Australia’s infrastructure pipeline continues to grow, with investment from all levels of government enabling social and economic growth around the country.
Not only is the overall quantum of projects on the rise but also the scale of those projects. In the previous decade the number of projects over $5 billion has increased tenfold.
Naturally, this increase in scale and complexity demands specialist knowledge and learned experience, including technical design, expertise in constructability and familiarity with technical delivery requirements.
Over his 20-year career, Infrastructure Advisory Group Director Adam Donati has seen how government and the engineering industry more broadly has adapted to changes overtime.
“Successful delivery of major infrastructure projects is largely influenced by the ability of the client to engage the right technical expertise to inform decisions being made throughout project delivery,” Adam says.
“It really comes down to the people who have had their boots on the ground and have worked through design and construction challenges. This practical knowledge, whether contractor or client side, is extremely valuable; assisting with constructability assessments and allowing the identification and mitigation of risks before the shovel hits the ground so to speak.”
As the number and complexity of projects increase, the scarcity of resources within the industry becomes evident. Adam says this is why IAG has built a team of capable technical delivery specialists, with valuable practical experience across the full project lifecycle to provide the strategic advice required for project delivery.
“The skills that Government requires to deliver each project are very different, as every project has its own unique challenges,” he says.
“Further, with the increase in the scale of megaprojects there is generally a need for a wider breadth of technical skills. Our work on these types of major infrastructure projects requires knowledge of various project disciplines, whether it be rail, road, buildings and stations, or tunnelling and, particularly, how they interface together.
“It’s also advantageous for the client to have access to resources with intimate knowledge of the final operator of the infrastructure, such as Metro Trains Melbourne, V/Line, ARTC, Queensland Rail, or Sydney Trains. With the experience members of our team have, in roles with the government authorities or operators, IAG’s specialist advisors act as a conduit between the parties; a function ever so crucial as contracting models move toward increased collaboration.”
Technical skills are only one piece of the puzzle that we have found clients looking for in the delivery of infrastructure. Adam says it’s important to understand how the infrastructure will be operated, the client’s objectives and relevant governance structures required for key approvals. These will all impact the whole of project development and delivery.
“Social procurement, environment and planning, stakeholder and engagement; these are all key components of successful project delivery,” he says.
“As engineers in the delivery space it’s important for us to understand that our decisions in the development phase of a project can have broader implications to the surrounding environment.”
To find more about how IAG can provide specialist solution optioneering, technical evaluations and constructability reviews, and project management visit infragroup.com.au/services.