Managing Director’s Review

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Peter smallTransport is an essential part of daily life for everyone in Western Australia, and it is critical to our growth and prosperity. Reliable and accessible infrastructure is a cornerstone for socioeconomic progress.

It enables growth in productivity, shortens travel times, creates jobs and connects different parts of society. Transport is more than just travel, it connects people and places, it provides access to the things that we need and it delivers vital social services.

We are one of the most geographically dispersed road agencies in the world, responsible for more than 18,500 kilometres of road spread over 2.5 million square kilometres. This makes investment in the road network crucial in delivering services that benefit the community and respond to current and future levels of demand. This year we delivered more than $2.57 billion of road programs and services to the state. Our investment in transport infrastructure shapes the future of our cities, towns, and rural and remote areas and supports continued strong growth.

An integrated transport network makes provision for freight, commercial and passenger vehicles, as well as providing mobility access, public transport services and transport options for cyclists and pedestrians. We work closely with our Portfolio partners, to deliver transport solutions that support our progressive and developing state.

Our Operational Performance

Our Keeping WA Moving strategy and focus areas of Customers, Movement, Sustainability and Safety continues to guide our future direction and is underpinned by our values and principles. It positions us to respond in a rapidly changing world, navigate the challenges and deliver on the government’s aim for a transport system that improves wellbeing and makes WA a better place to live. We continue to drive our strategic direction to move beyond the traditional three to five year planning horizon, setting the pathway for the next 10, 20 and even 30 years into the future.

Part of this future direction, is to continue our work to increase the number of Aboriginal employment and business opportunities across the civil construction industry. I am proud that this year, we have not only provided critical infrastructure in the Kimberley region but also created employment and training opportunities for local communities. For example, by building the provision of three years of ongoing road construction on the Broome – Cape Leveque Road project we enabled a pool of skilled workers to be developed. The objective is to increase capacity of local indigenous crews and allow Aboriginal businesses to support our ongoing program of works.

NorthLink WA is now in its final stages with the southern section, one of the three projects making up this $1.02 billion initiative, now complete. A major milestone this year, was the opening of WA’s biggest freeway-to-freeway interchange at Tonkin and Reid Highway in March. Along with 37 new road bridges, nine new interchanges and more than 150 kilometres of road safety barriers, NorthLink WA will also feature the state’s first dedicated fauna bridge.

Our Business Activities

Our business activities provide important support services focused on encouraging sustainable practices, improving the entire customer experience and investing in and developing our people and their safety, health and wellbeing.

Sustainability is a key area of focus for us and I am pleased to say our hard work in this arena has not gone unnoticed, when we were awarded the 2018 Organisational Leadership in Infrastructure Sustainability Award. This acknowledged our active contribution to the advancement of infrastructure sustainability in Western Australia and beyond. We also received the highest ISCA IS rating ever for NorthLink WA.

Providing a transport network centred on what our customers need and value is integral to our strategic direction. We continue to provide information to help people make better travel choices around the time they travel, the mode they take and the route they use. Projects such as Smart Freeways will be the first of its kind in WA and will use technology that has proven successful around the world in keeping people moving, managing congestion and improving safety.

Mental health is increasingly important in the workplace, playing a crucial role in everything from productivity and economic success to the social wellbeing of the nation. I am very pleased that we have developed a Mental Wellness Strategic Framework and Mental Wellness Action Plan. It is a step further in helping our people build their capacity and awareness in this important space.

During the year, we held a safety forum that brought together our business managers, safety personnel and representatives as well as colleagues from our portfolio partners. It provided our people with an opportunity to network and knowledge share. We will continue to discuss safety, health and wellbeing priorities and share our stories, with the objective of having a unified approach to best practices and leading the way with safety in the Western Australian Government. We continue to perform well in terms of workplace safety, based on the trend of our Lost Time Injury results over the last few years. However, we remain committed to strengthening our safety culture through consistent aligned active leadership practices and supporting our employees in their safety, health and wellbeing capability development.

Future View

We aspire to provide world-class outcomes for the customer through a safe, reliable and sustainable road-based transport system. In the year ahead, we will continue our work to deliver our significant works program, continue to improve travel reliability, improve road safety and contribute towards creating more jobs across the state.

This includes progressing road infrastructure such as construction of two major eastern suburbs projects – the Reid Highway duplication, between Altone Road and West Swan Road, and the Roe Highway- Kalamunda Road interchange, further Tonkin Highway upgrades and an extension to Mitchell Freeway in the northern suburbs.

Investment in our roads across Regional WA through works including the Bunbury Outer Ring Road; upgrades on the Great Northern Highway from Broome to Kununurra; progressing plans for the next stage of the Albany Ring Road to divert heavy haulage around the City of Albany; and the ongoing construction of the Karratha-Tom Price Road.

It is critical that we continue to embrace emerging trends and transformative technologies so we can improve customer outcomes and deliver a transport network that efficiently connects Western Australia, now and into the future. We monitor potential transport developments such as connected and automated vehicles, electric vehicles, ride sharing and micro mobility. Collaboration at state, national and international levels is ongoing to understand the possibilities and implications on the road network and the broader integrated land transport system. Predicting when the impact of these technologies will reach critical mass is a significant issue for urban and transport planners internationally.

One of the main reasons that our organisation remains so successful is because of our people. To everyone in Main Roads I once again extend my thanks and appreciation for all of your contributions throughout the year. It continues to be a pleasure to work with so many dedicated and committed people as we continue on our journey to Keep WA Moving and I look forward to another exciting year ahead. 

Peter Woronzow
Managing Director of Main Roads