‘Woman’, ‘teal’, ‘gaslighting’… these were some of the words that dictionary publishers say captured the spirit of 2022. What will be the word for 2023? Early indications suggest ‘productivity’ is in with a good chance of making it.
Countless reports and inquiries produced throughout 2022 such as the House of Representatives Inquiry into procurement of government-funded infrastructure, the Productivity Commission’s interim five yearly review of productivity performance, the review of Australia’s migration system, the national Employment White Paper, Infrastructure Australia’s updated Market Capacity Report and more, all point to the need to improve productivity and have the support of government and industry.
So the window of opportunity for serious change is open. But while productivity is a worthy ambition for Australia’s construction industry, achieving it will require nothing less than fundamental industry transformation. This starts with driving reforms that are nationwide and truly collaborative, where both government and industry commit to working differently.
While all States and Territories now recognise the challenges and are working in different ways to improve the sector, incremental change is not enough. The only way to achieve transformational change is through a concerted and coordinated national approach that brings together the Federal Government with the States and Territories to drive the changes that are needed throughout the industry.
For too long, the Federal Government has been sitting on the sidelines as a passive buyer of infrastructure. It is time for it to become an informed buyer – working together with the States and Territories and industry to drive reform at a national level. It is encouraging to see the Federal Government already wading into this space through the establishment of the Ministerial Roundtable on Procurement, the National Construction Industry Forum, and the Australian Skills Guarantee.
Last year the Australian Constructors Association launched the Future Australian Infrastructure Rating (FAIR). FAIR was borne from the idea that the industry’s challenges and solutions are known but what has been missing is a mechanism to ensure reforms are implemented. FAIR is that mechanism. Implementation of FAIR through a set of national procurement principles is our best opportunity to fast-track reform.
The Australian Constructors Association is proud to partner with government and other industry stakeholders in these collaborative forums and while much of the ask is of governments, we accept that contractors are also part of the problem, and we are working on unilateral change initiatives that will not require anything in return from government or other stakeholders.
The Australian Constructors Association is proud to again partner with FuturePlace in presenting the Future of Construction Summit (FCON). This year’s event will be held in Melbourne from 3-4 May. Building on our Disrupt or Die report released late last year, the 2023 event theme is ‘disruption’. With representation from across government, industry and unions, this year’s event is sure to drive lively discussions on ways to fundamentally transform the industry.
Find out more.
Celebrating industry success
Building the nation’s infrastructure is a big responsibility and deserves recognition. Through our long-standing partnership with Engineers Australia we are proud to present the 26th annual Australian Construction Achievement Award (ACAA) gala dinner to be held in Melbourne on 3 May.
Co-located with the Future of Construction Summit, the ACAA is a night for celebration—and what a night it will be. A record number of entries were received this year and our 2023 finalists will be announced later this month.
The ACAA not only recognises the truly exceptional work the industry performs in building society, but it also recognises those companies that are building a better, more sustainable industry. These are companies that are investing in worker wellbeing, actively working to improve the skills of the workforce, promoting environmentally responsible outcomes, innovating and much more.
The Award would not be possible without the support of our industry partners and it is with great appreciation that I acknowledge Adbri, Caterpillar, Cbus, InEight and InfraBuild for their support.
Book tickets today.