The Australian Construction Association (ACA) welcomes the additional investment in new infrastructure outlined in the Federal Budget but, noting the “use it or lose it” condition, calls for a more collaborative approach to project procurement and delivery to address the lack of truly ‘shovel ready’ projects across Australia.

Jon Davies, Chief Executive Officer of the ACA said, “Our industry is ready to work collaboratively with Federal and State Governments to achieve changes that ensure projects are expedited and delivered efficiently and more productively.

“Construction productivity growth over the last thirty years lags growth in other sectors by almost 25%. Through increased collaboration, we can de-risk projects through job-creating advance works, ensure that there is sufficient capability, capacity and skills within both Government and Industry to undertake the work, and fully leverage the social and economic benefits of this investment. In turn, this will create an environment conducive for productivity improvement that has been missing for too long.

“Ultimately this approach will deliver more projects, boost economic recovery and create thousands of jobs for the same investment.

“Given what is at stake, we call on the Federal Government to take a more active role in driving the reforms needed to develop a more sustainable and productive construction industry. A Federal Reform Initiative led by a newly appointed  Minister for Construction could provide a lasting positive legacy from COVID-19.”

“In this regard, we welcome the inclusion in the Budget of additional funding to Infrastructure Australia who have announced their intention to expand the Australian Infrastructure Plan to provide a blueprint for lasting reform.”