Profiling leading projects across the State, the 9th Annual Victorian Transport Infrastructure Conference, convened in Melbourne last week. Partner in Projects and Infrastructure at Mills Oakley, Zac Kerr addressed the idea of integrating transport infrastructure planning into a broader community master plan at the Conference.
“Forums such as the Victorian Transport Infrastructure Conference are helpful in laying out how everything fits into the mix,” said Kerr.
General Manager at Southern Cross Station, Assetco Management, Matthew Howe gave an update on Southern Cross Station, a cornerstone infrastructure hub and a major factor to what makes Melbourne a liveable city. According to Howe, Southern Cross Railways Station is expected to be at the centre of the CBD within a decade as movement shifts west. As a major asset to Victoria, the sustainability of the station and its ability to perform is crucial in planning for the future. Howe envisions an outcome for the project where commuters are empowered to travel efficiently and easily without disruptions.
Another major project on the agenda, the Fishermans Bend project, was profiled by Fisherman’s Bend Taskforce General Manger, Geoff Ward, who sees the project as a major reason the CBD is shifting to the West. Transport infrastructure will be unique in the peninsula, with bridges playing an essential role in moving people and freight. Fishermans Bend is not owned by the government but rather by over 300 individual landowners, with a stake of only 10% held by the government, unlike other urban renewal areas.
The Metro Tunnel project is a response to population growth and city sprawl, says Melbourne Metro Rail Authority’s Chief Executive Officer, Evan Tattersall. Demand on Melbourne’s rail network has increased exponentially with strong patronage growth, driven by dynamics such as congestion and the need for connectivity between infrastructure hubs.
Giving an overview of the future of autonomous vehicles, KPMG Australia Advisory Director Praveen Thakur, said that autonomous vehicles for mass consumption would soon be on the market. According to Thakur, we must encourage the transition from private ownership of vehicles to ride sharing through policy and reform.
“The infrastructure that we build now must be resilient for the future and not become redundant in the face of technological changes”, said Thakur, highlighting the pivotal need to put in place flexible and adaptable infrastructure that does not become rapidly obsolete.
Infrastructure Victoria’s Chief Executive Officer, Michel Masson took the stage to discuss the State’s 30-year infrastructure strategy. Masson emphasised that consultancy from the general public played a major role in the report as well as the importance of investigating the best ways to make the most of existing assets.
“We have to stop being obsessed with new toys, new everything, and make the most of what we do have,” said Masson, speaking as part of a panel discussion on the State’s Infrastructure Priorities.
The 9th Annual Victorian Transport Infrastructure Conference was an immersive event which gave a comprehensive overview of the infrastructure projects which will shape the State in years to come.
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