Traffic Management Association of Australia (TMAA) – The Voice of the Traffic Management Industry

December 20, 2021

Traffic Management Association of Australia (TMAA)

The Voice of the Traffic Management Industry


Business View Oceania interviews Louise Van Ristell, Executive Officer at TMAA, for our Construction View.

Formed in 2011, the Traffic Management Association of Australia (TMAA) works to lead, unify, and achieve best practice within the traffic management industry on behalf of all members. Having recently celebrated their 10-year anniversary, TMAA is a vital peak body for traffic management companies, traffic controllers, and industry associates. Originally founded to bring together a small number of separate traffic management organisations and introduce a level of consistency to the sector, the TMAA now encompasses state and territory divisions across the country as part of one national body.

TMAA supports 185 company members across the country split into three membership tiers: Ordinary (traffic management and control companies), Sponsor or Supplier (products and services provided to the traffic control industry), and Associate (organisations and individuals affiliated with the industry). Members enjoy a wide range of benefits including but not limited to: Access to national and state representation through meetings, events, and networking opportunities; brand alignment and exclusive use of the TMAA logo; relationship alignment with contractors, national, state, and local government, key industry stakeholders, and road authorities; access to national and state based industry sponsors and suppliers; industry-relevant resource and information provision; invitations to industry events; subscription to quarterly TMAA Detours magazine; access to industry education and training via conference, workshops, webinars and state events, recognition as a member of a peak professional body; sponsorship opportunities, event hosting, and brand exposure; and, individual member support from dedicated TMAA secretariats, Human Resources and Industrial Relations advice, national events team and the Executive Officer.

Louise Van Ristell shares the TMAA mission as Executive Officer. “TMAA operates under a four-pillar priority structure for relevant and consistent action. First is advocacy; we promote and advocate on behalf of the industry. There are a number of challenges that concern our traffic controllers in regards to safety and working conditions. Things like making sure there are enough facilities on site and assisting with advice and information regarding award rates and conditions. TMAA works with government and buyers to ensure conditions are optimal for our traffic controllers. I’ve made it my mantra to make sure that I’ve developed relationships with governments around the country so that we can talk to them about things they’re doing in our space. The second pillar is to collaborate with collegiate partners to promote safety. We work to get statistics for our industry around workplace accidents and deaths, technology and equipment, training and accredited traffic controllers. We have an annual survey now that we engage ARRB to complete for us – our ability to collaborate with industry partners is incredibly important. Thirdly, we will continue to expand our membership and run member services accordingly, and we have successfully doubled our membership base over the last two years. Our last pillar is to govern the association well. Right now we are in a great position in terms of membership and finances, and can ensure we have a base to increase our member benefits , events and services.”

A small team of three dedicated individuals and a national events team, with decades of experience between them, TMAA identifies their vision for the future as, “a safe and zero harm traffic management industry across Australia”. Part of working towards the realisation of this vision is TMAA’s ‘Your Speed is Our Safety’ campaign. The campaign is a three-part series aired in Australia to raise awareness on the dangers of speeding around traffic management locations. Each video can be streamed anytime via TMAA’s YouTube channel and across television and social media the series has been aired over 12 million times to date.

The traffic management industry is currently experiencing a shortage in qualified staff, a difficulty that is exacerbated by a lack of consistent certification regulation across the country. TMAA is currently working with Austroads towards training and certification uniformity across all states and territories in Australia, both for traffic controllers and traffic management companies, to help cross border access to qualified staff and consistency of training and accreditation. Mrs. Van Ristell explains, “We have no lack of work, thanks to the pandemic’s infrastructure upgrade and project innovation boom. What we do have a shortage of staff to facilitate the work. And while some areas may have enough people to fill those spots for others, training in each state is different. So, if a traffic controller lives in Northern New South Wales, they may not be able to go into Southern Queensland to help out on a job. That’s a real problem because it not only prevents our traffic controllers from supplementing their income with interstate work; it also means we have a number of job sites across Australia that are severely understaffed.” As well as training and qualification uniformity, TMAA is working with Austroads, to develop a national pre-qualification scheme  through which government and buyers of traffic management services can ensure traffic management companies are appropriately qualified, compliant with safety regulations, conditions and financially viable.

TMAA also encourages industry stakeholders and government to invest heavily in innovative technologies and safety measures, to further streamline the traffic management process and keep traffic controllers out of the line of fire on roads and sites. High-visibility signage, safety barriers, traffic lights, TMAs etc are some of the current innovations being used.  Ms Van Ristell shares. “What we want to see is a lot more technology on our roads directing cars, and therefore a lot less people putting themselves at risk. The statistics for workplace accidents, injuries, and fatalities on our roads are frightening. And this is why we are working really hard in our advocacy and awareness space, to not only lobby government for regulation development and support, but also to educate the public around the importance of their safe conduct when they interact with a traffic managed area.”

TMAA would like to conclude with their thanks to their members and vital industry partners, including SARAH Group, AfPA, Roads Australia, the Civil Contractors Federation (CCF), RIAA, Austroads, ARRB, Standards Australia, and Australian government and road authorities. Moving forward, TMAA will continue to work collaboratively with their members and industry partners across their four pillars of action towards the eventual realisation of a safe and zero harm traffic management industry across Australia.

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Traffic Management Association of Australia (TMAA)

What: A collective voice for all Australians affiliated with the traffic management industry

Where: TMAA has division offices in each state and territory, with the exception of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT)



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