Sydney Metro designs online

The three different visions for how the stations might look were developed during the workshop process, which was held to develop draft design principles to guide future station design.The draft principles cover a range of issues including built form, materials, heritage, public art and landscaping. NSW government architect Peter Mould said the sample designs had been developed by three teams each comprising a top architect, a landscape architect and a public artist in order to test the principles.The design principles were developed at two workshops attended by peak, professional and community groups as well as members of the Design Review Panel. Following further consultation, the design principles will be provided to the Integrated Metro Operations contractor that will build the stations.Mould said the design teams’ contrasting visions had helped the workshop participants to clarify and sharpen the principles, sparking a lively discussion.“This exercise has been focused on engaging the community in a discussion about what attributes are important for metro stations,” he said.“A key theme was that the stations’ appearance should contribute to the sense of place. This was more important than specifying architectural style or the materials.“There were also many comments about the importance of achieving a layout that enabled easy pedestrian, bus and cycle connections into the Metro.”The sample designs showed a range of creative approaches to the entries of the two stations.These included:Extensive use of Sydney’s famous yellow sandstone in the stations;
Incorporating Port Jackson fig trees into the design, including station entrances lit by a series of light tubes in the form of tree roots, acting as both lighting and public art;
A mixture of approaches at Rozelle, with both plaza-based designs and designs that involved “gateway” buildings on the corners of Darling Street;
Incorporating natural features such as a sandstone cliff into the design of the western entrance at Miller Street, Pyrmont; and
Incorporating solar panels and other sustainability measures, such as cycle storage, into the design.
Images of the sample designs and a written extract explaining each design can be viewed at

M4 toll removal a bad move: IPA

The organisation has responded to a recent Auditor General’s report into the impact of the removal of the toll from the motorway, which IPA says shows the busy corridor will become unworkable if the toll is removed.Executive director Brendan Lyon said any short-term saving to motorists would be outweighed by increased vehicle and time costs, and significant increases in carbon pollution.The IPA is calling for the toll to remain and the money generated to be reinvested back into Sydney’s roads.“It would be much more sensible to continue the toll, using the money to fund the massive new investment that is required to fix ailing public transport and complete Sydney’s road network,” Lyon said. “The money collected could also be invested in finally building the congestion-busting M4 East motorway extension, the most urgent road project in the state.”According to the IPA, congestion is costing New South Wales motorists more than $12 million a day in lost productivity. Lyon said the state needed to investigate how it could encourage more people to use public transport.“That means that we need to continue to price the use of roads and also increase the comfort and reliability of public transport in Sydney,” he said. The Auditor General’s report, which was released yesterday, showed that traffic on the M4 Motorway would increase by 25% if the toll was removed. Lyon said the NSW government should reconsider its decision to remove the M4 toll.

Former James Hardie chief banned

Justice Ian Gzell found Macdonald, two former executives and seven non-executives in breach of the act in 2001 when an asbestos compensation trust was formed and again in 2003 during a corporate restructure. WA Business News reported yesterday that a press release approved by the board of James Hardie in February 2001 was found to contain deceptive and misleading comments about the company’s capacity to meet its compensation liabilities for asbestos sufferers.In a statement James Hardie said Justice Gzell also found the company in breach of the act for failing to disclose the transfer of James Hardie Industries Ltd (JHIL) out of the James Hardie Group. WA Business News reported that the Australian Securities Investments Commission had pushed for fines of $1.47-1.81 million, and up to 16 years disqualification from managing any other business. Former general consul Peter Shafron received a seven-year ban and was fined $75,000, while former chief financial officer Phillip Morley was banned for five years and fined $35,000.The non-executive directors received fines of $30,000 and were banned from managing a company for five years.James Hardie itself was fined $80,000.

Write-downs bring Leighton profits down 41%

Leighton said its profit after tax for the period was $220 million, down from $375 million recorded for the same period last year.The company’s chief executive Wal King said the result was solid given the backdrop of the current economic environment. “Work in hand at 31 March 2009 stood at $36.5 billion, up from $28.1 billion at the same time last year while revenue for the nine months was up by 37% to $13.7 billion,” he said. King said highlights for the March quarter included a Leighton Contractors-led alliance signing an agreement with the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) to deliver the $225 million Tarcutta Bypass Project on the Hume Hwy in NSW. “In WA, [Leighton subsidiary] HWE Mining was awarded a five-year contract extension worth approximately $400 million at the Orebody 23/25 mine in the Pilbara region,” he said. “For the 2008/2009 financial year, the group expects to report full year revenue approaching $19 billion and net profit after tax reduced to approximately $430 million, which includes the write down of investment values already recognised, however the group is continuing to face pressure on its operating performance for the remainder of the financial year,” King said.

Macmahon boosts order book by $120M

After working on several major water infrastructure projects in Queensland, Machmahon has secured a contract with the state government as part of the Queensland Dam Consortium team to deliver a new dam and associated works about 50 kilometres southwest of Brisbane.Construction of the new Wyaralong Dam and associated infrastructure is expected to create more than 200 jobs. Meanwhile, the Sydney Catchment Authority has contracted Macmahon to construct new fish passages and create environmental infrastructure as part of the Nepean Weir upgrade.Macmahon will upgrade 10 weirs in the Hawkesbury-Nepean system to improve the health of the river.The NSW state water corporation has contracted Macmahon to work on the Blowering Dam as part of the state’s safety upgrade program. Once modified, the dam is expected to be able to withstand extreme flood conditions.“Our construction business is benefiting from the increased government spend on infrastructure projects, with these contract awards adding to our portfolio of government work,” Macmahon chief executive officer Nick Bowen said.“The total estimated value of these three contracts for Macmahon is approximately $120 million, providing a solid platform for our construction business leading into the 2010 financial year.” These latest contract awards come a few weeks after Macmahon slashed its 2009 profit guidance by around 60% from the $48 million predicted in December to $15-20 million.Revenue is forecast at $1.4 billion for the 2008-09 financial year, with the company saying its bottom line had been impacted by contract cancellations, alterations, severe weather in Western Australia and Queensland, and associated restructuring and redundancy costs.Macmahon said its mining services division had been the most heavily impacted, with monthly revenues 30-40% lower, on average, than six months ago, equating to more than $250 million of annualised revenue.Despite the slumping resources service side of the business, the company claims the federal government’s infrastructure stimulus will alleviate some of the pain inflicted by the struggling resources sector.At the end of April, the company’s order book sat at $1.6 billion. With the inclusion of Macmahon’s latest water infrastructure contracts, the order book would now sit at around $1.72 billion.Shares in Macmahon were up 0.5c to 40c in early morning trade.

Huge change in tower crane market

D&G was established by joint owners David Keating and Gino DeCesare in 1998 and has grown rapidly on a model of providing late model, well maintained tower cranes and hoists, with all except one of D&G’s fleet of 82 tower cranes being of the Potain brand and the average age being three years.This is in contrast to the generally aging fleet of tower cranes on the east coast, although Verticon was part way through a program to modernise and standardise its fleet at the time the acquisition was announced.The new business will continue the Verticon distributorship for Baoda passenger and material hoists, with D&G noting the quality of the Baoda brand made it a good match for the national business, and its distributorship would help expand the hoist business nationally.D&G also operates in Adelaide, Darwin and Singapore through partnerships with local companies.The combined D&G/Verticon business will include 160 tower cranes, 140 passenger and material hoists, 17 mobile cranes and 70 Preston loading platforms, and will have 280 employees, making it easily the largest company in its market in Australia and one of the largest in the Asia Pacific region. The new owners have set a target of having an all-Potain tower crane fleet within five years, and are looking to replace the 28 Favco and Favelle diesel hydraulic luffing tower cranes in the acquired fleet with Potain luffing electric tower cranes, citing the high cost of preparing the older cranes for each project and maintaining compliance with Australian Standards.The mobile crane fleet is operated in Perth by subsidiary Northern Suburbs Crane Hire, and there is no immediate intention to extend this business to the East Coast. A recently acquired 160t Demag AC160/2 may be relocated to Brisbane to help erect tower cranes there, but generally this work will be contracted to local crane hirers. Some Frannas and telescopic handlers form part of the D&G Verticon fleet, and consideration is being given to replacing the older Frannas (these machines work in the depots and are not offered for general hire).The combined business will be administered from Perth, with current D&G operations director David Keating, administration director Gino DeCesare and general manager and chief financial officer Albert Stazzonelli taking on these roles nationally.The acquisition is expected to accelerate the renewal of the tower crane fleet on the east coast, with the age of the fleet being a long-recognised problem that has persisted for decades. The D&G Verticon renewal program is expected to see electric cranes gain ascendency in the luffing tower crane market where diesel hydraulic machines have traditionally commanded the bulk of the market. The assembly of a truly national tower crane hire fleet allows cranes to be relocated to markets with the highest activity, while still providing hirers with the support of a local depot.

A KEANE EYE: Clarification on site dumpers

That was certainly not the intention: like other items of plant, if operated according to manufacturer guidelines and site conditions, they are a safe and productive item of equipment. Issues such as operation of equipment on slopes, working close to excavations, separation of pedestrian from vehicle traffic, maintenance of haul roads, use of seatbelts on equipment where rollover is a possibility and operating equipment at a speed appropriate to the site conditions are applicable to many classes of equipment operated on a construction site, and can be managed to maintain a safe working environment. It was not intended to suggest that site dumpers carried any greater risks than other classes of equipment, or that potential areas of risk could not be managed to maintain a safe working environment.If any other interpretation has been made of the story, I apologise for not being sufficiently clear in expressing my views.

Konecranes’ strong silent type

Designed to work in cells and for lighter materials handling needs, the aluminium rails of the XA Aluminium Light Crane System are said by Konecranes to reduce rolling resistance and system dead weight by 50% compared with traditional steel rails. “Because of the light weight and low rolling resistance, many applications can be realised with push-pull trolleys rather than motorised drives, achieving modern energy-conserving and cost-efficient outcomes,” Konecranes national sales and marketing manager Warren Ashton said. He said the new cranes have been designed for use in the precision fabrication and manufacturing industries, as well as automotive manufacturing and food and beverage processing. Konecranes said optional features in the cranes are: Motorised trolleys with integrated frequency control.Variety of suspensions.Variety of power feeding lines.Self-supporting structure.

Industry Report – Projects

A formal heads of agreement is to be signed that will see the commencement of negotiations to develop an indigenous land use agreement. The government will work with traditional owners to identify the exact location and will involve them in the design and construction of the precinct.The site will be subject to an environmental impact assessment, which should be finalised in 2010.Each Tuesday and Friday, CIN brings you the latest updates on major infrastructure projects – current and planned – across the nation. By tracking these updates, you can build your own database of substantial infrastructure projects about to commence or on the drawing boards.NORTHERN TERRITORYROADSPlenty Highway and Tanami Road Upgrade (Proposed)Principal: NT governmentScope: Upgrading these two roads, includes clearing, resealing, widening and drainage worksStatus: Federal funding brought forward to accelerate upgrade, April 2009; construction commencing May 2009, completion 2011Purpose: Upgrade infrastructure which is vital to long-term economic prosperity, provide jobs Contractors: NAValue: $14 million (part of $81 million under Nation Building program)(Update: Federal government funding announcement, April 2009)QUEENSLANDENERGYFisherman’s Landing LNG Project, Gladstone (Proposed)Principal: Gladstone LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd) 40%, Golar LNG 40%Scope: Stage 1, 1.5Mtpa natural gas liquefaction plant, infrastructure and facilities, wharf loading facilities upgrade; Stage 2, expansion to 3MtpaStatus: Environmental impact statement approved, April 2009; recommendations to be immediately implemented to obtain five specific approvals and enable final investment decision to be made by end 2009; working with Gladstone Ports Corporation to obtain access to site so early site preparation works can commence in October 2009, first production 2012Contractors: WorleyParsons and Arup (engineering design), SK Engineering and Construction (engineering and construction services), Laing O’Rourke Australia (proposed EPC contractor under JV)Value: $US400 million (Update: Arrow announcement of EIS approval (Arrow has 10% stake in LNGL and has an option to take a 20% interest in proposed LNG plant), April 2009QUEENSLANDROADSPacific Motorway Nerang South Interchange Upgrade (Current)Principal: Main RoadsScope: Widen and duplicate overpass bridge to accommodate eight lanes of traffic across motorway; construct new combined off-ramp connection from M1 providing direct access to Spencer Road and Nielsens Road, convert both roundabouts on each side of motorway to synchronised signalised intersections, new on-and-off ramps to motorway to accommodate long-term plan to widen motorway to six or more lanesStatus: Federal government fast-tracked funding of $22.5 million to ensure project is completed by mid-2009, April 2009; construction commenced February 2009Purpose: Start of progressive plan to upgrade Pacific Motorway between Nerang and Tugun, aimed at reducing congestion and improving safetyContractors: Seymour WhyteValue: $45 million(Update: Federal government announcement of fast-tracked funding, April 2009)QUEENSLANDPORTSNorth Shore Boulevard Project, Townsville (Proposed)Principal: Townsville City CouncilScope: Design and construct two-lane road to commence at intersection of Shaw Road/Bruce Highway and link up with Mt Low Parkway, road to go through Stockland’s North Shore Development, capacity to increase to four lanesStatus: Contract awarded March 2009, construction commencing August 2009Purpose: Provide alternative access route to cater for rapidly growing northern beachesContractors: Seymour WhyteValue: $40 million (Seymour Whyte $1.6 million)New project: Townsville City Council call for tenders, February 2009(Update: Seymour Whyte announcement of award of tender, March 2009)QUEENSLANDBUILDING‘The Edge’ Digital Centre, Cultural Centre, South Bank (Current)Principal: Arts, State Library of QueenslandScope: Creative spaces for designing, showcasing, learning and playing; auditorium for large-scale performance and exhibition; workshop spaces; media labs focused on film, music and community publishing and accommodation facilitiesStatus: Construction commenced April 2009, completion September 2009Purpose: Encourage young people to master new technologies and generate bright ideas of the future; part of major series of building enhancements at Cultural Centre in 2009Contractors: Abigroup (managing contractor) m3architecture, Deicke Richards (architects)Value: $7.9 million(New project: State government announcement of commencement of project, April 2009)SOUTH AUSTRALIAPORTSPort Bonython Fuels Project, Port Bonython (Proposed)Principal: Port Bonython Fuels (Stuart Petroleum (85%), Scott Group JV (15%)Scope: 500ML diesel fuel per annum. Stage 1 includes use of existing jetty and infrastructure at Port Bonython to land and transport diesel to storage onshore, distribution initially via road transport potential for rail and pipeline delivery. Stage 2 comprises diesel refinery and expanded tankageStatus: Stage 1 awarded “Crown Sponsored” development status, terminal facility layout and land defined, unexploded ordnance clearance complete, native vegetation and fauna survey complete, Aboriginal heritage and archaeological consultation/survey complete, existing infrastructure (pipelines) reviewed and risk assessed, utilities and services available assessed; progress in commercial engineering arrangements completion September/October 2009Purpose: Tank farm and imported diesel distillation refinery with initial capacity of 500ML of diesel fuel a year, utilising existing port facilities, to overcome critical shortages in diesel fuel supplies to northern SAValue: NA(Update: Stuart Petroleum announcement of project status, April 2009)VICTORIABUILDINGPuckapunyal Military Area Upgrade, near Seymour (Proposed)Principal: DefenceScope: Headquarters building, training facilities, chapel, expanded entry precinct, 120-person lecture facility, 40-person briefing room includes 2.2km extension to safe driving training areaStatus: Architects appointed April 2009; Parliamentary approval December 2008, construction commencing mid-2009, completion late 2010Purpose: Upgrade facilities including headquarters for Road Transport Wing of Army Logistic Training CentreContractors: Bligh Voller Nield (architects)Value: $41 million(Update: Defence announcement of appointment of architect, April 2009)WESTERN AUSTRALIAURBAN DEVELOPMENTThe Link, Perth (Proposed)Principal: Planning, City of PerthScope: Redevelop 13.5ha CBD site includes sinking railway line, five new pedestrian friendly north-south connections, five urban plazas, new civic space at Horseshoe Bridge called Celebration Place, three new mixed-use precincts including commercial, entertainment and residentialStatus: Scheme of amendment approved marking final stage of planning before start of further development works and release of land for sale, April 2009; first stage of project to be developed is Perth Arena-Milligan Street precinct, as sporting and entertainment hub, approval also allows Channel 7 to finalise its plans for 2ha Perth Entertainment site; lead agency EPRA to finalise design guidelines for The Link and Celebration Place, April 2009Purpose: Sinking of rail line to link central business district more closely with nearby Northbridge entertainment precinct and deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to community in form of more housing, jobs and office spaceContractors: EPRA (lead agency)Value: $2 billion (Update: State government announcement of final stage of planning approval, providing project certainty required by industry to bring about investment in The Link, April 2009)WESTERN AUSTRALIAENERGYLNG Precinct, James Price Point, Kimberley (Proposed)Principal: State developmentScope: 3,500ha high-technology onshore liquefied natural gas processing precinct to process natural gas pumped from offshore fields into LNG, includes accommodation, ancillary services and land and sea bufferStatus: State government reached broad agreement with Kimberley Land Council and Woodside about establishment of site for precinct at James Price Point on Kimberley coast, April 2009; next step in process is development of indigenous land use agreement in negotiation with traditional owners to be registered by early 2010; environmental approvals process to be completed by late 2010; construction commencing mid to late 2011Purpose: Future LNG processing precinctContractors: NAValue: NA(Update: State government announcement of broad agreement on site, April 2009)WESTERN AUSTRALIABUILDINGNational School Pride Program, Various Schools – Statewide (Proposed)Principal: Education & TrainingScope: Maintenance and minor building works for 594 schools in Gascoyne, Goldfields/Esperance, Great Southern, Kimberley, Mid West, Peel, Perth Metropolitan, Pilbara, South West and Wheatbelt, with each school receiving between $50,000 and $200,000 worth of works; further 195 schools to be added by end April 2009Status: Call for tender closes May 14, first round of projects commencing end June 2009Purpose: First stage of federal Building the Education Revolution program to provide improvements to schools and give opportunities for businesses to tender for works. Tender process is not limited to major building companies but has been designed to allow tradespersons and small and medium-sized companies, which may not have previously undertaken work for the state government.Contractors: NAValue: $100 million(New project: State government call for tender, April 2009)

Volvo’s grader for two

The complexities involved in successfully operating a grader mean that grader operators need more training than those who work with other machines – and this is part of the reason for the new design. Volvo said that when designing the new G900 series grader, engineers developed the two-person training cab which allows the trainee operator and instructor to sit side by side.”As an instructor, I can talk comfortably with a new operator and explain exactly what is happening,” Volvo grader training instructor Russell Sharpe said.Sharpe has more than 30 years experience with these demanding machines.To ensure the trainee operator gets an exact grading experience, the two-person cabs are fitted with the instructor seat on the left, maintaining the original operator position. The cabs are subjected to the normal standards testing for a rollover protection structure (ROPS) and falling object protection structure (FOPS) for a machine weighing 27 tonnes. Climate control in the cabs provides a comfortable, quiet, environment that allows easy conversation while student and instructor ride in a standard suspension grader seat, complete with seat belts.Volvo said the ability to change from a two-person cab to a standard one in less than a day means that graders can easily be reunited with their standard cabs. The company said this was important if the grader was to be sold after accumulating significant training hours.