By: Phil O'Grady
Huge opportunities for Companies associated with the Building and Construction industry
The NSW Government have committed to keep the Economy moving as much as possible in the current, very trying and sometimes precarious, market that has been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 virus. They have recently announced that they intend to deliver the largest transport infrastructure program Australia has ever seen, around $40+ Billion dollars over a four-year period. A number of Light Rail Projects, either completed or commenced and the now operational Sydney Metro North West are some prime examples. Work has already commenced on the extension to the Sydney Metro North West. The Sydney Metro City & South West is a 30-kilometre metro line extending metro rail from the end of Sydney Metro North West at Chatswood under Sydney Harbour, through new CBD stations and south west to Bankstown.
Regional NSW is also getting some of the funding. Regional Rail projects and works including a contract recently let that includes project financing, designing, building, and maintaining the new regional rail fleet as well as designing, building, maintaining and operating the new purpose-built fleet maintenance facility in Dubbo.
Add to this the proposed roads projects like the Beaches Link, Western Harbour Tunnel, Warringah Freeway upgrade, the M6 Stage 1 and others in development there are huge opportunities for Companies associated with the Building and Construction industry.
An important pre-requisite to working on these, and other TfNSW Projects, is accreditation as an AEO. An Authorised Engineering Organisation is one that that has been assessed and accredited by the ASA and is deemed fit to undertake works on TfNSW projects. An independent unit of Transport for NSW, the ASA is the authority on network design and standards for transport assets across NSW. The ASA is responsible for developing engineering governance and frameworks to support industry delivery in assurance of design, safety, integrity, construction and commissioning of transport assets for the whole asset life cycle.
Achieving AEO status is a somewhat onerous process, which has a couple outcomes. Firstly, it ensures that TfNSW Assets are delivered to the highest standard. Secondly, it is a barrier to entry to some of the “cowboys’ of the industry.
In my experience, companies can position themselves to take advantage of the growth in infrastructure works by working towards achieving accreditation in their areas of expertise. The main areas of focus for accreditation would be competency management, safety assurance, integration and safety system assurances. These areas tend to be the areas where the most companies have significant gaps.
Author: Phil O'Grady
Phil O'Grady has worked in senior management role in the infrastructure, construction and mining sectors over a 30-year career; recently as Area Manager for UGL on the Norwest Rail Link. He currently is leveraging this experience by serving as a Principal Consultant, AEO for Compliance Council.