Civil sector ready to boost economy

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  • Plant & Equipment

The civil construction industry has the capacity to take on more civil infrastructure projects and employ thousands more workers to stimulate the Australian economy, according to the Civil Contractors Federation’s (CCF) COVID-19 Member Survey.

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The CCF undertook a nationwide COVID-19 survey of its members to obtain feedback and data on the business impact of COVID-19, the ability for companies to tender for more civil construction projects, and their likelihood to employ more workers.

The Federation is the peak body representing Australia’s civil construction industry and has around 2,000 contractor and associate members nationally.

"The survey results demonstrate civil construction companies, particularly those operating at the tier 2, tier 3, and below have significant capacity to assist the Federal Government achieve its goals of supporting the economy and to keep people employed during these unprecedented economic conditions,’’ national CEO Chris Melham says.

"The survey sends a powerful message to the Federal Government that the civil infrastructure sector is ready to lead the economic recovery if Governments inject more money into the sector for new projects,"

"I have previously written to the Prime Minister recommending that he bring forward spending from the already committed 10-year $100 billion infrastructure program – this spending is not a cost it’s an investment."

Melham says 92 per cent of respondents advised they would have the capacity to tender for new projects up to $50 million, if governments allocated funds for civil construction works covering: road, rail, bridges, ports, utilities, power, water, telecommunications, and other local civil projects.

Sixty-four per cent  indicated they would need to employ additional workers if they were successful in tendering for new projects, and a further 29 per cent said they would consider employing more workers.

"It is important, however, that these projects are spread across as many tier 2, tier 3 and below companies across Australia to ensure widespread benefits can flow from any stimulus investment, particularly in rural and regional communities where infrastructure investment can deliver a significant multiplier effect to those local economies in the form of employment, training and community spending," Melham adds.

"Civil Contractors Federation National has provided the survey results and the survey’s five recommendations to the Federal Government to encourage it to broaden and strengthen its stimulus approach by harnessing the capacity of the civil construction sector to take on more projects and employ more Australian workers."

Survey Recommendations

Recommendation 1

That the Federal Government increase the level of infrastructure investment in the immediate term by bringing forward its 10-year $100 billion infrastructure investment fund and by using debt funding to increase the level beyond $100 billion in the post COVID-19 period.

Recommendation 2

That additional project monies be allocated in a fair and equitable manner across all jurisdictions.

Recommendation 3

That the Federal Government develop and release a public agency supplier payment policy as a matter of urgency as a form of injecting cash into the civil construction supply chain by ensuring the immediate payment of all outstanding claims and prompt payment of all future claims.

Recommendation 4

That the Federal Government adopt a procurement policy that incorporates disaggregation of major projects to provide an opportunity for tier 2 companies to tender, for example, through joint venture arrangements.

Recommendation 5

That the Federal Government consider as a matter of urgency reforms to contracts and the procurement policy / process aimed at achieving a more balance approach to risk allocation and the development of collaborative contracts.

The full survey results are available at: https://www.civilcontractors.com/communication/national-policies/

 

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