From the Secretariat (Issue 107)

By on December 3, 2019

VicRoads & Public Transport Victoria come together with the Department of Transport

DR ELIZABETH GIBSON, General Manager of the CMPA reports on the new integrated transport department.

On 1 July 2019, VicRoads and Public Transport Victoria came together with the Department of Transport (DoT) to create an integrated transport department. (Regional Roads Victoria also comes under the DoT.)

However, VicRoads remains an ongoing legal entity and will still retain the functions of registration and licensing, heavy vehicle operations and incident response services.

All other functions, including geotechnical services, have been transferred to the Department of Transport. Geotechnical services will still manage specifications. However, with major roads projects having been removed from VicRoads to become part of the Major Transport Infrastructure Authority there is some concern that adherence to technical specifications (VicRoads) may become optional for these projects. Those, who may have vested interests may apply pressure to achieve “cost savings” and we all know what that means: a decline in the quality of roads leading to compromised pavement outcomes.

For those of you involved in these major transport projects, it may be wise to check the fine print for roads specifications in contracts so as not to be caught out.

The technical specifications (VicRoads) have serviced Victoria well but geotechnical services may lose prominence and standing in the bureaucracy of a large government department.

Additionally, there is not a direct link to major roads projects. It could be argued that this may be a role for Dr Collette Burke as Victoria’s inaugural Chief Engineer. The Victorian Chief Engineer sits within Office of Projects Victoria and is tasked with providing independent, expert advice on engineering and major projects for the Government.

“The Victorian Chief Engineer role was created to ensure Victoria has the engineering advice and skill sets required to deliver major infrastructure projects. This advice is necessary to ensure that current and future projects are delivered to appropriate technical standards, as well as ensuring Victoria has access to engineers with the right skills both now and into the future.”

Hopefully common sense will prevail.

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