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Level crossing removal program making good progress in Melbourne

Above: Allen Garner at the lectern, watched on by Corey Hannett (left) and RA Vice-President, Marko Misko (right).

Level Crossing Removal Authority COO, Allen Garner, and Coordinator-General of Victoria's Major Transport Infrastructure Program, Corey Hannett, were front and centre at our latest industry lunch in Melbourne, sponsored by Arcadis Australia Pacific.

The Authority has so far removed four level crossings in less than 18 months, and construction is underway at a further 15 crossings. By the end of 2018, work will be underway or complete on the removal of 35 of Victoria’s worst crossings – including eight more on the Frankston line –  with 50 crossings gone by 2022.

Some 180 RA members and stakeholders turned out to hear Allen and Corey talk about the procurement and delivery plans for future packages, as well as the lessons learned to date.

Meantime, Clayton Utz hosted a policy workshop in Sydney earlier this month to focus in on the legal and liability issues surrounding autonomous vehicles. The workshop included presentations by the National Transport Commission (NTC) and Caterpillar and Fortescue Metals Group - the latter two talking about how they have dealt with the legal and practical ramifications of using automated dump trucks at the Solomon Mine site in WA.

The overwhelming safety benefits at Solomon Mine show the real potential of automated vehicles to save lives and reduce serious injuries, at the same time demonstrating that engineering human error out of driving and maximising the capacity of existing road networks offers real hope in tackling urban congestion.

However, it was also clear that the availability, speed and bandwidth of communication networks will be a fundamental enabler for automated vehicles.

The workshop also highlighted the vital role of the NTC in producing a safety assurance framework and gateway process to manage automated and driverless vehicle technology on our roads.

Right:  Clayton Utz Partner, Owen Hayford, speaking at the Sydney workshop on the legal and liability issues of autonomous vehicles.  Below: Corey Hannett with Nicole Stoddart, Managing Director - Construction Services ANZ with AECOM.

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As the peak body of road industry stakeholders, Roads Australia provides a national forum for debate and discussion on how we can best manage, fund, maintain and renew this vital economic asset for the benefit of all Australians.

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Did you know?

  • Australia's national road network is a $280 billion-plus asset.

  • The Australian road network covers more than 817,000 kilometres.

  • Approximately 657,000 kilometres are controlled by local government - although State-controlled roads account for about three quarters of all vehicle kilometres travelled.

  • There are more than 37,000 road bridges across Australia.

  • More than three quarters of all passenger kilometres travelled in Australia occur on roads.

  • Public transport is a major user of our road network. In Melbourne, for example, more than 80 per cent of all public transport kilometres are travelled on roads.