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Innovation

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Innovation and capability

During the year, a one-day tailored innovation capability training program was developed and delivered in-house to more than 60 departmental staff in three sessions, as well as invited staff from other Queensland Government agencies.

The 'Innovation Degustation' is an introduction to the innovation process, and takes a hands-on approach to applying design-led thinking and innovation techniques to work problems. The program will be further refined and delivered to additional cohorts across the department.

TMR MIXr 2017

In March, the department hosted the TMR MIXr 2017. In line with the state government's Advance Queensland initiative, the event aimed to connect industry, local government, state government, and academia with opportunities for collaboration, partnerships and problem solving.

TMR MIXr supports our Strategic Plan, fulfilling innovation by connecting with industry to design for the future. It also fosters a customer-centric culture within TMR, ensuring our services and projects are delivered with the customer at the centre of everything we do.

The event highlighted some of the work being undertaken in TMR, and also educated industry about TMR's priorities and future challenges. It provided an opportunity for TMR and other government agencies to be exposed to the innovative research and technology being developed in the private sector.

The program featured an opening keynote and panel presentation by the then Queensland Chief Scientist Professor Suzanne Miller, the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur Mr Mark Sowerby and Dr David Tuffley from Griffith University.

Dr David Tuffley,  Senior Lecturer, School of Information and Communication Technology, Griffith University addressed TMR MIXr attendees on the social impact of technology

Dr David Tuffley, Senior Lecturer, School of Information and Communication Technology, Griffith University addressed TMR MIXr attendees on the social impact of technology

The panel was facilitated by futurist and master of ceremonies Mr Chris Riddell. The program also contained three presentations profiling TMR's business challenges, as well as transport industry research and development (R&D) solutions. The afternoon consisted of facilitated networking sessions featuring 35 industry organisations hosting tables that were visited by participants for timed 15 minute meetings.

Feedback from the TMR MIXr 2017 was overwhelmingly positive, with 66 per cent of industry survey respondents and 43 per cent of government survey respondents indicating they would pursue opportunities for collaboration as a result of the event.

Innovation Symposia

The department hosted two Innovation Symposia during the year, designed to expose TMR staff to thought leaders and their work on the future of transport.

The second symposia focused on the digital economy and was held in October 2016. Professor Ben Hankamer, University of Queensland (UQ) presented a keynote speech titled, 'Greener cities – growing roads: Exploring the case for the integration of microalgae production systems into future road infrastructure'. Feedback from the Symposia was positive with TMR staff expressing a desire for more presentations in the future.

In August 2016, Dr Hugh Bradlow, Chief Scientist, Telstra Corporation presented a keynote presentation titled 'A disruptive vision for the future of personalised transport'. Dr Bradlow is a global leader in telecommunications technology. He was named by Global Telecom's Business as one of the top 100 most powerful executives in the global telecoms industry two years in a row. Results from the post event survey indicate 98 per cent of staff who attended thought the presentation was relevant to their work and/or team.

Community of Innovation Architects

We recruited 32 Innovation Architects, a virtual team of innovation champions offering strategic innovation guidance. Through regular meetings and informal interactions, the community has continued to provide insights into innovation opportunities and challenges across the department, and guide the development of innovation in action within TMR. The network has provided a forum for enhancing connections across TMR, with innovation architects from different branches collaborating on projects identified through network meetings.

Innovation Council

TMR's Innovation Council was formed to oversee the delivery and implementation of the innovation program of work.

The council convenes every two months and its responsibilities include:

Members of TMR's Executive Leadership Team and Senior Leadership Team form the Council, along with invited internal and external guests.

Following are just some of the department's innovative projects throughout 2016–17.

Building Information Modelling

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a digital representation of a building or structure that can be used to make reliable decisions during its entire lifecycle, from design through to demolition. This process is being piloted in 2017, read in more detail about BIM.

Using foam for flood-resilient roads

Foamed bitumen is a great example of how TMR is developing a new technology to address emerging challenges. This cost-effective solution provides a strong, flexible and durable pavement structure, with improved longevity and flood resilience.

Many of Queensland's roads are comprised of granular materials on silty, clayey subgrades which have struggled to cope as traffic loading increases over time. Through in situ (see glossary page 231) foamed bitumen stabilisation, these weak pavements can be turned into strong, flexible and durable structures.

In situ foamed bitumen stabilisation mixes hot bitumen with cold water and air to form a foam. While in this foam state, the bitumen is mixed with gravel and hydrated lime to form a material which is strong, flexible and durable.

Foamed bitumen pavements have performed well in extreme weather events, including the recent ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie when three metre floodwaters inundated Camp Cable Road on the Mt Lindesay Highway. The foamed bitumen pavement remained completely intact.

We have before and after pictures we could use to show this.

Camp Cable Road during recent flood

Camp Cable Road during recent flood

Camp Cable Road straight after recent flood

Camp Cable Road straight after recent flood

Using tyres for sustainable roads

Millions of tyres are discarded in Queensland each year, with most finding their way into landfill or overseas for destruction TMR has joined efforts with Australian Roads Research Board (ARRB) and the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) to maximise the use of recycled tyre rubber in road surfacing.

Through the National Asset Centre of Excellence research program, the EHP-funded project aims to enable increased use of Crumb Rubber Modified (CRM) binder in both asphalt and sprayed seals. If CRM binder were used more widely on both state and local roads in Queensland, a significant proportion of used tyres could be put to beneficial use.

Recycling rubber tyres into our roads represents a win for the environment and the hip pocket. Nearly 4000 tonnes of used tyres could be recycled into Queensland's roads each year. Pavements and seals using CRM binder may last longer and perform better than those using conventional bituminous binders, lengthening the life of pavements through improved binder durability and water proofing.

In partnership with EHP, ARRB and Tyre Stewardship Australia, the use of CRM binder in sprayed seals in two projects has delivered almost $170,000 in savings, and resulted in an estimated 40,000 tyres being recycled rather than contributing to landfill.

Associated authorities

We work collaboratively with two statutory authorities, four Government Owned Corporations (GOC) and one Publicly owned Private (Pty Ltd) company.

Statutory authorities

Government Owned Corporations

*Government owned corporation with shareholding ministerial obligations.

Publicly owned Private company

**The Director General of TMR is the company's sole shareholder.

Gold Coast Waterways Authority

The Gold Coast Waterways Authority was established to strategically plan for, facilitate and manage the development and use of Gold Coast waterways. The Authority manages the waterways south of the Logan River to the New South Wales border.

Queensland Rail

Queensland Rail (QR) is a statutory authority and operates in accordance with the Queensland Rail Transit Authority Act 2013. It is responsible for the operation of passenger rail services and ensuring that supporting rail infrastructure (see glossary page 231) remains safe, reliable and at a fit for purpose standard.

The Rail Transport Service Contract between TMR and QR governs the funding arrangements for new rail infrastructure, maintenance of the existing rail network and the provision of both south east Queensland and regional long-distance passenger rail services.

Transmax

Transmax Pty Ltd is an unlisted Australian company incorporated in 2002. Transmax is wholly owned by the Department of Transport and Main Roads and is governed by an independent Board of Directors. The shareholder is the Director-General of the Department of Transport and Main Roads. See next page for information on Transmax's function, achievements and board remuneration.

Shareholding ministers

The listed ports corporations are GOC governed under the Government Owned Corporations Act 1993 (GOC Act).

Each GOC must fulfil their obligations and keep the shareholding minister(s) reasonably informed of the operations, financial performance, financial position and governance of the company and its subsidiaries.

The companies must report in a timely manner on all issues likely to have a significant financial or operating impact. Each must also develop a Corporate Plan, Statement of Corporate Intent and table an annual performance report each year which are available on their websites.

Table – Government body function and achievements
Act or instrument Corporations Act 2001
Functions
  • To develop and provide Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) products and services to help maximise road network performance and manage traffic congestion. Its main product is STREAMS (see glossary) which enables holistic road network management and integrates with other ITS devices for all state-controlled roads, a significant number of local governments and a number of Queensland and interstate clients.
Achievements
  • Transmax delivered a range of projects for TMR including preparation for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Next Generation Traffic Controller and new Smart Transport Research Centre (STRC) ramp metering algorithm to STREAMS Managed Motorways.
  • VicRoads awarded Transmax its biggest ever program of works, to be executed over the next two financial years.
  • A number of projects were contracted to Transmax from the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure South Australia and Main Roads Western Australia. All projects were successfully executed.
  • Continued to improve internal processes to delivery greater efficiencies for the business and its customers.
  • Transmax delivered its highest ever overall revenue of $18.8 million, which was a 67 per cent increase over the previous year.
  • Participated as an exhibitor as part of the Queensland Government stand at the ITS World Congress held in Melbourne in October 2016.
Financial reporting
  • Transmax is subject to audit pursuant to the Auditor-General Act 2009.
  • Transmax prepares financial statements which are provided to the shareholder and are tabled in Parliament.
Table – Government body remuneration
Position Name Meetings/sessions attendance Approved annual sessional or daily fee ($) Approved sub-committee fees (if applicable) Actual fees received ($)
Chair Non-executive Cathy Ford* 8 2,164.23 2,164.23
Managing Director Mark Williamson 11
Non-executive Director Stephen Golding 11 20,865 20,865
Non-executive Director Amelia Hodge 8 20,865 20,865
Non-executive Director Allan Krosch 11 20,865 20,865
No. scheduled meetings/sessions 11
Total out of pocket expenses Nil

*Due to an administrative error, an overpayment was made to the Transmax Chair. Transmax has taken appropriate steps to ensure there was no loss to Transmax associated with the overpayment.

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