plough on regardless of the potential risk posed by the Labor party whose mayoral candidate, Rod Harding, said he plans to scrap the project if elected in March 2016.
Cr Schrinner said Mr Harding's position risked a repeat of Melbourne's East West Link tunnel, for which the Liberal government entered into contracts the incoming Labor government tore up.
That cost Victorian taxpayers $339 million in compensation payments to the construction consortium alone.
Cr Schrinner confirmed that Brisbance City Council was not stopping this project:
We can't stop the build. We can't take our foot off the pedal. Thousands of people are moving to the suburbs affected by Kingsford Smith Drive - the $400 million waterfront mixed-use development at Northshore Hamilton is just one example.
The trade coast route is economically vital to our city, representing an area that contains the parts of Port of Brisbane and the Brisbane airport, both major transport distribution centres and economic drivers and a major industrial area on the southern side of the Brisbane River.
The Kingsford Smith Drive upgrade is the next big project to tackle congestion across Brisbane [and will create thousands of jobs for locals].
You can get in touch with the project team at 1800 084 383 or by email.
Wynnum Road Upgrade
Cr Schrinner also briefly spoke about Stage 1 of the Wynnum Road upgrade, currently in detailed design, which will see Lytton Road to Canning Bridge widened from four to six lanes.
Again, this project will cater to Brisbane City Council's plan to improve active transport measures, including separated pedestrian, cycle paths and indented bus bays.
Land acquisition will begin in mid-2016, and construction in early 2018.
Any questions? email the project team.
Upgrading Inner City Bypass
A surprising off-hand comment included Schrinner noting plans to expand the capacity of the ICB. Watch this space.
If you're thinking of attending the next luncheon ...
I'd again like to extend a huge thank you to John Andary and his team at CCF Queensland for inviting us along to join them at this event.
Not only were there some great insights given about upcoming projects, but Roads Australia brought together an often volatile industry in a really high spirited manner. Both the atmosphere and the setting really removed any sense of competition that can exist between contractors.
This sense of comradery was only intensified by the Roads Australia Christmas tradition of a bagpipe-led intermission where each table received a bottle of port to enjoy.