Major capital projects

The University defines major capital projects as those costing in excess of $5 million. During 2015, in line with the University's Capital Asset Management Plan, the University spent $38.94 million on major capital projects.

In 2015, the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre (IOMRC)—Watermans Bay building refurbishment was completed at a cost of $13.2 million. Construction of a new building for IOMRC at the Crawley campus is also under way and expected to be completed in 2016.

IOMRC is a collaboration that brings together four of Australia's leading research organisations working in and around the Indian Ocean—UWA's Oceans Institute, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, the Australian Institute of Marine Science, and the Western Australian Department of Fisheries.

New multidisciplinary research teams will be developed to create a graduate training and research environment that will significantly advance Australia's marine science capacity, capability, and profile. The expected benefits include:

  • improved research capability in observing, describing, and modelling the north/northwest marine region of Australia;
  • increased knowledge of the coastal and offshore regions of north/northwest Australia;
  • improved ability to attract and retain outstanding research staff and attract pre-eminent visiting researchers which will further increase Australia's marine research profile;
  • national and international research partnerships and collaborations generating synergies and economies of scale; and
  • improved ability to sustainably manage the marine environment.

The Watermans Bay refurbishment included upgrades to the internal laboratories and offices, and development of marine culture and aquaria facilities with direct access to good quality sea water. The refurbishment was undertaken by Ferguson Architects and Badge Construction and was completed in August 2015.

New multidisciplinary research teams will be developed to create a graduate training and research environment that will significantly advance Australia's marine science capacity, capability, and profile.

Major projects in progress at 31 December 2015.

Project Note Estimated total cost ($m) Estimated cost to complete ($m) Expected year of completion (by year)
Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre (IOMRC )-Crawley (new building)  1 68.66  32.00  2016 
E-zone 1B (new building)   60.00 59.45 2020
E-zone 1A (refurbishment)   20.00 19.98 2017
School of Indigenous Studies (new building)   15.00 14.76 2017
Forrest Hall (new building)   17.30 14.43 2017
Reid Library (ground floor refurbishment and second floor refitting)   8.90 8.22 2016
    189.86 148.84  

1 An additional $10 million has been added to the construction of the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre building at Crawley for provision of an additional floor.

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Staffing and related matters

The University's staffing priorities for 2015 have been influenced by the outcomes of the Functional Reviews undertaken in 2014 and the introduction of the Sustainable Futures program. Ensuring staff have the necessary skills and capabilities is a key enabler in this period of transformational change. The development of the People, Potential, Performance Standards framework is guiding a new approach to people management and leadership. Staff engagement and alignment of individual effort with organisational aspirations are at the core of this framework.

Focus has also been on generating ongoing workforce renewal with the finalisation of retirements from the Voluntary Early Retirement Scheme offered late 2014, and the December 2015 announcement of the potential reduction of up to 300 roles (100 Academic and 200 Professional) in 2016. This is expected to provide capacity to create 50 new academic positions in UWA's teaching and research priority areas while reducing costs and delivering greater efficiency.

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Equity and diversity

Despite the challenging environment, UWA consolidated and extended its significant achievements with the launch of the 'Equality and Inclusion: Strategy and Framework 2015-2020' to guide initiatives in the coming five years. Importantly, the University will also participate in the national Science in Australia Gender Equality (SAGE)/Athena Swan pilot to address gender equity in the STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine) faculties and beyond. UWA maintained its stellar performance in the LGBTI-inclusion space as the only institution to be ranked as a Top 10 employer in the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI) since the inception of the awards in 2011.

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Policy, organisational development and employee relations

Development programs have concentrated on the development and delivery of programs to ensure staff at all levels have the skills and tools to develop change resilience as well as leading change in the current environment. Strengthening the University's talent management and leadership capability remains a focus.

Negotiations were successfully completed for staff covered by the Childcare and ELICOS Agreements in June 2015 which delivered similar outcomes to those achieved for academic and professional staff.

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Work health and safety

The University, Senate, senior management and other officers are committed to the University's safety management system and accountable for ensuring a safe, supportive, protective and healthy working environment. This is achieved at the highest standards by ensuring that health and safety management remains a key priority in all areas of planning, implementation, measurement and review within our places of work.

During 2015, there were 309 incidents and injuries reported with 38 accepted workers' compensation claims, and 10 people required time off work with a total of 98 work days lost (average time lost was 10 days). By comparison, in 2014 there were 345 incidents and injuries reported with 38 accepted workers' compensation claims, and 18 people required time off work with a total of 159 work days lost (average time lost was 9 days). Detailed information on the work health and safety, injury management, and health and wellbeing program priorities, activities and reporting is provided in the University Safety Committee Annual Report.

Reportable key performance Work health and safety indicators—2015

Measure Target 2013 2014 2015 Comment on results
Number of fatalities zero (0) 0 0 0 achieved
Lost time injury/disease (LTI/D) incident rate1 zero or 10% reduction on previous year  0.6  0.4  0.2  achieved 
Lost time injury/disease (LTI/D) severity rate2 zero or 10% reduction on previous year  4.2  3.5  0  achieved 
Percentage of injured workers returning to work within3 greater than or equal to 80% return to work within 26 weeks         
13 weeks   96 94 70 achieved
26 weeks   100 100 80  
Percentage of managers trained on OSH and injury management greater than or equal to 80% N/A N/A N/A -

1 Lost time injury/disease (LTI/D) incident rate = Number of LTI/D divided by FTEs times 100
2 Lost time injury/disease (LTI/D) severity rate calculation = Number of injuries > 60 days divided by LTI/D times 100
3 Return to work (RTW) within 13/26 weeks calculation = Percentage of LTI/D with a RTW outcome within 13/26 weeks

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