At Transurban, we have a pragmatic approach to sustainability. We focus on identifying and putting into practice initiatives and programs that deliver real-world and lasting benefits under the three areas of our sustainability strategy.
These areas – ‘Be good neighbours’, ‘Use less’, and ‘Think long term’ – are not confined to our sustainability program, they apply to all that we do at Transurban. They are what we think about in our day-to-day operations and business and are fundamental to the way we approach our longer-term objectives.
In FY15, we continued to build on the sustainability successes of past years, and also pursued some new opportunities.
Early in 2015, Transurban set up a challenge for the community to come up with ideas on how we could transform a vacant and overgrown piece of land in the heart of Melbourne’s arts precinct. The site, known as the Power Street Loop, sits alongside one of the CityLink tunnel exits and is prominent in the view from neighbouring buildings.
We received a tremendous response from the community. Next year will see landscaping and construction work begin to bring the winning design idea to life and give the neighbourhood a striking landmark.
The Power Street Loop rejuvenation is one of the key projects in our sustainability program and is a great example of how we have delivered results in our three focus areas over the past year.
During FY15, we have continued to achieve strong financial results and achievements in operations and development that reflect this approach and have created value for our government partners, the community, our customers and our investors.
We have completed two major projects – the 95 Express Lanes in Northern Virginia, USA, and the widening of the M5 motorway in Sydney and both have resulted in major travel time savings, increased reliability for motorists, and lower carbon emissions.
We have construction projects underway or being planned in all of our Australian markets and each of these will address long-standing transport issues. In Sydney we are building NorthConnex, a 9km tunnel linking the M2 motorway with the Pacific Highway, which is the major freight route along the east coast and long regarded as the ‘missing link’ in Sydney’s orbital network. This project is expected to take 5,000 trucks a day off local streets in Sydney’s North West when it opens in 2019.
In Melbourne, construction starts in October to widen the western section of CityLink, which has become an increasingly busy link from the airport to the city, while in Brisbane we are widening the northern section of the major Gateway Motorway corridor to relieve a bottleneck that occurs where the road narrows.
We acquired and took over management of Queensland Motorways last July. Over the course of the year, we have undertaken an extensive range of activities to not only integrate back-office operations but to introduce the Transurban values, management structure and employee programs.
This year we have also taken a prominent role in progressing public discussion and debate around the funding of road infrastructure. Today, funding for Australia’s road expenditure requirements is raised mainly through fuel excise. Our society’s progress towards more fuel-efficient cars, while good for the environment, means that the current funding model is becoming less effective. Reform to the funding model is therefore critical in protecting the liveability and productivity of our cities. As a long-term owner and operator of toll roads, we take seriously our role and responsibility to ensure that our cities continue to be great places in which to live and work.
Transurban’s vision is to strengthen communities through transport. The report shows the numerous projects, programs and initiatives undertaken during the year that have helped us move closer to realising this vision.
Chief Executive Officer