The Australian Flexible Pavement Association (AfPA) has announced the appointment of Dante Cremasco as the association’s new chairman and Rob McGuire as deputy chairman. Both men have held board positions for several years.
The AfPA said that the previous chairman, Matt MacMahon, and deputy chairman Kevin McCullough, “left the organisation in a strong position”.
Carlos Rial, chief executive of the AfPA, said that the appointments will support AfPA’s vision to see the dynamic, multibillion dollar flexible pavements industry deliver safe and sustainable outcomes which benefit communities across Australia.
Cremasco, a longtime member of AfPA’s board, has held the full-time position of head of road services at Downer since 2014. Downer is an integrated infrastructure services provide in Australia and New Zealand. He brings over two decades of experience in all aspects of road servicing and maintenance to his new position with the AfPA. He also holds board positions at Bitumen Importers Australia as well as RePurposeIT.
McGuire, as deputy chair, brings his experience of asphalt and road maintenance as to his new role from his position as executive general manager for Boral Australia, an asphalt, cement and aggregates provider.
AfPAS also announced two new board members. Thierry Madelon is chief executive of COLAS Australia Group and has more than 30 years of industry experience. Meanwhile, Richard Pearson – who was the AfPA’s Queensland branch between 2017-2019 – is general manager of infrastructure services at Fulton Hogan.
The appointments come at a difficult time for Australian infrastructure contracts amid strongly fluctuating commodity and material prices, according to the AfPAS which is based in Eight Mile Plains, a suburb of Brisbane, the capital and most populous city of Queensland state. Globally, there is an unprecedented and rapid escalation in the cost of construction materials and consumables, such as fuel and it’s derivatives polymers and bitumen, due to a culmination of political conflicts in Europe, the ongoing disruption to supply chains caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and exacerbated locally by the impact of the recent flooding event along the east coast of Australia.
“The increasing global energy costs are having a severe and unsustainable impact on the road and infrastructure sector and associated industry partners like cartage companies that play a critical role in supporting the delivery of road infrastructure projects,” the AfgPA said in a written statement. “The significant cost increases are also impacting the ability to respond to the repair of roads damaged by recent floods and record rainfall.”
The association pointed to the need for continuing with the so-called 'rise and fall' clause in contracts, essentially a mechanism by which a contract price can be adjusted – up or down - as a result of a variation in costs, such as is happening now.
“While there are rise-and-fall provisions within most contracts to account for changes in bitumen prices, there are no such protections for the cost of other essential construction materials and consumables, such as fuel. These rising costs will adversely affect our sector and industry suppliers, leaving them unable to sustainably deliver road construction and maintenance work,” noted the association.
The AfPA said that it is working with all levels of government to find solutions and this may include extending rise-and-fall provisions for construction materials and consumables, such as fuel, costs on road projects, similar to the current provisions nationally for bitumen.