It is devastating to again see flooding of this magnitude across South East Queensland and my thoughts are with the many people who have been affected. 

Weather events like this remind us of the importance of building resilience into our future infrastructure. An important part of this planning is the need for government delivery agencies to move away from the prescriptive specifications that have been used for decades to more performance-based specifications that enable greater innovation.

Speaking of innovation, next month we will be launching our campaign to bring forward a step change in productivity and innovation across the construction industry. In the lead up to the Federal Election our play is FAIR – ‘Future Australian Infrastructure Rating’.

The Australian Constructors Association is calling for all sides of politics to support a new rating scheme in the lead up to the election. Dubbed ‘FAIR’, the Future of Australian Infrastructure Rating is a scheme that will ensure reforms proposed by bodies like Infrastructure Australia are finally implemented.

FAIR proposes to build on the success of existing schemes like NABERs, Green Star and the IS Rating. Ratings drive results and there is no reason why these existing rating schemes could not be broadened to drive innovation, improve productivity, build capability and capacity and improve the culture of the Australian construction industry.

Stay tuned for more on FAIR!

Productivity, productivity, productivity

The construction industry’s workforce shortage is expected to peak in less than 18 months with a shortfall of 105,000 workers posing a major risk to the delivery of Australia’s infrastructure pipeline. How do we find so many additional people? The answer is we don’t! We need to find ways to do more with the resources we have—to become more productive.

At a recent workshop held by the Construction Industry Leadership Forum, 70 representatives from across government and industry brainstormed ideas that we believe will shift the productivity dial. We discussed a diverse range of ideas such as streamlining the procurement process, value stream mapping the role of the engineer, digitisation, increased workforce flexibility and greater collaboration with utility providers.

Picking up on the idea of reducing the significant number of resources engaged in tendering, this month we invited Owen Hayford from Infralegal to share his thoughts on strategic collaboration contracts. The strategic collaboration contract is built around the asset owner’s forward project and work program, and the actions that the parties will take to improve value over the course of its delivery.  While strategic collaboration contracts are rare in the Australian construction sector, where they have been implemented—for example the Level Crossing Removal Programme—they have been highly successful.

As outlined in the blog, strategic collaboration contracts can break the cycle of lost learning that occurs as project teams disband and harness the power of aligned interests to continuously improve value and risk management over the long term.

We’re not alone in this thinking. The UK Government’s recent review of framework contracts – ‘Constructing the Gold Standard – An Independent Review of Public Sector Construction Framework’ provides some terrific insights that Owen has captured in the blog.

Not only could the concept alleviate the skills shortage by reducing the burden of time-consuming tendering processes, but it could also drive innovation and result in significant increases in productivity through the development of longer-term relationships.

View the blog.

The Construction Industry Leadership Forum is in the process now of prioritising ideas with the aim of delivering significant tangible outcomes in the next 18 months. Keep an eye out for more details on the soon to be launched Construction Industry Leadership Forum website.

Future of construction

Tickets to the Future of Construction Summit #FCON22 and the Australian Construction Achievement Award #ACAA gala dinner are selling fast. With an exceptional group of speakers and projects, this is an event not to be missed!

The winner of the Australian Construction Achievement Award will be announced on the evening of day 1 of the Summit at a gala dinner. Day 1 of the summit is our reform day and we will be focusing discussions on productivity, culture, commercial frameworks, capability and capacity, sustainability and more. Day 2 is our technology and innovation day. We’ll be talking about unleashing the transformation to digital in construction.

Join us in Sydney or virtually from 4-5 May.

Register today.