Melbourne Metro, Australia
John Laing has a 30% stake in the Cross Yarra Partnership, a public private partnership established to deliver the tunnels and stations as a part of Melbourne’s Metro Tunnel Project. The new end-to-end line from Melbourne’s north west to south east, including five new underground stations, is due to go live in 2025 and will greatly improve the capacity of rail lines across the city’s network (in many instances by over 45%) and reduce travel times for passengers in Melbourne, Australia’s largest growing city.
The project is one of the largest transport infrastructure projects ever undertaken in Australia and has been underpinned by a number of integrated environmental, social and economic commitments. A key to this has been a long-term mindset to consider the risks and opportunities in delivering a positive legacy to the city.
The team has a dedicated sustainability team and a sustainability management plan that is managed and reported against on a quarterly basis.
The project’s design includes measures for all high and extreme climate change risks to ensure the infrastructure, stations and precincts are resilient to the projected impacts of a changing climate over the asset’s design life. This is in accordance with the adopted climate change projections and scenarios within the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority Climate Change Risk Assessment and Climate Change Adaptation Plan.
The project must ensure that sustainability principles are embedded into the design of the tunnel, stations and portals. It has adopted green building practices and is on track to achieve a minimum:
- Five star certified rating under the Green Business of Australia (‘GBCA’) Green Star Rating Tool for all stations (in 2020, the GBCA awarded a six-star green star design review rating for all five stations);
- Infrastructure sustainability (‘IS’) score of 84 (‘Leading’) under the IS Rating Tools (v1.2) for the works; and
- A minimum of three points under the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia’s Innovation Credit.
Nature and ecology
Equally, the project has been committed to broader environmental objectives across a number of themes, a number of independent assessors have been engaged to assist with managing:
- Air quality
- Construction noise and vibration
- Trees and the natural environment
- Property condition surveys
Health and safety
The project team is committed to the safety of the project and has an external Independent Safety Auditor (‘ISA’) process established which provides for the auditing of the project’s Occupational Health & Safety Management Plans. The ISA provides a report which identifies any non-conformances. The project develops an audit action plan to close out non-conformances and the ISA report and associated action plan are provided to the project company and the State, where progress to close out actions is monitored. As of December 2020, the total recorded injury frequency rate had decreased from 6.37 to 5.71 (injuries/hours).
Respite, relocation and noise management for residents during construction
The project has an active number of community reference groups along the project route to provide a forum for engagement throughout the construction. The project has assured residents’ protection with a number of standards governing noise, dust and disruption and with the facility for alternative accommodation at times of unavoidable works. The project also uses acoustic sheds to enclose construction sites and minimise noise and dust.