Financial year 2016 has been a busy and successful year for Transurban with substantial progress and achievements right across our business.
Success for us means delivering on our vision to strengthen communities through transport and creating lasting value for our partners in government, communities, customers and security holders.
Our three sustainability pillars - be good neighbours, use less and think long term - underpin our vision and provide the foundation for how we go about everything we do from customer initiatives, community and innovation grants programs, energy-efficiency improvements, to development projects.
This year we acquired AirportLinkM7, 6.7km twin tunnels, to build on our customer offering in Brisbane. We also continued to progress the $9 billion1 of construction projects we have underway to further enhance our networks in Australia and the United States of America.
These projects are focused on providing more efficient and safer transport networks to improve travel times and reliability and meet the growing transport needs of our cities. They have also presented the opportunity to implement some fresh ideas that will provide additional benefits to the community.
For example, in Sydney we reached agreement with local and state authorities to use excavated material from our NorthConnex tunnel project to help turn a disused quarry into a recreational area. This will reduce the distance trucks need to travel to offload spoil and at the same time, create valuable green space for the community.
We have set targets to achieve Infrastructure Sustainability (Excellent) ratings for Australian projects and will commit to similar outcomes under the Envision rating scheme for our projects in the USA.
This year, we also expanded our Motorscapes program, collaborating with communities to come up with creative ways to regenerate disused sites alongside our assets.
Our first Motorscapes project next to CityLink in Melbourne is taking shape and, once completed later this year, will transform the Power Street location through an iconic artwork installation and native landscaping.
Our latest project, a colourful art installation devised by two Sydney designers, will be installed alongside the M2 Motorway at Macquarie Park.
With each of the Motorscapes projects using recycled materials and solar power, they are great examples of all three of our sustainability pillars in action.
In FY16, we also progressed our Road Usage Study in Melbourne to gauge motorists’ attitudes and preferences towards more transparent ways to pay for their road use rather than the current system of opaque taxes and fees.
We believe the current road funding model that relies on fuel-excise as its major revenue source is no longer sustainable with the advent of more fuel-efficient and electric cars. Reform is critical to support the continued population growth and manage increasing congestion in our cities.
This study will provide comprehensive insights into the community’s views about road funding reform, which we believe is vital to progressing options for a sustainable funding model.
During the year, we were pleased to receive international recognition for our commitment to sustainability.
For the past six years, we were listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index Asia Pacific Index. More recently, we were notified of our inclusion in the Dow Jones World Sustainability Index – an important independent recognition of our sustainability performance. In addition, we continue to be included in the FTSE4Good Index, and the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors also rated our sustainability performance and governance as leading for the ninth consecutive year.
This year’s Sustainability Report, our 11th to date, outlines our performance in FY16 in detail under our three sustainability pillars.
Among our priorities for the next financial year is the development of a social investment framework to ensure our social contributions help address the needs of communities where we operate while delivering value for our business. We will also continue to enhance operational eco-efficiency and set and track performance against targets in key areas.
I am proud of our achievements in FY16 and look forward to progressing the many projects on our agenda that clearly align with our vision to strengthen communities through transport.
Scott Charlton Chief Executive Officer
1 Estimated spend reflects 100% of total project costs including Transurban’s share.