I studied journalism in Brisbane, Queensland before taking a job on the sunny Gold Coast in Australia for the daily News Limited paper the Gold Coast Bulletin. As a news reporter I covered everything from business to property to health to lifestyle and even managed to swing rides in both a Spitfire and a Black Hawk helicopter. I did the typical Australian rite of passage by travelling around Europe and moving to the UK for a working holiday. Two years’ later, after stints at the Department of Energy and Climate Change and in Emap launching the World Infrastructure Summit, I’m now firmly engrossed in the world of infrastructure and will be focusing on international major projects for NCE (and staying with the help of my EU passport). Declan and I are neither married, nor related.
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Special report: funding for the floodsSubscription
Next week environment secretary Caroline Spelman is expected to announce a raft of new flood defence schemes across England and Wales that will receive funding. NCE reports on how the Environment Agency is increasing the number of homes protected despite a 15% budget cut.
The London Gateway port will be a UK record breaker when it opens for business, but right now it’s the ground engineering that is making the headlines. Marissa Lynch reports.
Pressure on as water prices set to rise Subscription
Plans for a tougher water abstraction regime as outlined in the government’s water White Paper could lead to a huge strain on water-intensive businesses through increased water prices, engineers this week told NCE.
UK pension fund investment in infrastructure could still be years away, despite the government’s pledge to pave the way for such spending in the next few years, leading project finance experts said this week.
Consultant Grontmij has today revealed that it has called in auditor KPMG to “conduct a thorough review and to provide insight into its various financial options”.
Australia’s engineering sector is seeing record growth, according to new figures released from its government’s Bureau of Statistics.
Gateway gets goingSubscription
Construction of the £1.5bn London Gateway port is racing ahead and attracting Royal interest. Marissa Lynch visits the Thames Estuary to chart progress.
There will be at least 4M more cars on the UK’s roads in the next 20 years significantly increasing traffic delays and hampering the economy, new research from the RAC Foundation and Arup shows.
Bold plans for tolls to get road spending moving Subscription
Tolling of the A14 and A1 this week emerged as the most extreme in a series of proposals to get much needed cash flowing into the road construction industry.
Network Rail to be contractor/consultantSubscription
Network Rail is to launch an infrastructure projects group in April next year to provide civil engineering consultancy as well as construction services.
As public money dries up for new roads in the UK, the use of private finance has been touted by the government, but this could have huge hidden costs if deals are not managed properly.
As construction motors ahead on the huge London Gateway port project, there are questions about whether this world-class port will be served by world-class roads leading to and from it.
Hong Kong is back on the radar for civil engineers as it embarks on its next big infrastructure surge, but consultants have been warned not to be fooled into thinking the region will provide a springboard to the mainland.
As civil engineering consultants and contractors keenly await the first annual update of the government’s National Infrastructure Plan, big questions about where the £200bn investment is going to come from remain.
Despite phone hacking scandals back in the UK, prime minister David Cameron and a plane-full of British executives touched down in South Africa and Nigeria last week, hoping to promote British expertise on the African continent.
Greece’s sovereign debt crisis undoubtedly raises worrying questions about potential contagion risks for the infrastructure industry.
It’s a project that will be judged more on its legacy than most.
It is a country no doubt more commonly known for its PPP failings with dozens of collapsed PPP projects than one known for its successes.
The past month has been a precarious one for high speed rail projects – the demise looks inevitable for the US programme, Brazil’s TAV is suffering and last week, Portugal disbanded its high speed rail authority Rave.
While protests and unrest spread across the Middle East, even affecting traditionally perceived ‘safe’ countries like Oman, inevitably, questions are being asked around the exposure of engineering firms in the region.