The most extensive upgrade to the Stuart Highway in decades will be funded with $25 million provided by BHP Billiton following the approval of the proposed Olympic Dam expansion.

Announcing the upgrade, the SA Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy Tom Koutsantonis  said it was anticipated that the Olympic Dam expansion will lead to hundreds of trucks creating increased traffic movements as construction material is transferred from Port Augusta to Roxby Downs.

“Long after that work is completed, the upgraded highway will remain providing better access to regional South Australia and providing economic benefits to Whyalla, Port Augusta and Port Pirie.

Details have been released of the $150 million Calliope Crossroads Upgrade to improve safety at the Bruce Highway and Dawson Highway intersection, west of Gladstone.

Aurecon has announced it will establish a permanent office at Roxby Downs, South Australia to support developments proposed for South Australia’s mid-North region.

Consult Australia has adopted the principles of the Department of Infrastructure’s Creating Places for People: an Urban Design Protocol for Australian Cities.

The Gladstone Area Water Board is building a $100 million pipline that will carry water from the mainland to Curtis Island where four coal seam gas liquification plants are being built.

Leighton Holdings has announced it has entered a 50/50 joint venture with global alternative asset management firm, the Carlyle Group, to acquire the 3,752 square metre Mosaic site from the Brisbane Housing Company.

The Pacific 2012 International Maritime Exposition at Darling Harbour will see the prototype launch of the world-first Unmanned Ocean Vessel (UOV) to be totally powered by renewable wind and solar energy together.

The Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator has called for comment on on the amendments to the Regulation 19B Legislative Instrument – Small-scale Technology Certificate (STC) methodology for solar water heaters and air source heat pump water heaters

The Federal Government has announced it will provide a $64 million advance to the OneSteel Limited under the Steel Transformation Plan (STP).

A joint venture between Thiess and Belgian company Besix has won a $260 million contract to develop the breakwater and materials offloading facility (MOF) of the Chevron-operated Wheatstone Project, a liquefied natural gas (LNG) and domestic gas project in Western Australia.

The Queensland Co-ordinator General has declared the Central Queensland Integrated Rail Project (CQIRP) as a “significant project”, clearing the way for QR National to embark on the environmental impact statement.

An industry briefing by the NSW Government has provided details of the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor, a jointly funded initiative supported by the Commonwealth and NSW Governments to improve the capacity and reliability for freight trains on the Main North Line between North Strathfield and Broadmeadow, Newcastle.

Aurecon and mining services company JKTech have entered into a strategic alliance to be known as JK Aurecon to provide assessment of mine processing and enabling infrastructure.

The South Australian Government is calling for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from groups or individuals to develop and revitalise Adelaide’s Riverbank precinct.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has appointed an engineering expert to drive the Government’s plan to make Queensland a world centre of engineering excellence.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has been conducting research into how it can contribute to the statistical measurement of 'green growth', focusing on green building.  A draft consultation paper has been produced that reports the findings of that research and makes suggestions as to measuring green building.

Engineers Australia has declared 2012 the Year of the Regional Engineering Team.

Recruitment specialist Hays has released its January to March quarterly report into labour and skills demand, examining the ‘current hotspots of recruitment activity and trends’.

The Australian Industry Group (AI Group) has formally called on Federal Parliament to reject the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Amendment (Transition to Fair Work) Bill that would see the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner (ABCC) abolished.

The Federal Government has released a report analyzing the extent to which existing regulatory frameworks support action by major infrastructure sectors in adapting to climate change.

The Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committees is conducting an inquiry into the nexus between the demand for infrastructure delivery and the shortage of appropriate engineering and related employment skills in Australia.

The committee has been asked to consider the implications of the shortage for infrastructure delivery and the impact on economic development, cost, efficiency, safety and disputation, and the long term outsourcing of engineering activities by government on skills development and retention in both the private and public sectors.

The committee will consider options to address the skill shortage for engineers and related trades, for infrastructure delivery using alternative procurement models, and to consider effective strategies to develop and retain engineering talent in the private and public sectors through industry training and development, at enterprise, project and whole-of-sector levels. Incentives to the private sector through the procurement process to undertake skills development, and the consequences of skills shortage in the construction sector to the public sectors’ capacity to effectively procure and manage infrastructure projects will also be explored.

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