Industry Update November 2023

Industry Update November 2023
28/11/23

PM Team

Western Sydney International Airport Precinct Road Network

At Orion, our Project Managers are at the forefront of acknowledging and prioritising the growing significance of early consultation with infrastructure authorities. This proactive approach is essential for effectively addressing concerns related to servicing, availability, and physical coordination, thereby mitigating the risk of costly services relocations or the need for accommodating designs around state significant infrastructure lines.

Recognising that trunk infrastructure is frequently situated in proximity to major road corridors, our team understands the critical role it plays. As the Western Sydney Aerotropolis undergoes dynamic expansion, driven by the establishment of the Western Sydney Airport, an anticipated two fold increase in regional traffic levels by 2040 is on the horizon. Consequently, substantial infrastructure upgrades are imperative to accommodate this growth.

In response to this burgeoning growth, Transport for NewSouth Wales (TfNSW) is actively advancing their strategy for seven interlinkedRoad Corridor Upgrade Projects. These initiatives aim to provide seamlessaccess and connectivity across the expansive 11,200-hectare Western SydneyInternational Airport Precinct. The projects include: 

  1. Badgerys Creek Road
  2. Bradfield Metro Link Road
  3. Devonshire Road
  4. Eastern Ring Road
  5. Fifteenth Avenue (West)
  6. Luddenham Road
  7. Pitt Street (West)

To foster community engagement, TfNSW actively sought input and feedback until the deadline on October 31st at 5pm. The insights gathered from this consultation period will be summarised in a forthcoming consultation report. During this timeframe, TfNSW conducted an online community information session, providing an overview of the upgrades, including details on planned corridor widths, usage types, and pedestrian access. This session is accessible on YouTube: Western Sydney International Airport Precinct Road Network information session -YouTube

Despite the Western Sydney (Nancy Bird-Walton) Airport's projected completion and commencement of operations in 2026, TfNSW has secured funding solely for the development of the "Strategic Business Case" for these road corridors, primarily to establish staging. TfNSW emphasises that these corridors are vital for the continued growth and transformation of the Western Sydney International Airport Precinct into a fully-fledged city, and not just for the initial airport opening. TfNSW remains receptive to further feedback as the planned upgrades progress and openly express a desire to work with developers to drive positive design outcomes.

In recent developments, on the 16th of November, the Australian Government Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications, and the Arts released a publication pertaining to the Independent Strategic Review of the Infrastructure Investment Program. Regrettably, the review has determined that multiple Western Sydney projects, including the Western Sydney Road Transport Network Development (aka the Aerotropolis Roads Package), will not receive funding.

In a concerning development, the Australian Government has cited reasons for withholding funding for these projects, asserting that they "do not demonstrate merit, lack any strategic rationale, and do not meet the Australian Government’s national investment priorities." This decision is indicative of the federal government's reluctance to support projects perceived as carrying a "high risk of further cost pressures and/or delays." The implications of this stance on the future development and connectivity of the Western Sydney International Airport Precinct are substantial, raising questions about the broader vision and commitment to fostering strategic infrastructure growth in the region”.

For further information regarding the Western Sydney Aerotropolis, contact Tom Herbert on 0487 926 605 or t.herbert@theoriongroup.au

Survey Team 

Survey Industry Update:

Land Registry Services have issued a ‘Consultation paper’ requiring Surveyors to add further Charting information on Deposited Plans. Historically, charting of historic information has been undertaken by NSW LRS plan examiners. The change in its current form was not supported by Surveyors.

Charting refers to the identification of historic affectations that once affected whole lots but now affect part of new lots. Examples include “Land Excluding Minerals and is subject to Reservations and conditions in favour of the Crown”; Easements benefiting a part of a lot; Positive Covenants; Restrictions on the Use of Land.

The requirement for Surveyors to undertake charting on Deposited Plans is scheduled to commence in the 3rd quarter of 2024.

The impact of shifting responsibility from LRS to Surveyors to chart information will result in increased costs for plan preparation and reducing the cost and responsibility of NSW LRS. Surveyors will now need to incur additional expenses ordering additional plans and dealings (which are free of cost to NSW LRS), undertake further calculations when preparing Deposited Plans. In the next 12-24 months, you are likely to see an additional level of complexity shown on deposited plans prepared for signatures.

Our Survey Manager Phillip McQuillan is available to explain the LRS changes in more detail by contacting him on 0409 818 107 or p.mcquillan@theoriongroup.au

 

Construction Team

Construction Infrastructure & Industrial Update

Australian Government Infrastructure Funding Cuts 

The Australian Government recently announced federal funding cuts to several major infrastructure projects in Western Sydney, a disappointing out coming for Sydney given the ongoing (and upcoming) residential and industrial land development occurring in Western Sydney as well as the imminent opening of Western Sydney International (Nany-Bird Walton) Airport.

The axed projects in the Penrith LGA alone include:

  • Commuter Car Park Upgrade – T1 North Shore, Northern and Western Line – Kingswood
  • Commuter Car Park Upgrade – T1 North Shore, Northern and Western Line – St Marys
  • Mulgoa Road Stage 2 – Glenmore Parkway to Jeanette Street, Stage 5A Blaikie Road to Jamison Road and Stage 5B Jamison Road to Union Road
  • Werrington Arterial Stage 2 – Planning Western City Road Transport Network Development – Planning

In addition to the above, the M7-M12 interchange has also been axed and would have been a critical piece of infrastructure facilitating transport connections to and from the Western Sydney International Airport. Unfortunately, likely to place an enormous strain on existing infrastructure networks over the next few years affecting many of the surrounding communities. 

On the other hand, the Australia Government has set aside funding for six projects, with an upgrade of Richmond Road at Marsen Park getting the largest boost of $50million. 

To discuss any of the above in greater detail please contact our Manager – Infrastructure andIndustrial, Mina Fahmy on 0409 088 545 or at m.fahmy@theoriongroup.au

Artist’s impression of the M7M12 interchange (supplied by John Holland).

  

Civil Infrastructure Team

Flood Protection Changes and advice on Flood Risk

This was a significant and dramatic change by NSW Government due to the findings of the Flood Evacuation Modelling report of May 2023.

The primary driver of the withdrawal of the approval of 10,000 housing lots was the inability to identify an evacuation route for the increased population which kept evacuation times under 12 hours for residents and employment areas.

The Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley’s floodplains are highly interconnected by the road network. Growth in one area can have significant consequences on risk to life for existing populations across the floodplains.

The risk to life arising from flood evacuation varies across the valley and the Flood Evacuation Modelling provides a better understanding of this risk distribution for different sized flood events. It allows for amore detailed understanding of the existing risk, the impact of development options and the cumulative impact of growth and climate change on the capacity of the shared road evacuation network.

The results highlight that the evacuation issue is not straightforward (a non-linear problem) and demonstrates the importance of modelling representative scenarios to evaluate the relative contribution of development options on risk to life. 

The number of people who would be unable to evacuate increases significantly with development and climate change. Potential development above committed development further increases this risk.

The realisation of the level and timing of the risk to life will depend on external factors such as the global economy, rates of growth and climate change. However, scenario and sensitivity analysis show that while the actual timing and specific numbers related to risk to life might vary, the overall trend of increasing risk remains.

Next steps for the Flood evacuation modelling.

This work is ongoing due to the dynamic nature of flood risk to life in the valley. Future modelling will continue to test new scenarios and new information as it becomes available. This includes improved flood modelling, updated census data, climate change predictions, and consideration of different behavioural responses. In addition, continuous improvement in technology will allow more efficient modelling to reflect increased complexity and higher number of scenarios. This is dependent on funding for the ongoing development of the model.

For Orion, our feasibility flood advice will have to consider the evacuation management as well as Flood Levels and freeboards for the 100 year, 200 year, 500 year and PMF flood events. 

The requirement for a dam safety management system commenced on 1 November 2021.

All declared dam owners(1) must implement a dam safety management system (DSMS) to ensure the ongoing safety of their dams and to comply with the requirements specified in the regulation.

A dam owner must also maintain a dam safety management system document (DSMSD) that addresses the dam safety management system requirements of the regulation.

A dam owner may produce a single DSMSD for a single dam, or a DSMSD for portfolio of dams to take advantage of common management system elements that apply to all the dams. The DSMS itself may be contained within management system documentation that also applies to other assets.

The DSMSD may also form part of an integrated management system that manages quality, environmental and other safety outcomes.

Regardless of the how a dam owner configures the documentation, it needs to be able to demonstrate that the regulatory requirements for the DSMS are addressed.

The document should be easily understood and followed by all involved in ensuring the safety of the declared dam.

This guideline has been based on the dam’s safety legislation, the AS ISO 55001:2014 asset management systems standard and associated guidance material.

Steven Brain is our Civil Infrastructure Technical Director and can be contacted on 0461354104 or s.brain@theoriongroup.au

Industry Update November 2023
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