October 2020, Vol 001, Issue 04
Lote Notes | Fire Safety & Security in Practice
We begin this 2nd quarter of the 2021 financial year, and final quarter of the calendar year, under considerable duress - both in Australia and around the globe. The preceding months have seen significant social and economic transformation, with particularly notable unrest in the state of Victoria. Fortunately, Australians have largely banded together to combat the spread of COVID-19, and have been successful at 'flattening the curve', as was advertised so relentlessly earlier in the year.
However, despite our success in the battle against COVID-19 from a healthcare perspective (a battle which still requires ongoing vigilance), it isn't as obvious that Australians have won a great deal in socio-economic terms. Businesses almost universally have taken a hit (aside from the odd hand-sanitiser or mask company), especially small businesses, which reported moderate to severe levels of concern about their survivability at levels as high as 74% (ACA Research Statistics from April 24, 2020).
The construction industry, while undoubtedly suffering some blows itself, has remained standing and has become a beacon for the Australian economy. Putting aside issues to do with supply chains, material costs and labour inputs (which undoubtedly did do some damage), the classification of nearly all construction services as 'essential' allowed much of the construction work itself to remain largely unaffected. Where shutdowns did occur, we noted that a proactive strategy for planning for future projects was occurring - a testament to the agility of the industry. In addition, through an aggressive and thus-far-effective strategy, the government has announced and funded a series of projects across NSW, released in tranches, and to the tune of billions of dollars.
Apart from these major projects, there is significant encouragement from key industry stakeholders to fast-track small and medium-sized developments, so that not only the 'big fish' get their share. One such development (that also segues nicely into our topic for this newsletter) is the series of developments being undertaken by rail giant ARTC, 'Inland Rail'.
We have followed these projects closely and are encouraged that ARTC has acknowledged the crucial importance of integrating small and medium-sized businesses, as well as local and Indigenous businesses, into the projects - despite the enormity of the project scope. We hope that this approach will be mirrored in other developments, as it appears to be vital in ensuring all levels of the industry thrive through the crisis, both for themselves and the broader Australian economy.
Finally, to complete the segue: our newsletter for this quarter will focus on the Transport and Infrastructure components of the construction industry. These areas have increased in prominence significantly, with major projects in roads, rail, and air being among them. Our featured articles will explore security considerations for new rail developments across NSW and managing disabled egress at train stations from a fire engineering perspective. We are also fortunate to have an article from our partner organisation, Mosen Global, on the development of innovative technologies in transportation. We hope these articles are of use to you, and look forward to speaking to you about any and all fire engineering, security and tunnel ventilation concerns.
Best Wishes & Stay Safe
Dr Amer Magrabi
Managing Director - Lote Consulting | Fire Safety & Security
Making the world safe and secure