October 15, 2020


WPA. A strong vein of environmental action.

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.



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. 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 removal and a creek bridge in two years.

The mind boggles at 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.


Trees as gifts to WPA environmental champions.


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.

Here at Fifteen Trees, we love the idea of planting trees as staff rewards. We’re proud to have planted 270 trees for WPA so far and would like to join in applauding the efforts of the 18 staff involved and named below.


  • Craig Guthrie – Hassall – for demonstrating leadership indigenous co-design.
  • Cheryl Walter – for superior document control for the previous ISCA submissions


Cherry Street Level Crossing Removal Project

  • Patrick Farnan (Site Engineer) – Supporting the establishment of Sustainable site facilities, in particular leading the implementation of transparent panels for site ceiling allowing for natural light and reducing the use of construction lights.
  • Danny Lai (Project Engineer) – Generally supporting the implementation of sustainability initiatives on project. In particular facilitated the uptake of recycled materials onsite.
  • Aidan Potter (Drainage Engineer) – Supported the extensive consultation process and was key to gaining approval for the use of recycled pipe.
  • Charles Richmond Smith (Procurement Specialist) – Key supporter of identifying and implementing sustainability opportunities in procurement packages.


Old Geelong Road Level Crossing Removal Project

  • Suzannah Morrison – All round environmental champion and initiator of waste and site product best practice helping reduce waste and increase our support of social spend.
  • Louisa Pang – Excellence shown in consistently supporting and using sustainable asphalt mixes, reducing material in design and also reducing energy by using lower mix temperatures.
  • Dylan Thomas – Positive and proactive engagement with sustainability initiatives related to site compounds.
  • Nicolette Bulseco – Great enthusiasm supporting energy and water initiatives related to site compounds.


Werribee Street Level Crossing Removal Project

  • Leo Tsen – Positive support in procurement contract and RFQ’s that help build a successful materials and recycled product pipeline for the project.
  • Mitch Johnson – Always positive and willing to go that extra mile to achieve sustainable outcomes in materials, contracts and just supporting ideas in general.


Cranbourne Line Upgrade

  • Mika Reinhardt (Drainage team)
  • Aoife Mullally (Drainage team) – ‘both going above and beyond with their ideas and assistance for pursuing sustainable products and options in the Drainage and Hydrology design package’.
  • Anthony Janovic (Civils team).
  • Declan Smith (Civils team) – ‘both supportive in seeking out opportunities to incorporate sustainable products and materials in the Maintenance Access and Fencing and Greens Rd Enabling Works design packages’.
  • Yash Mehta (Signalling team)– ‘produced a comprehensive Sustainability section in the Signalling design package, in particular ensuring climate change mitigation measures were fully addressed’.
  • Ramona Stephenson (Structures team) – ‘optimising designs across her Structures packages to seek out materials savings and also provide detail on the savings which can be used in the base case footprint calculations’.


BNG Landcare members.


WPA trees were all planted in the Northern Grampian District of Victoria by Andrew Borg and his team at Buloke and Northern Grampians Landcare (BNG). The trees were distributed to a number of landcare members including Hayley & Luke Batters, Scott & Laura Nicholson and Sam Reading. These members are all working together to improve the native biodiversity of the district, increase carbon levels in the soil, help combat erosion and most importantly to create a bio link for native wildlife.

Huge thank you to the entire team at WPA for sponsoring these particular trees for community tree planting projects in the western district of Victoria. If you would like to know how your company can also sponsor, please contact Melinda Tant <[email protected]>.


Writer – Sarah Hart.

Sarah is an artist whose passions include the stories and experiences of women and narrative driven creative work. Her aim is to delight, to reveal glimpses of everyday beauty, and to celebrate flights of the ordinary. Sarah works across a range of media, with an abiding interest in pen and ink, mixed media and the human form. You can find Sarah here.




June 18, 2024
Furnx is taking proactive steps each day and planning into the future, to ensure their company is part of a circular economy. Reducing waste and consumption of resources, and increasing recycling and reuse of materials is top of mind in every business decision they make, contributing to a more sustainable world. And now they are planting trees!


June 18, 2024
‘We feel very grateful, thankful and quite overwhelmed when we think about the contributions of all of the people involved. The project would not have happened without the support from sponsors of Fifteen Trees and such sterling efforts from Landcare and all the volunteers’. Kinglake Landcare.


June 17, 2024
‘We have some amazing customers who buy a tree as an extra when they book a tour with us. We have also bought some to help mother nature’. EcoTreasures.