A new spring for Victoria

There’s an old saying that Victoria's capital Melbourne can be four seasons in one day. But despite any sudden changes in weather, Victoria is heading into 2022 with a real feeling of spring.

For Victoria> Insights

As the hum of business and fun returns to our CBDs and the warmer season flowers begin to bloom in our parks, Victoria is ripe with growth opportunities. In renewables, in transport, in development, and more.

Whether it's nation-first renewable energy initiatives or the ‘Big Build’, we’re tackling major projects with gusto. But how do we ensure we’re defining, designing and delivering the solutions that Victoria needs?

From transport investment to community engagement and post-pandemic work life, our team shares their thoughts on how Victoria can overcome the challenges of growth, while capitalising on the opportunities of a resurgent state.



On the subject of transport, the team was largely optimistic about the state of Victoria's transport infrastructure. But the jury is out on whether more investment is needed. 

Kate Eskdale, Director - I think public transport’s a big opportunity right now. I know the trend at the moment is for enormous road projects, but I believe that we should be focusing our investment on more public transport, more green spaces for people, and more social housing. It’s about keeping up with our growth and making sure we’re providing the right transport to connect people from where they want to live to where jobs are, as well as managing the spread of the city.

Greg Harrison, VIC Lead – Strategy and Investment - I think we are really starting to embrace integrated transport and land use solutions, particularly in metropolitan Melbourne. Victoria is embracing digital technologies and the development of a Victoria-wide digital twin is a good illustration of this. Relative to other jurisdictions, I think Victoria has a very comprehensive, evidenced-based and robust business case development and assurance framework.

Michael Liddicoat, Associate Director - Because Melbourne is such a growing city, we’re increasingly having to deal with larger distances between where we work and where we live. Parts of the city are working hubs and other parts are residential, but we don’t always have the right transport infrastructure to get from one place to the other quickly and easily. The question is do we need to build new infrastructure, or do we simply need to adapt what we currently have to better suit the modern working landscape? It’ll be interesting to watch how we answer that question as an industry, and community.


Renewables and sustainability

Based on Victoria's current investment in renewables and our team's own work on sustainable energy projects, they are unanimously excited by the environmental and economic opportunities presented by renewables.

Anna Mildner, Senior Consultant - Environment - The pandemic has highlighted that we’re only as strong as our communities and the environment around us, and I think it’s provided us with an opportunity to reset our thinking about our environmental future. COVID-19 has demonstrated that we can change the way we do things in quite a rapid way, and that our behaviour can shift given a big enough push. I don’t see a reason why we can’t apply that in an environmental context and change the way that we produce our energy and manage our environment.

Samuel King – Senior Project Manager - I think renewables are such a huge opportunity right now, it’d be great for Melbourne be at the forefront of developing the infrastructure necessary to capitalise on that.

wind and solar farm in Australia

Growth and engagement

Melbourne has the fastest-growing population in Australia so effective community engagement will be vital in determining infrastructure requirements. Our communication and engagement consultants say it's more important than ever to seek out diverse opinions and find new strategies to fight fatigue. 

Ai-Lin Chang, Consultant - Communication - I think something that’s super crucial is having a greater diversity of voices involved in our engagement processes. Typically speaking, the most vocal people are the ones who self-nominate to participate in those processes, but the challenge lies in giving opportunities to people who would not usually participate. This includes people from migrant backgrounds, people with disabilities, and people from minority backgrounds in general.

Getting that wide range of voices involved can only enhance and improve the outcomes of the projects we’re working on. You need a diverse range of opinions to know for sure that what you’re hearing and the feedback you’re working off is genuinely representative of the communities you’re trying to serve.

Stuart Scudamore, Senior Consultant - The city’s got a huge stack of infrastructure projects currently on the go including rail projects, road projects, construction, you name it. With that in mind, I think construction fatigue could become an issue moving forward, especially when some of these projects are earmarked to continue through to 2050. Melburnians understand that it’s all necessary for upgrading the city, but people do get sick of seeing new construction sites pop up and the delays they bring with them. This is why community engagement is so important. 


Infrastructure and development

With proposals to spend up to $100 billion on Victorian infrastructure over the next 30 years, big development is here to stay. Our team is positive about Victoria's infrastructure future, and ready and willing to shape it.

Ai-Lin Chang, Consultant - Communication - Victoria is taking on incredibly ambitious and forward-thinking projects. These big initiatives carry a lot of risk, but to have a government with the confidence to try and deliver visionary ideas, and a population who generally believe in its ability to do so is incredible.

Stuart Scudamore, Senior Consultant - All the city upgrades going on at the moment are such a huge and important step–a citywide infrastructure upgrade isn’t an easy thing to organise or implement but it’s definitely necessary, and an incredible thing to watch in real time. The sheer number of departments and companies working with both government and the private sector to make it happen, and the amount of expertise necessary to deliver this ‘Big Build’ is genuinely so inspiring. And it makes it all worth it when you think about the fact that this citywide upgrade will benefit Melbourne for the next hundred years, if not the next two hundred years.



Tane Kingi, General Manager - I think the biggest opportunity, both currently and going forward, will be the infrastructure space. It’s already taking off and we’re looking at infrastructure in a much broader sense, so that we can assist clients in delivering fantastic projects on a massive, massive scale. Not just in the traditional infrastructure space of roads and rail, but within the energy and water space too.

Paul Miziewics, Principal Planner - The ‘Big Build’ being pursued by the State Government has a lot of once-in-a-generation infrastructure projects, you almost couldn’t count them all on two hands. Suburban Rail Loop, the  North East Link, Melbourne Airport Rail, you name it - the next ten years are going to be so transformative. It’s a huge opportunity that’ll completely change the way Victoria grows and operates.  


The aftermath of COVID-19

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on where and how we work. It's been a hard slog, but there are positives to be found.

Scott Richardson, Senior Systems Engineer - I think one of the biggest lessons learned from COVID is that as a community Victoria has now proven that you don’t have to be in the CBD to do critical work, considering the improvement of remote IT network capabilities and communication tools such as Zoom, Teams, and Skype. This is a huge opportunity for people to implement their best version of a work/life balance.

It’s also a real godsend for rural areas. It means in many cases, that companies can fill jobs with the best applicant possible, irrespective of geographical constraints that had formerly prevented the same people from obtaining roles, or requiring them to move their family to, or closer to Melbourne purely for the sake of work. The ability to hire the required skillsets from anywhere in the state or country is incredibly valuable.


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