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A Friday Note - 29 September 2017

Dear all,

It only got to 39 degrees or so down the Strzelecki track Wednesday and then cooled down. The blokes in our camps suggested I come back in February to avoid the flies – at 55 degrees it’s even too hot for them.

SAFETY

A reminder to all travelling on the roads this long weekend to take extra care.

Fatigue is a real danger on long trips - plan your trip and take regular breaks. Wear your seatbelt and drive to the speed limit. We can never afford to be complacent about these things on the road.

As of midnight on Thursday, September 28 there had been 78 fatalities on South Australian roads so far this year.

REMOTE ROADS

As one heavy vehicle operator told me, the Birdsville and Strzelecki roads are the best he has ever seen and a real credit to our men and women on the roads and the people who support them. (I hope the rain doesn’t do too much damage).  

In all my meetings with staff I am reminded that we can’t communicate enough what is happening in the department and in their area. This applies to all of us from bottom to top and back again.  

Working in this environment is tough – away from home for 18 days straight with limited communication. Recognising that connection to family is very important, DPTI is committed to improving the access to communication for our employees and contractors within these outback areas.

Food safety is also at the top of my list for these workers.

RAIL MAINTENANCE

More evidence of the ingenuity within our Department.

Pictured below is the new road/rail track maintenance truck that is now being used to maintain the metropolitan rail network at night.

The truck has the ability to drive on the metro rail network, as well as the road and has been welcomed by Rail Maintenance staff, who’d been using a 25-year-old truck.

The new truck provides up-to-date ergonomic and safety features which makes working on track at night safer and easier for track maintenance staff.

Field Service fleet unit at Walkley Heights managed the intricate and complex truck build and delivered it to Rail Maintenance at Mile End in May.

Shannon Fuller, Harry Olsen and Max Benzi from Rail Maintenance were instrumental in the initial design and specification requirements, and Matt Pike from Field Services Fleet managed the build to completion.

DEPARTMENTAL MOVES

Brenton Pike, the SA Registrar General, has resigned to take up a new position with the new operator of Land services. This is a terrific acknowledgement of Brenton’s skills and leadership and I thank him for his many years of service to the department and government.  

I am sure that now that he is on the “other side of the fence” he will work with us closely particularly about a number of sensitive staffing transitional issues, as well as ensuring that the new operator continues to provide first-class land registry services to the people of South Australia.  I wish him all the best.

I would like to congratulate Don Hogben on his new role of General Manager Inter Governmental Relations.

Don will be focusing on building on existing Commonwealth relationships to secure support and funding for future infrastructure builds. This is a significant challenge for the State and Don will bring a high level of expertise and experience into this role.

Phil Lawes will be acting in the role of General Manager Planning and Transport Policy for the next four weeks while Don is on leave. Arrangements to support Don taking on this exciting new role will be developed over the next few weeks.

We are saying farewell to a great deal of experience from our Department, with 17 staff joining the National Heavy Vehicles Regulator. Their roles have seen them traverse the length and breadth of the State as they protect the infrastructure of South Australia’s road network and safety of all road users.

MARS SURFACE PROJECT

DPTI Facilities Service Bryce Heath successfully delivered a fascinating project on behalf of DECD and the Hamilton Secondary College Space School.

The creation of a command control centre and Mars surface simulation landscape (pictured) included a lighting and audio visual set-up to rival most movie sets.

The Mars geological landscape required sourcing material from the Adelaide Hills, Mount Gambier and regional Victoria.

MAJOR WORKS

We are making a big push in the coming weeks with many of our major projects really ramping up.

Stage 2 of the City Tram Extension will begin this week, a significant step towards delivering an expanded tram service that will service the East End of Adelaide, as well as the Festival Plaza precinct.

There will be lane restrictions along North Terrace and delays can be expected in the area.

I’d urge everyone to be prepared and be patient while these works are being undertaken.

AUSTROADS

Austroads is the peak organisation of Australasian road transport and traffic agencies. DPTI is a member and a lot of the work is directly related to our core business activities in roads.

There is plenty of interesting reading on road-related matters in their latest newsletter here.

BOSTON MARATHON

Congratulations to Tahnee Sutton from the Office of Design and Architecture SA, who ran in the famous Boston Marathon last Sunday. She completed the 42.2km run in 4 hours and 43 minutes – a great effort.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY

This week’s Flashback Friday is of tram tracks being laid in Victoria Square in the early 1900s.


SRSA GRS 13684/1 unit 4 no.13

Have a good weekend

Michael Deegan