The Australian Constructors Association (ACA) welcomes the 2021-22 Federal Budget which affirms the critical role of the construction industry in rebuilding the Australian economy.
ACA CEO Jon Davies said the government’s commitment to infrastructure brings with it an opportunity for major productivity improvements that all Australians will benefit from.
“These improvements have the potential for Australia to construct an extra $15 billion of infrastructure every year for the same level of expenditure and employ an extra 15,000 people,” Mr Davies said.
“With a big job ahead of us, workforce capability and capacity will be vital to deliver the project pipeline.
“In an industry where only 12 per cent of the workforce are women, we are missing out on employing nearly 50 per cent of the working population.
“There is an real opportunity to address capability and capacity constraints by making our industry more attractive to women.
Mr Davies said the ACA welcomes the childcare affordability provisions in this year’s Budget.
“These provisions are an important step towards gender equity in the construction industry.
To further improve the sustainability of the construction industry and unlock productivity enhancements, the ACA recommends the Federal Government take a more active role in defining and incentivising the use of best practice procurement and delivery processes.
“Adversarial commercial frameworks negatively impact on culture and a positive industry culture is a key factor in attracting people into the industry,” said Mr Davies.
“The Construction Playbook, published by the British Government, is a good example of how reform can be achieved in Australia.
“A Playbook is a best practice guide that would see projects awarded on best value rather than lowest cost, procurement decisions based on project specifics rather than market cycles, and factors causing poor diversity and mental health addressed.
“Previous approaches at achieving best practices through discrete programs have not brought about widespread change.
“To generate nation-wide adoption of the Playbook, States could be positively incentivised to use the Playbook by becoming eligible to share in the savings that would accrue from the adoption of best practice.
“The adoption of a Playbook mandated by the Federal Government would be transformational.
“Reforming the construction industry is not just about reducing costs and creating jobs, it is about creating a sustainable industry where workers thrive, and innovation is embraced,” Mr Davies said.
The ACA looks forward to continuing to work with government and industry to rebuild the economy while creating a sustainable construction industry.