CEDA member profile: John Holland



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Larry McGrath, Executive General Manager, Customer and Corporate Affairs, John Holland 

Can you tell us a bit about John Holland?

The company was created by Sir John Holland in 1949 in Victoria. In 2015, it was purchased by China Communications Construction Company International Holdings (CCCC). CCCC is one of the world's largest infrastructure construction companies.

John Holland has local experience in all states and territories across Australia, as well as in New Zealand and South East Asia. We construct a full range of projects across the building, rail and infrastructure spectrum. We also operate and maintain assets, for example, we operate the Country Regional Network (CRN) on behalf of Transport for New South Wales. This unique vertical integration means we are a “one stop shop” and are able to provide bespoke solutions for our customers.

We also create opportunities across the infrastructure and property markets. Our development and investments group is a project initiator for John Holland, enabling investment through a variety of vehicles (PPPs, property development, concessions etc.) in support of projects.

Being customer-centric is critical for us. This is not just in the way we deal with our clients, but particularly in the projects we build. Ultimately, many of the projects we work on end up being community assets, and it’s critical for us that we ensure these assets meet the needs of their customers.

What are John Holland's priorities for the coming year?

We are pursuing some very significant transport infrastructure projects, major developments, urban regeneration and social infrastructure opportunities. Also a number of utilities now need to be upgraded and are coming to market.

We have also turned our attention to the renewables market.

Have you noticed any current industry trends?

We are in the midst of an absolutely unprecedented period of investment in New South Wales and Victoria on major public infrastructure. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for infrastructure, and John Holland is excited to be in the middle of it.

Across the rest of the country, since the downturn of the mining sector, things are very subdued.
But the billions of dollars in government megaprojects in NSW and Victoria – for example, the West Gate Tunnel, Sydney Metro and Melbourne Metro – are keeping the sector buoyant.

What is your role with the company and when did you start there?

My position is Executive General Manager, Customer and Corporate Affairs. I started with John Holland in 2016 and the last 12 months have been a very exciting time. I am passionate about delivering major projects that exceed the expectations of their customers. I want to ensure John Holland continues to work in collaboration with local stakeholders, and that the communities  we have worked in feel that they would be happy to have us back.

Can you take us through any highlights in your career?

Working in the NSW Government, I have been lucky enough to help bring to life the vision for transport in NSW, coordinating and assisting to deliver key transport infrastructure and policy priorities including the North West Rail Link and Sydney Metro, CBD and South East Light Rail, Wynyard Walk, South West Rail Link and the Opal Card.

I was also fortunate to be involved in some major reforms, including the franchising of Sydney Ferries, and the long-term lease of Transgrid delivering more than $10 billion for infrastructure.

How does CEDA help the company understand and meet the challenges and opportunities you or your clients face?

CEDA enables us to connect with thought leaders and industry representatives who are like minded to discuss the issues that are facing us all. It is energising to be able to put such focus to challenges and opportunities.