Turner & Townsend Director, Darren Munton, shares his insights on the ever-evolving infrastructure sector, and the effects today’s political and economical climate has on the industry.
Across Australia, the scale of investment required in the economic infrastructure sector is unprecedented. The demands placed on rail, road, air, ports and utilities infrastructure, Darren Munton, Director at Turner & Townsend explains, “is continually increasing due to population growth, the continued expansion of the major metropolitan cities and increasing personal mobility”. Investment in infrastructure is also required to generate much needed employment opportunities and to boost productivity during the transition to a balanced economy as mining construction activity reduces from its peak. As a consequence, both federal and State Governments are under immense pressure to increase investment in infrastructure projects to ensure continued economic growth for the country.
Munton believes “the scale of the investment required, competing requirements for similar levels of investment in social infrastructure together with limited public finances to fund new infrastructure means the government has to look at ways to increase private sector participation to help finance and deliver major capital projects and programs. PPP models, asset restructuring and alternative innovative financing arrangements all have a role in unlocking funds, encouraging private sector involvement and providing confidence to industry and voters in the nations’ infrastructure plans. The private sector in turn will need to demonstrate the value for money it brings to the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of key assets.”
In this political and economic climate, “ensuring projects are efficient, functional, adaptable and cost effective throughout their life cycle is more important than ever,” says Munton. Advances in technology and engineering means todays infrastructure projects are bigger and more complex than ever before. Effective program management is therefore critical to achieving project objectives.
Turner & Townsend has 70 years’ experience working on many of the world’s largest infrastructure projects including North West Rail Link and Sydney Light Rail here in Australia, Cross Rail in London and Doha Metro in Qatar. “Our services, processes and systems ensure our client’s infrastructure projects and programs are successful by providing alignment of their business case, program objectives, operational requirements and delivery timescales,” he says.