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Aurecon welcomes largest Infrastructure spend in Victoria

Flinders Street Station, Melbourne

Flinders Street Station, Melbourne

16 May 2016 - The Andrews Labor Government has announced funding for the biggest overhaul to the Victorian public transport system in history. The Victorian Budget 2016/17 contains a funding commitment averaging AUD7.4 billion per annum, compared to the AUD4.9 billion average of the past 11 years.

Critically, AUD2.9 billion has been committed to the 9 km Melbourne Metro Tunnel, which promises to transform Victoria’s public transport system and end train congestion in the City Loop. At AUD11 billion total capital value, this project has been identified as ‘fully funded’ under the new Budget. Other centerpiece projects in the Budget include Western Distributor and the Level Crossing Removal Project program which will see dozens of traffic bottlenecks freed up as rail and road are separated.

For metropolitan road upgrade projects, a total AUD 665 million in capital expenditure has been allotted.

David Ness – Aurecon Market Director, Infrastructure ANZ – said, “On a global scale, I cannot overstate the importance of supporting public and regional transport upgrades. For Melbourne to continually maintain its renown as a most livable city, we must keep the city moving, plan for population growth and create livable communities which attract the best skills in the world to our educational, medical and innovation facilities.”

The Victorian Budget also reaffirms the Government's long-standing commitment to procure infrastructure and services through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) as a means of achieving value for money for taxpayers.

Jason Wozniak, Aurecon Infrastructure Advisory Expertise Leader, said, “The commitment to consider PPPs as a procurement model for the existing, outer metro roads builds on a long-term commitment to the use of PPPs in this State“.

Jason added, “We noted with interest the strategic approaches being considered by the Victorian Government with regards to funding an exciting infrastructure agenda. Going further, we totally support the Government’s commitment to exploring 'mechanisms to capture a proportion of the value created, including through enhanced commercial development opportunities' as part of the funding solution.

"The last plank of a broader funding agenda includes initial provisions for market testing and procurement phases of a Social Impact Bond (SIB) pilot programme. Other Australian jurisdictions have explored and had some early success with this approach.

“Aurecon looks forward to understanding the target areas and the collaborative partnerships that are likely to develop between investors and service providers”. 

The Government has also expressed its commitment to continue to pilot Building Information Modelling (BIM) on a number of projects in Victoria. In March this year, the Government announced that it would advance the use of BIM in the Construction Technologies Sector Strategy by developing a plan with industry to provide greater uptake of BIM and to build greater expertise in BIM solutions.

BIM is a process that involves developing and maintaining digital representations of building and construction projects. Aurecon uses BIM to develop its project designs, manage construction and deliver better whole of life asset management of public infrastructure.

John Hainsworth, Buildings BIM Leader, said, “We welcome the Victorian Government’s recognition of the opportunities that  BIM can provide to the delivery and asset management of public infrastructure,  and we support the Victorian Government plans to work with industry towards a greater uptake of BIM and to build expertise in digital technologies.”

“The creation of a mature, digital economy for the Victorian built environment will deliver high performing assets and exceptional value for all asset owners (public and private), taxpayers, and the community.” 

It’s apparent from the Victorian budget statements that the Government has a clear vision for delivering essential public infrastructure within a digital built Victoria.

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