2013 National Infrastructure Awards

2013 Annual Infrastructure Oration and National Infrastructure Awards

Infrastructure Partnerships Australia hosted the Annual Infrastructure Oration and the 2013 National Infrastructure Awards, at a gala dinner in Sydney.

The 2013 Annual Infrastructure Oration and National Infrastructure Awards drew together almost 600 senior industry leaders from across Australia's governments and business sector.

The event is important for IPA, because through the Oration, it allows a senior business or policy leader to reflect on their career, experiences and the challenges ahead for the national infrastructure sector; while the National Infrastructure Awards recognise excellence in project delivery and professional disciplines.

As with previous years, the National Infrastructure Awards were conferred by an independent judging panel. This year's panel considered more than 60 nominations across six categories.

The 2013 Independent Judging Panel consisted of:

  • Rick Turchini, (Panel Chair) - former IPA Board Member and NBN Co Director;
  • Adrian Kloeden, Chairman of Serco Asia Pacific;
  • David Webster, Deputy Secretary, Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance, Victoria;
  • Mr Peter Regan, Executive Director, Head of Infrastructure Finance, NSW Treasury; and
  • The Hon Mark Birrell, Chairman of Infrastructure Partnerships Australia. 

Colin Biggers & Paisley Partner, Geoff Standen (left) and Hon Mark Birrell (right), present the award for Project of the Year to the Hon Mike Baird, NSW Treasurer.

Infrastructure Partnerships Australia acknowledges the generous support of our Oration Sponsor, the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ;

And our category sponsors:

The Department of Infrastructure & Transport

The NSW Department of Premier & Cabinet


Colin Biggers & Paisley


Hansen Yuncken; and

Rider Levett Bucknall 

Project of the Year - sponsored by Colin Biggers & Paisley

Winner: NSW budget reform process including the Refinancing of Sydney Desalination Plant Pty Limited

NSW Government (represented by the Department of Premier and Cabinet, NSW Treasury and NSW Department of Finance and Services); Sydney Water Corporation; The Hastings Funds Management managed funds, Utilities Trust of Australia and The Infrastructure Fund; Goldman Sachs; KPMG; King and Wood Mallesons; GHD; Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board

The NSW Budget Reform Process, including the sale of the Sydney Desalination Plant, was recognised as the Project of the Year in 2013.
This is the first time that a brownfield, rather than greenfield project has been recognised. In making the decision, the Judging Panel decided that the policy leadership and broader principle being advanced in New South Wales, should be recognised, because the process has been deliberately designed to liberate budget capacity to fund new projects.

The Panel found that the honest discussion and clear process to reinvest capital proceeds provides a reform template for other jurisdictions; and because it has allowed the NSW Government to rebase public confidence and acceptance of the need to recycle capital and drive efficiency to fund new infrastructure investments.

Like most Australian jurisdictions, the NSW Government is facing opposing requirements to invest in new infrastructure on the one hand, while maintaining the State's fiscal position. The NSW Government has responded by developing a staged process to offload existing assets, such as the Sydney Desalination Plant; two major sea ports; and the State's generation assets; as part of an accelerating process to recycle capital to fund new infrastructure.

The NSW Government announced this approach from Opposition, creating a capital fund, Restart NSW, to provide taxpayers with comfort that the proceeds of asset sales and efficiency dividends from the reform of public service delivery, are dedicated to infrastructure investment.

The first of these transactions, the privatisation of the Sydney Desalination Plant, was extremely successful, achieving a sale price of $2.3 billion. Further innovation in the structuring of the transaction meant that the asset came off the State's balance sheet, freeing up substantial headroom to allow for the delivery of new infrastructure projects.


Royal North Shore Hospital Redevelopment
Nominee: NSW Health Infrastructure and InfraShore - Consisting of Royal Bank of Scotland, Thiess, ISS Facilities Management and Wilson Parking

The Royal North Shore is one of Sydney's oldest and most iconic hospitals, providing the backbone of Sydney's northern area public health network, which services a population of more than one million people.

The $1.1 billion project required substantial partnership and collaboration, because it needed to consolidate more than 53 existing buildings into an integrated, purpose built and world class new hospital precinct. Additional complexities existed, because of the need to continue providing health services from the site, with hospital functions decanted between the old and new facilities during construction.

The Royal North Shore Hospital is a signature project for New South Wales, because of its complexity, scale and substantial operational requirements.

RMIT Swanston Academic Building
Nominee: Brookfield Multiplex; RMIT University

The complex project was delivered in the centre of Melbourne, providing 35,000 square meters of floor space over 12 levels in a new, purpose built and architecturally iconic building. The Swanston Academic Building includes 12 lecture theatres, 64 teaching spaces and 10 specialist learning venues for the university.

The Swanston Academic Building was designed to wrap around the historic Oxford Scholar Hotel on Swanston Street; with the building recognised for its sustainable design principles, achieving a Five Green Star rating. The building boasts angular sunshades and a signature, two-storey cantilevered social space protruding over Swanston Street. The facility is now home to 850 academic and administration staff and has a student capacity of 6,000. The project was delivered 108 days ahead of schedule and $3.4 million under budget.

Port Botany - Grade Separation Project
Nominee: AECOM; Baulderstone; Douglas Partners; Sydney Ports Corporation
This project involved the construction of an elevated road network within and around Penrhyn Road, the main entrance to the Port precinct. The new elevated road network has eliminated the existing level road and rail crossings, which have been constraining truck and rail access to the Port.

The $60 million project comprised of eight major elements, including a large elevated roundabout bridge structure, three access ramps utilising reinforced earth wall techniques, and four precast Super T girder bridge spans, linking the ramps to the roundabout to create the elevated road network.

The project was delivered within the complex operating environment of Australia's second largest container port The works were delivered safely, on time and under budget, with substantial innovations and the use of new construction methodologies. While relatively modest in terms of project scale, the judging panel recognised the project for its complexity, its excellence in delivery, and its measurable improvement to the function of the Port precinct.

Chairman's Prize awarded to Hon Bill English MP

The Chairman's Prize is the only National Infrastructure Award that recognises an individual's contribution to the sector. The prestigious award recognises strong leadership in business, the public sector or business, and is not necessarily awarded each year. 

Previous winners include:

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

In 2013, IPA's Chairman Mark Birrell presented the Chairman's Prize to the Hon. Bill English MP, Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand and the Minister of Finance - who flew in from New Zealand to accept the Award.

Figure 4: IPA Chairman, the Hon Mark Birrell, presents New Zealand's Deputy Prime Minister with the 2013 Chairman's Prize

The decision to award Mr English marks the first time that Australia's infrastructure sector has recognised an international figure. Mr English was selected because of the substantial engagement he has had with Australia's infrastructure sector - and because of his personal determination that has seen New Zealand develop into a sophisticated infrastructure market since the election of the Key Government in 2008.

Mr English has overseen a range of transformations to the New Zealand policy and governance framework, starting with a philosophical commitment to modern procurement models and the creation of a Treasury Infrastructure Unit to lead the reformation of policy and procurement models.

The recent Wiri Prison project is a case in point. Mr English, a keen proponent of reform, has ensured an innovative contract which ties the private sector's payment mechanism to a measurable reduction in reoffending rates. The procurement of the Transmisssion Gully road PPP and other, smaller social infrastructure projects, and the massive redevelopment of Christchurch were also reasons for his recognition.

New Zealand policymakers faced an even more complex political environment for microeconomic and procurement reform, given the substantial reform fatigue that existed in that country, following the very rapid pace  of deregulation and reform that occurred in the mid 1980s. Together, Bill English and John Key have been able to undertake significant and complex reforms, that have seen the Government increase the level of GST taxation and begin the process of asset sales, commencing with minority stakes in four State-owned energy companies, and Air New Zealand.

IPA congratulates the Hon Bill English on his considered and deliberate reform to enhance opportunities for a trans-Tasman infrastructure market. 

Advisory Excellence Award - sponsored by Hansen Yuncken

Winner: Diamantina Power Station Project Financing
The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.; Morgan Stanley

The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ and Morgan Stanley has won Advisory Excellence for the successful project financing of the Diamantina Power Station project. The project includes the construction of the 242 megawatt Diamantina Power Station, the 60 megawatt back-up Leichhardt Power Station, and associated infrastructure at Mount Isa.

The Judging Panel particularly noted the innovation in achieving project finance. The Diamantina plant will be delivered by CTEC, with Leichhardt developed by Leighton Contractors. Long-term maintenance will be provided by Siemens and DPS. Limited recourse project financing was secured from five banks, including ANZ, BTMU, NAB, OCBC and WBC.

The circa $570 million is currently under construction and is due to commence operation in early 2014.

When completed, the project will secure energy supply to Mount Isa Mines and Ergon Energy. 

Contractor Excellence Award - sponsored by The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ

Winner: Royal North Shore Hospital Redevelopment

Thiess has been awarded the Contractor Excellence, for the delivery of the Royal North Shore Hospital project, delivered under a Public Private Partnership.

The $1.1 billion project is the largest hospital redevelopment in the State's history, and was delivered in a challenging political environment. The complex project involved the consolidation of more than 53 outdated buildings to deliver an integrated, modern health campus.

The innovative design includes a new Community Health Facility, new Acute Services Building, Douglas Building Refurbishment, multi-level car park and additional works including pedestrian link bridges.

The project is a showcase for how the private sector can deliver a complex new health facility on a brownfield site. The project was delivered ahead of time and on-budget, in spite of hundreds of variations during delivery. 

Financial Excellence Award - sponsored by Rider Levett Bucknall

Winner: Sunshine Coast University Hospital
Capella Capital

Capella Capital has been deemed winner for Financial Excellence on the massive $1.8 billion Sunshine Coast University Hospital PPP.

The project will deliver a new, state of the art 738 bed tertiary teaching hospital - the centrepiece of health care for the Sunshine Coast.

The project is Queensland's first hospital PPP - and the only new (not replacement) hospital developed anywhere in Australia in more than 20 years. The hospital will open in late 2016 with 450 beds and be fitted out to 738 beds by 2021.

Capella Capital led the consortium, with four banks providing debt, led by NAB and Westpac. The project's procurement was undertaken against the backdrop of a State election, with financial close achieved after the election of a new government.

The project reached financial close on 31 July 2012, with construction commencing late last year.

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

Winner: Delivery of non-clinical services for the Fiona Stanley Hospital
Nominee: Serco Australia; The Department of Health, Western Australia

Serco Australia and the Western Australian Department of Health have been judged as winner for Government Partnership Excellence, for the contracting out of non-clinical services at the $2 billion Fiona Stanley Hospital.

When it opens in 2014, the 783-bed Fiona Stanley Hospital will be the major tertiary public hospital servicing south metropolitan Perth - one of the most rapidly growing areas of the country.

Under the contract, Serco will deliver or manage and integrate 28 nonclinical services and manage more than 1,200 staff - a pathfinder for the broader reform of health service delivery and costs in the Australian public health market.

Serco will develop and commission one of the most advanced ICT networks in operation in the world, ensuring that patient health outcomes are managed from admission to discharge and offering substantial opportunities to reduce waste in the delivery of health services.

The contracting out of Fiona Stanley's non-clinical services faced substantial opposition from some quarters, but the strong outcome focus and partnership between the WA Department of Health and Sercoallowed the contract to proceed.

Operator and Service Provider Excellence Award - sponsored by Deloitte

Winner: The Operation of Sydney Ferries
Harbour City Ferries consisting of; Veolia Transdev & Transfield Services

Harbour City Ferries has been recognised as the winner for Operator and Service Provider Excellence for the operation of Sydney's iconic passenger ferry services.

Harbour City Ferries began operating the Sydney Ferries network in mid-2012, five months earlier than scheduled. During the early phase of operations, patronage and on-time running have improved substantially, with the franchised delivery model reducing the cost to the taxpayer.

The reform of ferry services has been a difficult issue for New South Wales, with several previous planned contracting out arrangements failing, due to industrial pressure. The competitive bid framework has seen a new, performance based and customer-focused contract structure, with substantial incentives to deliver better services for customers, at greater efficiency for the taxpayer.

The project is an important one for New South Wales, because it continues to build the public case for a broader reform of transport service delivery in Australia's most populous city. The contract also provides for the development of new, cost neutral routes and an ongoing process of customer-service focused reforms to timetables, routes and passenger amenities.

SMART Infrastructure Project - sponsored by The Department of Infrastructure and Transport

Winner: IBM Townsville Smart Water Pilot

IBM has been judged as winner for the Smart Infrastructure Project Award, for the Smart Water Pilot in Townsville.

This pilot project has seen smart water meters installed across 300 households, providing high levels of data about the cost, time and amount of water consumed - allowing consumers to make informed choices about their access to potable water.

The IBM solution collects and analyses smart water meter data to provide personalised and actionable insights via web browsers, so households can better understand their water consumption patterns in near real time, compare and contrast it with others in the community, be alerted of potential anomalies in usage such as post-meter leaks, and be informed about the cost impact of changes in consumption patterns.

The $200,000 pilot will provide an important case study for how visible consumer information can underpin greater choice and efficiency in the delivery of infrastructure services, including water, energy and others.

View a list of all category finalists HERE 

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