August 5, 2022


Western Program Alliance and their Sustainability Champions.

The Western Program Alliance (WPA) is a project team with a particularly specialised skillset – it is very good at removing level crossings. The WPA comprises McConnell Dowell, Arup and Mott Macdonald, Metro Trains Melbourne, VLine and the Level Crossing Removal Project. Not only are they removing level crossings, but out in rural Victoria, they are helping us plant trees.



The Western Program Alliance (WPA) is a project team with a particularly specialised skillset – it is very good at removing level crossings. The WPA comprises McConnell DowellArup and Mott Macdonald, Metro Trains Melbourne, VLine and the Level Crossing Removal Project. Since forming in 2017, they have successfully removed three level crossings, built one new stabling facility and have much work in hand including rail duplications, 7 level crossing removals and a creek bridge in two years.


Image by WPA


It is difficult to understand the sheer amount of organisation, cooperation, expertise, and material needed to accomplish a successful level crossing removal. In amongst all that is a strong vein of environmental action, from sourcing sustainable materials, to exploring more Earth-friendly alternatives, to setting up recycling and other ethical waste management systems.


A variety of species are always planted.


WPA acknowledges that when it comes to environmental initiatives, its people are its strength. It has recently partnered with us to plant 15 trees for each hard-working staff member identified as a Sustainability champion.


Since 2020, we have had 22 recipients in the eco-program and this year we have started a new round of awards. We acknowledge the ongoing efforts of our sustainability champions in the Alliance. Well done to those recipients.

Bo Christensen | Sustainability Manager | Western Program Alliance


Here at Fifteen Trees, we love the idea of planting trees as staff rewards. We’re proud to have planted 120 trees for WPA this year, and would like to join in applauding the efforts of the staff involved and named below.


This list will be updated as new sustainability champions are added.


  • Recycled Capping Team

The Recycled Capping Team on the Port Rail Shuttle Network have displayed continued persistence to accomplish sustainable innovation within the Melbourne rail network. Whilst most capping within the rail network is made up of well graded sands or crushed rock, WPA, and specifically the individuals on this team have been pushing to trial a completely recycled material comprising of 90% recycled crushed concrete and 10% glass fines. This would be a brand-new initiative within the industry that strongly promotes our focus on sustainability.



Team nomination: Whilst the initiative is yet to be installed, the team (shown above clockwise) of Brenton Davey, Sanit Vaghela, Samantha Lau, Peter Andrews, Shane Smyth, Angus Rob, Henry Sheppard and Alice Waterhouse have persisted with the installation of the recycled capping since 2021. Their hard work and commitment to sustainability deserves to be recognised and highlighted both within and outside of WPA.


  • David Chuong

David is the Senior Project Engineer working on Old Geelong Road.



David’s nomination: In recognition of David’s consistent and meticulous effort to successfully implement the Old Geelong Road solar car park structure. It was a very challenging contract to complete and without David’s effort it may not have been completed. The solar array helps to reduce significant amounts operational energy.


  • Daisy Lippiatt

Daisy is the Environmental Advisor. Daisy is currently working on Old Geelong Road, and previously she worked on Cherry Street and Werribee Street.



Daisy’s nomination: Exceptional consistent effort to support sustainability outcomes on site at Old Geelong Road. Particularly in recently taking on the write-up of IS Discharge credits for the CHS/WES/OGR IS submission. Well done Daisy!


  • Sam Chen

Sam Chen is the Senior Materials Engineer for Arup on the Western Program Alliance.


Sam’s nomination: I’d like to nominate Sam Chen for his work on MDR to achieve significant carbon reductions through supporting the inclusion of sustainable concrete mixes for Bridge, Station and RE Wall elements. Sam’s work (engagement of suppliers and durability design checks) was integral to ensuring mixes met design requirements and were able to be included in design drawings. This has led to significant carbon reduction savings for the project.


  • Fred Pigdon

Fred is the store man for the WPA Vic University Laydown Yard in Werribee. Fred’s role is to store and manage all WPA owned materials/assets while they are not being utilised on existing WPA Projects. As these materials/assets get returned to the laydown yard from WPA Projects, Fred is then required to sort through the materials/assets so they can be organised and reused on future projects or disposed of if they are faulty/damaged.



Fred’s nomination: I want to recognise the hard work that Fred is doing at VIC Uni to repurpose waste materials. Some examples of his fine work include the donation of redundant MTM assets to community schools for garden beds, retention of old LXRP banner signage for reuse as material protection and his commitment to repurposing waste materials across other projects. Fred will always reach out if he thinks we can immediately reuse materials from one site on the next. When calling to ask him if we have an item in stock, Fred will readily have an option available of a material we could repurpose instead.



The trees (120) were planted at Mt Worth in the Western Gippsland District of Victoria by Tetoora Road Community Centre (TRCC). The planting of trees and shrubs indigenous to the district will ensure the viability of the planting.


Students and members from TRCC planting.


TRCC were assisted by 15 school students who provided important labour for this task and made short work of planting and clean up tasks. The work experience gained by the students provided them with the confidence to tackle further landscaping tasks as well as demonstrating the contribution these students can make to the community.


Planting on a hill is particularly difficult.


We have been planting trees on behalf of WPA for 3 years. Here are the links to the 2021 and 2020 sustainability champions and their trees. Thank you to WPA for your continued support of our community tree planting projects.






Writer: Colleen Filippa

Colleen is the Founding Director of Fifteen Trees. Established in 2009, Fifteen Trees has helped Australian community groups plant over 280,000 native trees. This has been made possible by companies such as WPA who purchase the trees for the groups to plant.



June 12, 2024
Individual actions really do matter! Individually we can really only make small differences to the world around us, but collectively our numbers add up. And if enough individuals are involved then forests can be grown!


June 10, 2024
We have a handful of organisations who purchase trees when they can. These organisations are masters of ingenuity when it comes to incorporating tree planting into their business practices.


May 21, 2024
The Institute of Public Accounts has supported one of our revegetation projects by purchasing a tree for every attendee at their recent Victorian Conference held in Ballarat, VIC. The trees (70) were planted in the district, in the weeks following the conference.