2014 National Infrastructure Awards

2014 Annual Infrastructure Oration and National Infrastructure Awards

Infrastructure Partnerships Australia convened the Annual Infrastructure Oration and the 2014 National Infrastructure Awards, at a gala dinner in Sydney on 12 March 2014.

The sold-out event, one of the sector’s signature events of the year, drew together more than 550 of Australia’s most senior political, public sector and business leaders to share the observations of the 2014 Orator, NSW Treasurer Mike Baird; and to recognise the sector’s achievements across the past year.

The 2014 Annual Infrastructure Oration and National Infrastructure Awards


Source: IPA

IPA’s Chief Executive Brendan Lyon, Chairman, Adrian Kloeden, Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss, NSW Treasurer Mike Baird, NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian and, former IPA Chairman, now IPA Patron, Mark Birrell, at the Oration in Sydney


Source: IPA

As with previous years, the National Infrastructure Awards were conferred by an independent judging panel.
The 2014 Independent Judging Panel consisted of:

  • Dr Kerry Schott (Panel Chair) – IPA Patron and Chairman, Moorebank Intermodal Terminal;
  • Michael Carapiet – Chairman, State Super;
  • Adrian Kloeden, Chairman, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia;
  • Lyn O’Connell – IPA Board Member and Deputy Secretary, Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development;
  • Peter Regan – Head of Infrastructure Finance, NSW Treasury; and
  • David Webster – Deputy Secretary, Victorian Treasury.

The National Infrastructure Awards saw the Regional Rail Link recognised as the nation’s best major project of the past year.

The judging panel cited the RRL’s sound progeny (through the East West Link needs assessment study); its best practice governance model and contract management (through the RRL Authority); and the advanced cost and time performance delivered by the consortia working across the works packages; as key features that led to its recognition.

(L-R) Adrian Kloeden, IPA Chairman; Allen Garner, RRL Chief Operating Officer; Peter Watson, RRL Chairman; Stephen Cleary, Chief Executive, NSW Ports (sponsor) with the prestigious Project of the Year Award


Source: IPA

The proceedings also saw IPA Chairman Adrian Kloeden, present Mark Birrell with the prestigious Chairman’s Prize – and announce his appointment as an IPA Patron.

Mr Birrell, who retired as IPA’s Chairman last year, was recognised for his foundation role in establishing IPA; and his career spanning infrastructure projects as a political leader, lawyer and now, as a non-executive director.

This year’s awards also saw a new category awarded to better recognise the substantial contribution of female leaders in the sector; complementing IPA’s Women’s Infrastructure Network initiative, launched last year.

The inaugural Woman’s Achievement in Infrastructure Award was presented to Thao Oakey for her roles in leading some of the nation’s most significant infrastructure projects, through her earlier roles in finance and more recently, at Leighton.

The Independent Judging Panel also cited PwC Partner Kate Evans for special commendation, noting her leadership in structuring some of Victoria’s largest projects – and her prior leadership in the UK PFI market.

IPA thanks our Oration Sponsor, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ

And our Category Sponsors: Hansen Yuncken; The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ; Rider Levett Bucknall; The NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet; Calibre Group; The Federal Department of infrastructure and Regional Development; and NSW Ports for their generous financial support.

Sponsors 2014

Chairman’s Prize awarded to former IPA Chairman, Hon Mark Birrell

The ceremony saw IPA Chairman Adrian Kloeden award Mark Birrell with the Chairman’s Prize, recognising his deep and committed contribution to the sector.

The Chairman’s Prize is not necessarily awarded each year, and seeks to recognise individual contributions to the development and refinement of Australia’s infrastructure market.

Previous winners include:

  • Hon Bill English MP;
  • Dr Kerry Schott;
  • Nicholas Moore;
  • Rick Turchini; and
  • Campbell Newman (when Lord Mayor of Brisbane).

IPA Chairman, Adrian Kloeden, presents Hon Mark Birrell with the 2014 Chairman’s Prize


Source: IPA

As the founding Chairman of Infrastructure Partnerships Australia – a role he held for eight years prior to his retirement in 2013 – Mark played a foundation role in IPA’s growth and success.

Through his guidance and deep understanding of both business and government, Mark’s leadership was integral in taking IPA from a sound idea into a practical, viable and respected voice for the public and private infrastructure sectors.

In awarding the Chairman’s Prize, Mr Kloeden also announced that IPA’s National Board supported Mark’s appointment as a Patron of Infrastructure Partnerships Australia; joining IPA’s other Patrons, Nicholas Moore, Nick Greiner, Kerry Schott, Wal King and Tony Shepherd.

Woman’s Achievement in Infrastructure Award – sponsored by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia

Winner: Thao Oakey

The inaugural Woman’s Achievement in Infrastructure Award was presented to Thao Oakey from Leighton Contractors, recognising her deep contribution to the construction sector over many years.

The Woman’s Achievement in Infrastructure Award is a new category that looks to better recognise the achievements of women working in senior roles across the sector.

The Judging Panel considered a number of excellent nominations from professionals across a range of disciplines; noting not only nominees’ impact on a project in 2013, but their contribution to the sector over an extended period to the development, construction or procurement of infrastructure.

The Judging Panel particularly noted Thao’s extensive career across finance and construction, and her major contribution to the ongoing evolution of project finance and delivery models.

As the Head of Infrastructure Investment at Leighton Contractors, Ms Oakey has led numerous major projects including Brisbane’s North South Bypass Tunnel, the Royal Adelaide Hospital and, most recently, the winning tender process for the Transmission Gully Motorway in New Zealand.

L – R – Adrian Kloeden, IPA Chairman presents Thao Oakey from Leighton Contractors with the inaugural Woman’s Achievement in Infrastructure Award


Source: IPA

 As a senior executive, Ms Oakey leads a team of more than 30 investment professionals in sponsoring consortia to bid for major projects across Australia and the region.

In addition to her central involvement on a succession of major projects, Ms Oakey drew positive attention from the judging panel due to her significant, ongoing contribution to the sector. In addition to her active role on projects, Ms Oakey also recently led the Leighton Contractors acquisition of the PPP services business from RBS. Prior to her role at Leighton Contractors, Ms Oakey worked as an investment banker at Deutsche Bank for over 10 years.

Judges’ Commendation: Kate Evans

The Judging Panel chose to also recognise Kate Evans, a senior Partner within PwC’s Infrastructure, Government and Utilities group, with a special commendation recognising her substantial contribution to major projects in Australia and overseas.

Ms Evans led and advised the Victorian Government on a number of projects, including EastLink, the Wonthaggi desalination plant, and, currently, the East West Link project.

Project of the Year – sponsored by NSW Ports

Winner: Regional Rail Link Project

Regional Rail Link Authority; Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development; AECOM; Alstom; Aurecon; Balfour Beatty; Coleman Rail; Downer EDI; GHD; Hyder; John Holland; Lend Lease Engineering; Leighton Contractors; Metro Trains Melbourne; Parsons Brinckerhoff; RPS; Sinclair Knight Merz; Thiess; UGL; V/Line

Regional Rail Link

Victoria’s $4.8 billion Regional Rail Link (RRL) was recognised as the 2014 Project of the Year.

The RRL was recognised by the Independent Judging Panel, because of its excellent planning, strong project governance, and because it will deliver transformational benefits across Melbourne and Victoria’s passenger rail services. Additionally, the Judging panel cited the project’s exceptional levels of collaboration and coordination across different levels of government.

The Panel particularly noted that the use of a specific purpose Regional Rail Link Authority to oversee the project’s delivery had made accountabilities clear, with the Authority ensuring consistency across the project’s six contracts.

The project will see 90 kilometres of new track delivered, allowing operational separation between Melbourne’s metropolitan and regional rail networks. The project will also see six new and upgraded stations, with the design allowing it to interface with planned future projects, including the Metro rail tunnel and longer-term, the potential Avalon airport rail link.

The Panel particularly cited the extensive interface management required across six work packages, including in live rail environments; and the use of concurrent procurement of materials across multiple contracts, allowing for economies of scale in purchasing.

The massive project has had a peak workforce of more than 3,500 people, with more than 11.5 million man hours worked. The project remains ahead of schedule and under budget.

Former winners:

Former winners of the Project of the Year include the NSW budget reform process including the refinancing of the Sydney Desalination Plant, the New Royal Children’s Hospital, the Gateway Upgrade Project, Melbourne Channel Deepening Project and Defence Headquarters Joint Operations Command Project.


Gold Coast University Hospital

Nominees: Department of Health (Formerly Queensland Health); Lend Lease; Aurecon and Sinclair Knight Merz Joint Venture; Rider Levett Bucknall

The $1.76 billion Gold Coast University Hospital provides a 750 bed tertiary hospital to service South East Queensland’s growing, ageing population. The facility is the largest hospital development ever undertaken in Queensland with a six-building teaching and health campus integrated with on-site student facilities and a direct link to the new Gold Coast Rapid Transit light rail system, the panel noted.

Located adjacent to the Griffith University Gold Coast Campus, the University Hospital combines acute and emergency care alongside integrated pathology and mental health services across a 170,000 square metre, state of the art medical and teaching facility.

Delivered under a Managing Contractor model led by Lend Lease, the Gold Coast University Hospital was completed on time and within budget.

Hunter Expressway Stage 2

Nominees: Hunter Expressway Alliance consisting of: NSW Roads and Maritime Services, Thiess, Parsons Brinckerhoff Australia and Hyder Consulting; The Australian Government

The $1.7 billion Hunter Expressway delivers a freeway grade link between the M1 Pacific Motorway near Seahampton and the New England Highway west of Branxton and was funded between the Commonwealth and New South Wales governments, after being identified as a key project in Infrastructure Australia’s first pipeline.

When operational later this year, the corridor will to reduce travel times between Newcastle and the Hunter by around 30 minutes. In addition to substantial passenger time saving benefits, the panel was impressed by the provision of a four-lane freeway freight link between the Port of Newcastle and the Upper Hunter serving the high-value mining equipment supply-chain.

Stage 2 of the project involved particular complexity in construction with high level twin viaduct bridges delivered in areas with substantial risk of mine subsidence, in addition to delivery of 23 bridges and two grade-separated interchanges in a ‘live’ traffic environment.

The Hunter Expressway Stage 2 was delivered on time and on budget in challenging weather conditions during the construction phase.

Perth City Link rail project

Nominees: The Perth City Link Alliance consisting of: Public Transport Authority of Western Australia, John Holland and GHD; The Australian Government; City of Perth

The $360 million Perth City Link project has transformed the shape and operation of Perth’s CBD, by sinking an existing suburban rail corridor to connect the city’s entertainment precinct to the Central Business District. The project received Commonwealth and state joint funding, through the Infrastructure Australia process.

The project required the grade separation of over 600 metres of the Fremantle rail line, reconnecting the CBD with Northbridge for the first time in over a century. There was substantial complexity during delivery, with requirement including building a new pedestrian underpass to connect Perth and Perth Underground stations; and completing major upgrades to Perth Station while maintaining the integrity of the nearby heritage-listed Perth Station building and Horseshoe Bridge.

The project was delivered ahead of schedule in a delivery environment which included constructing the new tunnel just 1.2 metres above two existing rail tunnels, in the middle of Perth’s CBD, next to an operating rail network, and inside a busy train station.

Advisory Excellence Award – sponsored by Hansen Yuncken

Winner: Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct

Clayton Utz (Legal Adviser to the State); KPMG (Financial Adviser to the State); Evans & Peck (Transaction Adviser to the State); Capella (Financial Adviser to Darling Harbour Live); Herbert Smith Freehills (Legal Adviser to Darling Harbour Live)

Sydney International Convention

The Independent Judging Panel recognised the state and consortium’s advisors for the new convention centre PPP, which is now under delivery. The panel particularly identified the innovations around the project’s capital structure, the depth of integration between the precinct and its surrounds and the scale and complexity of the outcomes sought from the project.

When complete, the new Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct will catalyse a $2.5 billion transformation of Sydney’s Darling Harbour and deliver economic benefits exceeding $5 billion, across a site of more than 20 hectares.

The project has been procured by Infrastructure NSW through a competitive PPP process, with the Darling Harbour Live consortia, comprising of Lend Lease, HOSTPLUS, Capella Capital, AEG Ogden and Spotless, selected to deliver the project.

Through a sound process, smart structuring and the use of interactive and competitive bidding, the State has secured major complementary project outcomes, including new hotel space, residential and retail developments, with these benefits used to reduce the cost to taxpayers.

The project will be completed in 2016, equipping the NSW economy with world-class facilities to compete for a larger share of high yield, international conventions, trade shows and exhibitions.


Bendigo Hospital Project

Nominees: Clayton Utz (Legal Adviser to the State); KPMG (Financial Adviser to the State); Herbert Smith Freehills (Legal Adviser to Exemplar Health); Capella Capital (Financial Adviser and Sponsor to Exemplar Health); Gilbert + Tobin (Legal Adviser to Lenders)

The $630 million new Bendigo Hospital project will deliver Victoria’s largest regional hospital, providing high quality healthcare across the greater Bendigo community.

The project is one of the first in Australia to contemplate efficiencies in the capital structure, through a State contribution to lower the requirement for debt, once the asset is operating successfully.

Together, the advisers to the State and consortia contracted a complex health project with innovation in the operational phase capital structure, providing a live case study for other jurisdictions seeking to extract value from their capital programmes.

The project will see the facility managed and operated on behalf of the government, over a 25 year concession. Procured under the Partnerships Victoria framework, the operator will deliver hard and soft facilities management, with the Victorian Department of Health will deliver clinical services.

Road Maintenance Contestability Reform

Nominees: Evans & Peck (Commercial Adviser to the State); Ashurst (Legal Adviser to the State)

The NSW Government’s programme to contract out road maintenance – a key recommendation of the NSW Commission of Audit – has been used to drive efficiency into the maintenance task across State roads.

This programme has seen road maintenance across the Sydney region fundamentally reformed, with the three subregions put to the market on an innovative, medium-term, performance-based asset management contract. The reform saw the restructure of the sole outsourced region in Sydney’s north, and the two remaining publicly managed subregions competitively bid and outsourced.

The reform involved significant complexity, with the State’s advisors required to consider both internal reforms and the structuring of appropriate contracts and KPIs.

Contractor Excellence Award – sponsored by The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.

Winner: Hunter Expressway Stage 2


Hunter Expressway 

The $1.7 billion Hunter Expressway delivers a freeway grade link between the M1 Pacific Motorway near Seahampton, and the New England Highway west of Branxton, New South Wales, a corridor the judging panel regarded as highly important.

The Independent Judging Panel felt the project was a deserving category winner because it saw Thiess deliver a range of complex engineering solutions, including high-level, twin viaduct bridges, 23 other bridges and two challenging grade separated interchanges, all across land subject to mine subsidence and within a ‘live’ traffic environment.

The 13 kilometre $885 million Eastern section (Stage 2) of the Expressway was delivered by the Hunter Expressway Alliance comprising NSW Roads and Maritime Services, Thiess, Parsons Brinckerhoff and Hyder Consulting.

The Hunter Expressway, jointly funded by the NSW and Commonwealth governments, was a recommendation of Infrastructure Australia with the Commonwealth contribution funded from the initial allocation from the Building Australia Fund.

The alliance project was delivered ahead of time and under budget.


Joondalup Health Campus Redevelopment

Nominee: John Holland

The $390 million redevelopment of Western Australia’s Joondalup Health Campus provides beds for 498 public patients and 145 private patients as well as an integrated, 24 hour acute care health campus for Perth’s Northern Growth Corridor.

John Holland delivered the Joondalup redevelopment in the context of a major, operating hospital environment, requiring substantial innovation. The contractor worked with the hospital’s management to stage construction, allowing critical health services to be maintained. This required deep integration between project and health requirements, including flexible scheduling of works at times of low-demand, and managing vibration impacts for specific surgeries.

In spite of this very complex environment, John Holland delivered the Joondalup redevelopment on time, and on budget.

M80 Ring Road Upgrade – Calder Freeway to Sydney Road

Nominee: Thiess

The $2.25 billion upgrade of the M80 Ring Road provides additional connectivity between major Victorian economic hubs.

The $662 million, 10.7 kilometre Calder Freeway to Sydney Road section of the M80 Ring Road upgrade, one of seven packages, was delivered by construction partner Thiess, as part of the Tulla Sydney Alliance.

This segment of the project is the largest single contract ever let by VicRoads, and involved substantial delivery challenges. The works required careful scheduling and design, minimising the impacts on the more than 142,000 vehicles that access the corridor daily.

Thiess delivered this project on time and on budget.

Financial Excellence Award – sponsored by Rider Levett Bucknall

Winner: Acquisition of Port Botany and Port Kembla

IFM Investors (Sponsor); Morgan Stanley (Financial Adviser to the State); UBS (Financial Adviser to Consortium & Debt Arranger); Lazard (Financial Adviser to Consortium)


The Independent Judging Panel recognised this transaction because of the excellent return achieved through a well-structured sale process; and because of its importance in evidencing the broader reforms needed to fund new capital investment.

The privatisation of Sydney’s Port Botany and the Illawarra’s Port Kembla was the largest completed Australian M&A transaction of 2013, achieving a sale price of $5.07 billion.

Together with the broader New South Wales asset sales programme, this transaction has increased global interest in the domestic infrastructure market, attracting both brownfield purchasers to bid these assets; and greenfield competitors for the new projects funded through sale proceeds.

The privatisation was challenging to bidders because of the substantial call on debt and equity, and the requirement to transition the ports with no disruption to trade. The ports also had ongoing major capital works risks, with the Port Botany expansion (third stevedoring terminal), one of the largest port projects to be undertaken in Australia in the last 30 years, and the Enfield Intermodal Logistics Centre, both ongoing projects.


Sydney International Convention, Exhibition, and Entertainment Precinct

Nominees: KPMG (Financial Adviser to the State);Capella Capital (Financial Adviser to Consortium)

From the State’s perspective, the open and interactive bid process for the Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct project drove substantial complementary development outcomes, catalysing key outcomes such as hotel, residential and retail developments.

The project will also use a new financing innovation, which will see the State contribute 80 per cent of the financed debt in the years following commissioning, provided certain conditions are met.

This structure has been designed to retain the benefits of private capital during the higher risk development phase, allowing the State to buy out a substantial portion of the finance, reducing the cost of the project during the lower-risk operational phase.

AquaSure Refinancing

Nominees: Corrs Chambers Westgarth (Legal Adviser to the State); Macquarie Capital (Financial Adviser to AquaSure); PricewaterhouseCoopers (Financial Adviser to the State); Partnerships Victoria

AquaSure, the owner and operator of Victoria’s desalination plant, refinanced its $4.3 billion debt facility last year, following the asset’s commissioning in December 2012.

The project nominees used a range of innovations to produce a robust, de-risked and diversified capital structure, using a blend of bank and capital market debt to lower the financing cost for the project.

The refinancing saw AquaSure secure three, five and seven year finance from a strong group of domestic and international debt providers; comprising $3.7 billion of bank debt in an oversubscribed offering, two tranches of A$310 million and A$100 million in the US Private Placement market and $150 million raised in Australian Medium term Notes.

Restructuring of the Reliance Rail PPP

Nominees: NSW Treasury; Reliance Rail consisting of; Downer EDI, AMP Capital Investors, International Public Partnerships, Amber and Royal Bank of Scotland; Clayton Utz (adviser to the State); Lazard (adviser to the State); Royal Bank of Canada (Adviser to Reliance Rail); Gilbert + Tobin (Adviser to Reliance Rail)

The Reliance Rail PPP involved the staged delivery of 78 new, eight-car train sets to service Sydney’s suburban railway network, and was threatened by its optimistic and complex capital structure, the downgrade of monoline insurers, and the well-publicised interface and delivery challenges endured during the early stages of delivery.

In a well-considered restructure, the State provides a contingent $175 million equity investment in the project, which will see the Government assume full ownership, provided the trains have been delivered.

The restructuring of Reliance Rail has been recognised because of its focus on the best protection for taxpayers, and the best delivery of the project, despite its challenges.

Government Partnership Excellence Award – sponsored by the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet

Winner: Perth City Link rail project

The Perth City Link Rail Alliance consisting of; Public Transport Authority of Western Australia, John Holland and GHD; The Australian Government; City of Perth

Perth City Link

The $360 million Perth City Link project has transformed the shape and operation of Perth’s CBD, by sinking an existing suburban rail corridor to connect the city’s entertainment precinct to the Central Business District.

The Judging Panel noted that the project was delivered on budget and ahead of schedule in a complex delivery environment which included constructing the new tunnel just 1.2 metres above two existing rail tunnels, in the middle of Perth’s CBD, next to an operating rail network, and inside a busy train station.

The complex project required the grade separation of over 600 metres of the Fremantle rail line, reconnecting the CBD with Northbridge for the first time in over a century.

Through solid partnership and detailed engagement with stakeholders, the Perth City Link Rail Alliance was able to minimise construction impacts throughout the project and maintain its delivery and budget timeframes.

The Perth City Link rail project was jointly funded by local, State and Federal governments as part of the Nation Building Program.


Midlands Water Scheme

Nominees: Tasmanian Irrigation Pty Ltd, Australian Government, Tasmanian Government

The $104 million Midlands Water Scheme is Tasmania’s largest-ever irrigation infrastructure project. It is due to be commissioned in April 2014, and includes a 137 kilometre pipeline, stretching from Arthurs Lake to Jericho.

The project has been funded through a partnership between the Commonwealth and state governments, and private investment from local agricultural producers, representing a complex partnership between the community and government.

NSW Road Maintenance Contestability Reform

Nominees: NSW Roads & Maritime Services (Client); Evans & Peck (Commercial Adviser to the State); Ashurst (Legal Adviser to the State)

The NSW Government’s programme to contract out road maintenance has evolved the approach from the single existing outsourced subregion, to provide a contemporary example of better value procurement and management and a pathfinder for the broader reform of the cost and scope of publicly provided transport services.

The execution of road maintenance contestability has required a substantial restructure of Roads & Maritime Services, as well as detailed interactions and partnerships with the sector.

Operator and Service Provider Award – sponsored by Calibre Group

Winner: Operation of the Metropolitan Train Network

Metro Trains Melbourne


The Judging Panel recognised MTM for its exceptional operation and service because of the ongoing focus on improving quality, efficiency and reliability of rail services which has borne substantial performance results. In terms of punctuality, MTM is now consistently operating the network at 94 per cent on time running, with less than one per cent of scheduled services cancelled.

Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM) has operated Melbourne’s suburban railway network since it won the franchise in 2009. This sees MTM operate the network’s 203 six car train sets, operating across 830 kilometres of rail track and servicing 415,000 customers each day, across more than 14,400 services each week.

Since assuming operation of the network, MTM has drawn on its global experience, forming a series of Network Performance Improvement Teams, solely focussed on the delivery and reliability of MTMs services.


Prospect Water Filtration Plant

Nominee: Degrémont Australia

Prospect Water Filtration Plant, one of the world’s largest, has capacity to treat drinking water for around 85 per cent of Sydney’s population, or almost four million people, and opened in 1996.

Over the past 17 years of the 25 year concession, Degrémont Australia has operated the plant to a high standard, with an excellent safety, technology and maintenance record. As a key component of Sydney’s potable water supply chain, Degrémont operates the plant with 100 per cent production availability, 24 hours per day.

Additionally, the plant has met or exceeded its KPIs, while maintaining a safety record of more than 1,500 days without a single hour of lost time due to injury.

SMART Infrastructure Project Award – sponsored by The Federal Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development

Winner: Opal Card

Transport for NSW and the Pearl Consortium consisting of; Cubic Transportation Systems (Australia), Downer EDI, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Parkeon & epay Australia Pty Ltd


The $1.2 billion Opal smart ticketing system, one of the largest of its type in the world, is now in the late stages of a successful commissioning, with more than 5000 buses and 300 train stations due to be on-line by the end of 2014; on top of the Ferry network which is already fully implemented.

The Judging Panel noted the exceptional work that has been undertaken on what is an extremely complex project. The project has already attracted widespread support from users because of its time savings and simplicity of use.

Transport for NSW and PEARL have used deep consumer engagement, large scale technology trials and attractive fare structures to cap costs for commuters, and provide strong price incentives for leisure travel outside of peak periods. The system uses GPS to calculate distance based fares on the bus network, and uses world’s best encryption to protect users journey and payment information.

The Opal has also been designed to interface with emerging contactless payment systems, such as Visa Paywave and MaterCard PayPass; and Near Field Communication standards for mobile payments; meaning that the system has the potential to transition to direct card or phone payments in the future.


Midlands Water Scheme

Nominee: Tasmanian Irrigation Pty Ltd

The $104 million Midlands Water Scheme is Tasmania’s largest-ever irrigation infrastructure project. It is due to be completed in April 2014, and will begin operating in the 2014/15 irrigating season.

The construction includes a 6.5 MW mini hydro-electric generator that will produce 4645 GWh of electricity a year. Only around one fifth of the energy output generated by the mini hydro-electric plant will be required to power the three pumping stations across the project; leaving the generation capacity to be diverted back into the Tasmanian Electricity grid, in turn generating a revenue stream to offset other operational costs.