27th November 2013, Melbourne, Australia: Last week key stakeholders gathered at the Melbourne Convention Centre to discuss major projects occurring in Victoria. The state of Victoria is forecast to see expediential growth over the next 30 years with the population expected to increase by 3 million. Victoria is at a critical point where major infrastructure development needs to happen and smart planning must occur to ensure that Victoria is prepared for the population increase.
Over two days the Conference attracted 180 Directors, Project Managers and Consultants from construction organisations including representatives from government. Day one of the Conference began with an address from the Hon. Terry Mulder, Minister for Public Transport and Roads Victoria. The Minister addressed the four major transport projects that the government is in the process of delivering; the Regional Rail Link, the East West Link, Metro Link and the Development of Port Hastings. The Minister also highlighted that Victoria is in a great position as it remains the only state in Australia that is rated AAA by both rating agencies and which equates to lower borrowing costs compared to other states in Australia.
Delegates gained further insight into the Regional Rail Link with a presentation from Corey Hannett, CEO, Regional Rail Link Authority. While the Regional Rail Link will service regional residents it also provides enhanced stations and more efficient train services for the outer suburbs or Melbourne including Footscray and Sunshine. With the majority of major construction nearly completed. In the next 12 months we will see completion of many bridges, opening of new platforms at Southern Cross Station, extensive track works laid and the completion of 34 new waterway crossings / drainage structures.
On day two participants heard from Mike Lean, CEO, Port Hastings Development Authority this presentation captured the audience’s attention with participants keen to know more about the development. The plan for Port Hastings is to complete scoping for the project by 2014; from 2014 – 2017 the Authority plans to complete impact assessments and environmental approvals and put forward a business case. Contracts are anticipated to be awarded from 2017 and work on the port is scheduled to finish by 2025, making Port Hastings Melbourne’s next container port.
Participants shared their experiences – Adam Schutz, BDM, A2K Technologies stated the event was well organised by a team that was welcoming, helpful and a pleasure to deal with. Cam Arullanantham, Senior Project Manager, Frankston City Council commented that all the presentations were good and that he especially enjoyed the presentation “Infrastructure and Resource Project Opportunities” from Derek Lark, National Executive Director, Industry Capability Network.
Key industry suppliers at Conference included Projectlink, Aggreko, Thorn Lighting, Casey Cardinia Region, Parchem, A2K Technologies and more. The Conference also hosted other vital speakers which included: Cr Nora Lamont, Former Lord Mayor, Maroondah City Council, Dave Jones, Manager Roads & Traffic, RACV, Trevor Boyd, Director M80 Ring Road Upgrade Project, VicRoads and Claire Johnston, Project Director, Lend Lease Development Melbourne.
13 – 14 October 2014 marks the 6th Annual Victorian Major Projects Conference, more details about this year’s event and updates for next year’s Conference can be found at www.viconference.com.au.